Washington DC advice

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mbowman's picture
Joined: 08/22/07
Posts: 1063
Washington DC advice

I've mentioned before that I'm going to DC over spring break with Bri and the high school band (yes my kid's a band geek and I'm proud of it!! LOL) We've way overpaid for the whole dang trip in my opinion because we used a "travel agent" who has a connection with another band parent. I would've thought we were getting a deal, but I don't think that's the case. Anyway, we found out that her plan is for us to eat boxed meals for lunch and dinner prepared by the hotel everyday we are there. Yuck!!! Now I understand that it's going to be difficult to find a place to feed 100 people, but I think there are surely some other options for us. Also, she doesn't have much of an itinerary...we are scheduled to go to the White House, the BEP, Arlington Cemetery, the kids are playing at the Lincoln Memorial and they are getting some playing lessons from one of the military bands. Also we'll do the Smithsonian museums and the memorials. But what are we going to do with 80 teenagers all evening for 4 days? Most of these things close at 5:30 and some of the tours are only going to last an hour or so.

I'm thinking that we should be able to eat lunches at the national mall. It looks like there are cafes and food courts in most of the museums. It looks like Union Station and the Old Post Office also have food courts. And if we went to a shopping mall one day, there would be a food court. We could bring in pizza to the hotel a couple of times for dinner and maybe sub sandwiches another. What else would you suggest?

For evening entertainment, I think we could do the free concert at the Kennedy Center. It's at 6:00 each evening. A couple of the museums are open late (until 7:30) 2 of the nights we'll be there. What else could we easily do in the evenings? We are taking two charter buses so we'll have transportation.

We are having a meeting next week, and I'd like to be able to offer some suggestions. Maybe I should take a cut of the travel agent's fee!!! Grrrr! TIA!

Jumarse's picture
Joined: 02/27/07
Posts: 5219

Definitely check out the zoo. The Pentagon also gives good tours. I think the CIA does too, they are technically in VA, so is the Pentagon. Pentagon City mall is good, also technically in Va, but right over the bridge so really still "feels" like you are still in DC. Museums, etc are a great idea for large groups, they are used to school tours, etc. Museum of Natural History is always wonderful, so much to see for everyone. That travel agent needs to do more! She needs to figure out evening plans! I know you'd need to call in advance for that much food to be delivered, you know, something the travel agent should be doing!

Joined: 06/29/08
Posts: 1096

You can take the metro to pentagon city (other places too) which may be easier if the bus drivers need to "rest".

I think most of smithsonian cares are McDonald's and some chicken place and pizza. At least the air and space museum definitely is. Most of DC, in my experience, really does shut down in the evening. Where are you staying? Does the place have a pool?

The spy museum is lame and expensive. Skip it. There are one theatres right around the white house area. Maybe you could see what they are showing (I think theres a shakespeare theatre, plus several others).

regdahl's picture
Joined: 05/05/07
Posts: 777

Yes, the zoo!!

The Holocaust Museum is a good to visit - so unbelievely moving.

Evening plans....we did a night tour of the monuments. It was really neat to see them all lit up at night. Even if you've been to them in they daytime it's different at night. Especially the Korean War memorial - at night it's very eerie.

It's been 15 years since I've been there so it's hard to remember. If I think of anything else I'll add.....

shefrn1's picture
Joined: 08/28/07
Posts: 4148

I think your plans (not the travel agent's) are great.....or atleast a great start.....i've only been there a couple times and everyone already mentioned what i was thinking....the zoo and the smithsonian!!!!!

I think it's crazy that the 'travel agent' didn't set up more for you guys!!!!!!

mbowman's picture
Joined: 08/22/07
Posts: 1063

Thanks for the advice and tips! Our hotel doesn't have an indoor pool. More crappy planning!! We'll see what happens after our meeting next week. If anyone else has thoughts, please chime in!