February School Vacation Week in Washington DC

Last month Jackson and I took the Amtrak to Washington DC for a few days during school vacation week. I had been waiting for years for Jackson to be old enough to enjoy a trip to the nation’s capital. Now that he is in kindergarten, it was a perfect time! Some great things about taking a kiddo to DC for a few days:

  • Taking an 8-hour Amtrak ride was not so terrible and actually super fun. We napped, snacked, read books, played games, and TALKED. Better than driving cause getting stuck in traffic and having your back to the kid the entire way is boring and kinda sucks.
  • There are inexpensive hotels near the Mall, within walking distance or at least near a Metro stop. And kids love taking the Metro! Heck, so do I!
  • All the Smithsonian Institutions in Washington DC are FREE of charge. We took advantage of that and went to as many places as we could in the short time we were there: the National Zoo, the Kennedy Center (there are many free events at the Kennedy Center in addition to the ticketed concerts), the Hirshhorn, the Air and Space Museum, the Museum of Natural History, and the Museum of American History. During the weekday, most museums were not crowded at all.

Our favorite art finds were at the Kennedy Center and the Hirshhorn. The Kennedy Center was celebrating the arts of Nordic countries, both performing and visual arts. We saw a performance by the Gaup Sisters and marveled over an installation of shirts formed into a ship by Finish artist Kaarina Kaikkonen. And outside the Hirshhorn was an installation of bronze sculptures by Ai Weiwei representing the animals of the zodiac. A big ship and animals. Of course the 5-year old boy loved them!

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