washington dc
Washington, DC
Memorials - Tidal Basin
Lincoln Memorial - The Lincoln Memorial is a gigantic Greek-style temple with 36 huge columns (when the memorial was built, there were 36 states). Inside, there's the magnificent marble statue of Abraham Lincoln and words from the Gettysburg Address inscribed on the wall. Fortunately, this grand monument doesn't require any tickets. Just sit on the steps, under Lincoln's feet, and look down over the reflecting pool toward the Washington Monument.
Washington Monument - The Washington Monument commemorates George Washington, first president of the United States, and "father of the country." The obelisk, 555 ft. high, is the tallest building in the city, and it stands out like no other.
Tip: Elevator to the top of the monument is currently closed, will re-open in 2019.
War Memorials - In this area you'll find the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Vietnam Women's Memorial, Korean War Veteran's Memorial and National World War II Memorial.
All are worth a look, but the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is a unique experience. Kids can walk along this eloquent black granite monument, feeling the names of soldiers who died in war. At the World War II Memorial, reach out to touch the Field of Stars, 4,000 stars commemorate 400,000 soldiers.
Tidal Basin - The Tidal Basin, framed with cherry trees that bloom in spring, is the perfect place to get out and stretch your legs. Around the Tidal Basin are three memorials - Jefferson Memorial, Roosevelt Memorial, and Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.
In summer, relax out on the water in a pedal boat. Pedal boats can be rented from the boat house, at 15th St. and East Basin Dr., kitty corner from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
Read our blog post: "Washington DC Memorials: Thomas Jefferson, Franklin Roosevelt, Martin Luther King, Jr"
Jefferson Memorial - Jefferson Memorial houses a bronze statue of Thomas Jefferson, principal author of the Declaration of Independence and third president of the United States. The ceiling looks like the Pantheon in Rome. On the lower floor, don't miss exhibits about the life of Jefferson.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial - Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial has four fountains and outdoor "stone rooms," inscribed with Roosevelt's words on World War II. Kids will want to pat the ears of the bronze statue of Roosevelt's Scottie dog, Fala.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial - The memorial is a large rock-hewn statue of Marting Luther King Jr, and is inscribed with quotations from his famous speeches, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
Tip: The best and most fun way to see all the memorials is to rent bikes at L'Enfant Plaza.
Bureau of Engraving & Printing - Take a forty minute tour to see where the U.S. dollars are printed, starting with blank paper, and ending up with real money! Watch bank notes as they're printed, and check out shredded money (200+ notes make an inch of shredded money). This is a big hit with kids, and tours are free. Tours are given on weekdays only (for the tour schedule, call 1.866.874.2330).
Tip: From March to Sept., tickets are required, available on the same-day, first-come-first-serve basis, starting at 8:00am (15th St. entrance). Get there early (even before 8:00am) on the day you want to visit. One person can pick up four tickets (families of five or more will need two people to pick up tickets). Or, if you plan in advance, contact your Congressional representative to arrange tickets to tour the Bureau of Engraving & Printing.

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