Lauren Stewart’s Top Tips for Things to Do in DC With Kids
The Bump presents Where In the World Is The Bump, a series of summer travel guides featuring tips, favorite picks and insider know-how from local moms for families looking to visit their cities this season. From the best baby-friendly restaurants to preschooler-approved playgrounds, savvy packing lists and more, you’ll get all the honest, parent-proven advice you need to plan your trip.
Hey friends! Lauren Stewart, here. My family and I moved onto Capitol Hill when I was pregnant with our second child, Lilah. I was nine weeks along when we drove cross-country from Utah to settle in DC for work. Since then, I’ve figured out a few tricks to navigating this city.
We love our city and we love to explore. It can be tricky to travel with kids and their tiny little legs and short attention spans, but if you’re prepared and are ready to go with the flow, it’s fun and easy. Sit back and get ready to get all the tips for traveling to Washington DC with small kids, from where to park to where to eat and where to head to get the best iconic DC photos.
Navigating the city with kids is much easier than you might think! I’m going to share my favorite spot where you can always find parking. Check out the photo of us above, in front of the Capitol—that’s taken on East Capitol Street. It runs right between the Supreme Court and The Library of Congress. The reason it’s the perfect spot? There’s always parking between the neighborhoods and the government buildings. Snagging a spot here makes it easy to walk to some of the main sights in DC. We park and walk right up East Capitol, where you can get your iconic Capitol shot. There happens to be a roadblock up quite often so it makes for a great little spot to snap a photo.
One of the best things about DC is its walkability. You can get to parks, restaurants and historical landmarks all on foot. Head up Constitution Avenue to see the Capitol and head down Pennsylvania Avenue to get to all the food you could possibly want. DC is amazing because there is so much packed into such a small space. DC is amazing year-round, but if you’re planning on walking I prefer late September and October to be outside.
Heading to DC and dying to fit everything into your tight schedule? Here’s my top tip for touring around the city with your family: You can maximize your time by calling your local representative’s office. Your congressperson’s office can schedule tours for your family while you’re in town. It’s free, private and personal. You’ll have your own staffer to walk you through the tunnels of the buildings and be able to see all the things.
Bonus tip: The Library of Congress has a children’s library in it! So when the tour is done, you can finish up in the children’s section, where your kiddos get to participate in activities and have a bit more freedom to roam and touch things. That’s a win for everyone.
Check out DC events on Google to see what might be going on while you are in town. There is no shortage of art shows and pop-up stores, and it’s so neat to take in a one-time event while you’re in town.
Bring your stroller! But keep in mind that some places may not allow you to bring it in, so also bring a sling. I’ve found that they’re so much easier to bring around than a full baby carrier.
Lauren Stewart is a blogger, vlogger and host of the “ I’m Not Crazy, I’m Exhausted” podcast. As a mom of three, balancing life, motherhood and business is, as she says, no joke, but she likes to keep it light. Follow her on Instagram at @lauren.stewart_dc.