Re: March 2013!
posted at 3/27/2013 10:57 PM EDT
Winter, the Spy Museum is wonderful!!! For you, too, not just your son. You do need to pay, and it's a lot of money for those of us used to paying ZERO at the Smithsonian museums (which is the Zoo and pretty much every other museum in DC), but it's a wonderful museum. It's probably about $25 per person (you can google it to see exactly how much money) and I forget how old your son is - if he's in 7th or 8th grade, or even 6th grade, I think he'll like the spy museum. There is LOTS of reading and my husband and I spent one entire day there - it's not a quick 2 hour museum. That being said, that's because we like to read EVERY WORD that is printed on every display. That's just how we are, if people aren't quite like that it wouldn't take that long. But they have real tiny spy cameras used by spies to take photos (like from a pen, or whatever) and also other cool spy stuff. And info about different types of spying throughout the ages. And then the museum store was also really fun - usually those stores are just full of junk but this one was really interesting, with cool books and other stuff. So, yes, go to that museum, then go across the street to either Gordon Biersch restaurant (they have yummy garlic french fries and beer) or Ella's (homemade yummy pizza and even better beer). The zoo is nice, as zoos go although I won't go in the gorilla house, but the new Asian exhibit (with the pandas) is nicely done and perhaps their new elephant habitat will be done? it's no Bronx zoo, but it's pretty good. The spy museum is definitely an adult's museum more than a kids' museum.
I was less impressed by the Newseum - but then, the news doesn't intrigue me all that much. that's a paying museum. We're so darned spoiled down here bec. most museums are free to us that it's just hard to pay for a museum! But of course in other parts of the country that's the norm.
Warning, it's HOT and HUMID down here in the summer. Like the worst week of August in MA, only all the time from June through September, so don't plan for a whole day of being outside without indoor breaks for air conditioning. In the summer none of us eat at restaurants outside - we are back in the AC, so sad but it's just not possible to enjoy a meal like that. BUT we eat outside earlier and later in the season - late spring into early october, so that makes up for eating inside in the summer. CARRY water and drink it. And when you go to the Zoo, do NOT get off at the "zoo" exit for the metro (which is Woodley Park) as you must then walk UP HILL to the zoo, and it's several blocks. Go to the next stop, called Van Ness, and then walk DOWN HILL an equal number of blocks to the zoo. Ta da! I learned this the hard way, and now am always so sad to see people struggling up that hill pushing strollers, holding kids' hands, when it's so much easier the other way.
We have a lovely and very walkable city, it's small like Boston is, but do also take the metro and cabs because you don't want to melt into a puddle, that's no fun. Also, be warned you can NOT just 'go out and get an ice cream after dinner for dessert" - we don't have that kind of thing here. Sigh. So when you're at the restaurant, get your dessert there.
And if people ask you here if they can help you find something, do know they are being honest - they want to help and they will. Most people if they see you looking quizzical, or holding a map, will simply stop what they are doing and ask if they can direct you. Truly amazing, since that's not a Boston/Massachusetts trait at all. Now I find myself doing it, because I follow the role modeling of others. (once I knew what I was doing, that is)
And there is nothing like at night looking up and seeing the Capitol lit up no matter where you are in the city - very cool!