5 Fun Things To Do Before School Starts In DC

August 17, 2012 5:00 AM

(credit: Tanya Gupta)

With school is around the corner, this is the ideal time for busy families to let their candle burn at both ends and enjoy all that D.C. has to offer. Get the kids out of the house and soak up the last few days of summer in Penn Quarter, one of the area’s best places to play before school starts.
verizoncenter tanyagupta 5 Fun Things To Do Before School Starts In DC

(credit: Tanya Gupta)

Verizon Center
601 F St. Northwest
Washington, D.C. 20004
(202) 628-3200

Verizon Center is a hub of sports and other activities, and it’s a great place to catch a game with your family. Watch the Mystics work their magic at games scheduled for Aug. 19 and 24, and Sept. 4, 7, 14, 16 and 21; see the Capitals Sept. 25, or see a Madonna concert on Sept 23 and 24. The spectacular arena seats up to 20,000 people. In addition to sporting events, the stadium also hosts family events and trade shows.

Spy Museum Store
800 F St. Northwest
Washington, DC 20004
(877) 779-2897

Head to the Spy Museum store, a stone’s throw from Verizon Center for a store packed with gear kids love. Its treasure trove includes rear-view sunglasses, an electric shock lie detector, night-vision goggles and invisible ink. You may order online too, but those junior spies could easily spend an afternoon exploring the store in person. If you like the store, you will probably like the museum too, which offers exhibits that both kids and adults will enjoy.

Regal Gallery Place Stadium 14
707 Seventh St. Northwest 
Washington, DC
(202) 393-2121

The Regal Gallery Place Stadium 14, right next to the Verizon Center, always offers a selection of movies that are family friendly. If you prefer a movie to a game, or if there are no games going on when you make your trip, catch a break from the summer heat and grab a popcorn and watch a movie with the whole family in the cool, air-conditioned theater. Note that the theater is popular with teens and the area outside is likely to be quite crowded in the evenings.
chinatownarch tanyagupta 5 Fun Things To Do Before School Starts In DC

(credit: Tanya Gupta)

Between 5th and 8th streets northwest
Washington, DC

In Chinatown, not surprisingly, enjoy some of the area’s best Chinese restaurants. Full Kee is a popular choice, but there are plenty of other good restaurants, Chinese and otherwise in this area. Wander around and pick a restaurant of your choice. Also check out the world-famous Friendship Arch. Built in 1986, it was supposed to the largest of its kind when it was built. The arch evokes classic Chinese architecture of the 1600s and looks so new and shiny, you’d never guess several rounds of construction have also taken place on it throughout the years. D.C.’s Chinatown itself has quite a history, as it was born as a bulwark against discrimination by the early Chinese immigrants. Take a picture of the family against the arch, and then look for the close by Gallery Place Chinatown metro. The metro entrance is a well known gathering place for street performers.

Related: Best Places To Find Top Buskers In D.C.

newseum 1896 5 Fun Things To Do Before School Starts In DC

(credit: newseum.org)

555 Pennsylvania Ave. Northwest
Washington, D.C.
(888) 639-7386

Prices: $21.95 adults/$17.95 seniors/$12.95 minors/free six and under

One of the most interesting museums in the area for kids and adults like, the Newseum is a huge museum devoted entirely to the country, and world’s, history in news. With seven floors to check out, there are a ton of exhibits covering historical events such as the Berlin Wall history, 9/11 and Watergate. Inspect plenty of classic historical documents as well as modern exhibits such as the new media gallery. For budding journalists in your family, the Interactive Newsroom will even give a chance for adults and kids to play the role of a reporter or photographer.

Related: Best Summertime Theater Activities For Kids in DC

During the day, Tanya Gupta is a development finance professional. By night she blogs about the development, technology, academia and her city. Her personal web page is at techtanya.com. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.

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