Susan Holmes

Skeleton on display at the National Museum of Natural History in D.C.

Skeleton on display at the National Museum of Natural History in D.C.

As a follow-up to my previous post, here are three more free activities that both kids and adults might enjoy:

National Museum of Natural History (10th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW): This museum is a favorite for local elementary school field trips. It’s easy to see why, with such exhibits as “Dinosaurs and the Hall of Paleobiology” at which you can see fossils of dinosaurs, mammals, and fossilized plants. Kids will also like visiting the “Discovery Room,” where kids can interact with staffers and volunteers to learn about and examine specimens such as fossils, shells, and skulls. Adults might also like seeing The Hope Diamond. Read More »

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The National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C.

The National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C.

1. National Air and Space Museum

While the entire family will enjoy viewing the largest collection of historic air and spacecraft in the world, many activities are geared to kids. Science demonstrations, for example, are offered throughout the day. Kids will also enjoy the gallery, “How Things Fly” which is devoted to explaining the scientific principles that enable aircraft to fly. It’s located at 6th Street and Independence Avenue, SW, near the Residence Inn Washington, D.C. Capitol and the Holiday Inn Washington Capitol (both very family friendly hotels).

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The African-American Civil War Memorial in Washington D.C.

The African-American Civil War Memorial in Washington D.C.

[Flickr/N7BJG]

Food isn’t the only thing the U Street Corridor is known for – it also offers several historical points of interest that can make for a great family-friendly trip to the epicenter of some of D.C.’s most important history. Here are four stops to make along the way as you tour the strip:

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Ben's Chili Bowl in Washington, D.C.

Ben's Chili Bowl in Washington, D.C.

[Flickr/Steve Snodgrass]

The U Street Corridor, the center of Washington’s African-American nightlife for much of the 20th century, has experienced a recent revival and is once more a hip place for those looking to escape the typical Georgetown and Adams Morgan nightlife scenes. In addition to shops, clubs and galleries, however, the U Street Corridor is also home to the finest of two regional specialties: the half-smoke sausage and Ethiopian cuisine. Here are three great restaurants to visit for a true taste of D.C. flavor:

Ben’s Chili Bowl – Co-founded in 1958 by the late Ben Ali (a native of Trinidad) and his wife Virginia, this local landmark is believed to serve the best chili half-smokes that D.C. has to offer. The restaurant counts celebrities such as Bill Cosby and Chris Tucker among its regulars, and recently enjoyed a visit from then President-elect Barack Obama. First-timers should try their signature dish, the “Bill Cosby’s Original Chili Half-Smoke”. 1213 U Street, NW

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Georgetown, Washington, D.C.

Georgetown, Washington, D.C.

These days (and in this economy) it feels like restaurants just never seem to stick around for long. Georgetown, however, is home to several notable restaurants that have stood the test of time and are must-visits when touring this historic Washington, D.C. neighborhood. Stay locally at the posh Four Seasons Washington D.C. or less pricey Hotel Monticello.

Martin’s Tavern – Family-owned and operated since 1933, this Georgetown institution just celebrated its 75th anniversary, making it one of D.C.’s most historic restaurants. It’s also a tradition – every sitting president from Harry Truman to George W. Bush has dined within its iconic walls. For a special slice of history, ask your server to point out the booth where JFK proposed to Jackie! 1264 Wisconsin Avenue, NW

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