Visiting D.C.? These are the top things to do with a family (plus restaurant and shul info).
One of the great parts about visiting Washington D.C. is that most of the attractions are free! Plus, the Jewish Community of Silver Spring, Maryland is located right outside Washington D.C., so there’s plenty of places to eat or daven. If you have a family that enjoys learning about and seeing interesting sites, there’s endless things to do or see.
Really, there are many more interesting things to do and see in D.C. but I tried to narrow it down for first timers. The Supreme Court, Library of Congress (a gorgeous building), and other Smithsonian Museums not mentioned here are some additional highlights but they might not be practical or entertaining for kids.
Top Activities in DC:
- Tour the Monuments
Lincoln, Jefferson, Washington Monument, World War II Memorial, and Reflecting Pool – these are all beautiful by day but spectacular by night. They are all located on the National Mall (the expanse of land which extends from The Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial) and most are open every day and night and require no advance reservations. Tickets are required to go to the top of the Washington Monument.
- Tour the Capitol
You can schedule a tour of the capital online here. Or, contact your state representative and arrange a private tour.
- Tour the White House
Tour requests must be submitted at least 3 weeks in advance. See the information on booking a tour here.
- Visit the Smithsonian Museums
- Air and Space Museum – They have great IMAX movies, a fantastic hands on exhibit room, and aircrafts you can walk inside. Address: Independence Ave SW & 6th St SW Phone: (202) 633-2214
- National Museum of American History – Exhibits rotate there but they have a permanent exhibit of the dresses of the First Ladies and different things from their times in the White House, an amazing dollhouse, and the original American flag. Address: 14th St NW & Constitution Ave NW Phone: (202) 633-1000
- National Museum of Natural History – The hall of oceans is our favorite part – but there are so many amazing exhibits at this one. Address: 10th St. & Constitution Ave. NW Phone: (202) 633-1000
- National Zoo – The Asia trail features pandas and elephants! Amazonia is an often overlooked treasure (at the bottom past the seals) where monkeys and birds are free ranging and there’s a mini aquarium. Free entry, $30 parking. Address: 3001 Connecticut Ave NW Phone: (202) 633-4888
- United States National Arboretum – This is an outdoor adventure – the best season to visit is in the spring (amazing azalea garden) but it is beautiful all year long. The Corinthian pillars are a fabulous treat but the spice garden and bonsai gardens are also great highlights. Address: 3501 New York Ave NE Phone: (202) 245-4523
- National Gallery of Art – This museum features art from different time periods. In addition to having a gorgeous building, the Degas ballerinas are a rare treat. Address: Constitution Avenue, between 3rd and 9th Phone: (202) 737-4215
- Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden – There’s a special exhibit of Infinity Rooms currently (free tickets required, purchase online). Don’t miss the basement WORDS exhibit. Segway tours are available – check Groupon for the best deals. Address: Independence Ave SW 7th W Phone: (202) 633-1000
- Brookside Gardens, Silver Springs – If you’re coming to the suburbs – Brookside Gardens are beautiful gardens located in the neighborhood where the frum community lives. There is a walking path and stunning sights. There are also plenty of indoor activities around the area, such as Skyzone, Launch, Bowling, etc
Where to Eat Kosher in Washington DC:
2142 L St NW, Washington, DC 20037
GW Kosher Café
2300 H Street NW. Washington, DC 20037
Where to Eat Kosher in the suburbs:
Nut House Pizza
11419 Georgia Ave, Wheaton, MD 20902
Ben Yehuda Pizza
Kemp Mill Center – 1370B Lamberton Dr, Silver Spring, MD 20902
Kosher Pastry Oven
1372 Lamberton Dr, Silver Spring, MD 20902
Holy Chow (Chinese)
1331 Lamberton Dr, Silver Spring, MD 20902
Shalom Kosher (Grocery Store)
1361 Lamberton Dr, Silver Spring, MD 20902
Where to Daven:
The main Chabad House
The Shul of the Nations Capitol
2110 Leroy Pl NW, Washington, DC 20008
(Reach out to the Chabad minyan in advance to ensure there will be a minyan at the time you will be visiting.)
Kesher Israel in Georgetown
2801 N St NW, Washington, DC 20007
Where to Daven in the suburbs:
www.wsat.org – (closest to DC – 1.8 mi)
9001 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20910
Kemp Mill Shuls (next neighborhood over):
Kemp Mill Synagogue
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You missed the BEST kosher restaurant in the DC area, Al Ha’esh.
Cindy Greene says
For those that eat DC Kosher (Open Orthodox), there is a new bakery called Baked By Yael: https://www.bakedbyyael.com/. Not Chalav Yisroel.
And a number of other vegan restaurants under their supervision: https://www.dckosher.org/establishments-under-certification/
B M says
Carolina Cieri says
You might wanna consider davening at TheSHUL, a Chabad shul located at 2110 Leroy Pl. NW. It’s the same family as Chabad Georgetown, but the Georgetown location caters primarily to the university students, while TheSHUL is open to all, visitors and locals alike!
Also, a new kosher mehadrin restaurant just opened in Adams Morgan, a 5 minute walk from TheSHUL: its called Oh Mama’s Grill and its located at 1829 Columbia Rd NW. It’s open Sun-Fri and Motzash.
Happy to help 🙂
Carolina Cieri says
Just realized the Chabad shul info was changed so please refer to the post for the davening information 😉
Oh Mama Grill just opened up in the Adams Morgan section of DC.
DC also has kosher Krispy Kreme.
There are kosher restaurants in Rockville, MD which is another suburb:
Goldbergs bagels, moti supermarket, AL Haesh, Siena pizza are all on Boiling Brook Parkway. Sunflower Cafe and oh mama grill are two other kosher restaurants in Rockville.
The Rabbinical Council of Greater Washington, also known as Vaad Harabanim of Greater Washington provides kosher supervision in the Washington, DC area.
There is another great kosher restaurant Char Bar in foggy bottom that is amazing