One Last Family Summer Trip for 2011: Why not Washington DC?

Are you in the market for one last family vacation hurrah before the kids go back to school and you start making Christmas shopping lists? If you haven’t already been this year, Washington DC could fit the bill nicely.

Present heat-wave aside, DC during July and August tends to be pretty hot and humid even when the weather is “normal” – but it’s still hard to beat visiting DC with kids when so many of the attractions are free and educational (not to mention indoors and air-conditioned!). Hotel stays are often cheaper during the hottest part of the summer in order to entice people to come visit, and if you can wait until the end of August you can benefit from thinned-out crowds.

Congress is usually on their summer break by August, so you won’t get to sit in on a rousing Senate debate, but you can still tour the buildings. Flights to Washington DC in August aren’t the cheapest ones you’ll find all year, but consider all the free attractions and cheaper hotel rates and you might still come out ahead budget-wise.

Here are some of the things going on in August in Washington DC that could make a visit even more interesting:

  • Movies on the Potomac – Sunday nights are “family” movie nights all summer long, and August’s theme is “fantasy films.” August films include Jumanji, Chronicles of Narnia, and Willy Wonka. ( for more information)
  • Family Fair in Georgetown – August 19 – At Dumbarton House; includes games and crafts ($10/child, $5/adult chaperones) ( for more information)
  • Race to the End of the Earth – Through August 21 – At National Geographic Museum; about the historic race to the South Pole between Norwegian Roald Amundsen and Englishman Robert Falcon Scott ($8 adult, $4 child) ( for more information)
  • Strathmore Free Summer Outdoor Concert Series: UkeFest 2011 – August 24 – At Strathmore; among uke performances and lessons, they’re also trying to break a Guinness record for the largest ukulele ensemble ( for more information)

>> What’s your summer family vacation destination of choice? What’s your favorite family activity to do in Washington DC?

photo by smith_cl9