A most celebrated historic D.C. hotel, the Willard InterContinental, has hosted VIP’s and fancy events for more than 150 years. In fact, it’s such a revered institution, that almost every U.S. president since Franklin Pierce has stayed there. Located two blocks from the White House, the Willard is a true D.C. landmark, but did you know it also has a kid’s concierge?

234160407_55f39d9bb6_zPhoto: David via Flickr

Meet the Willard’s Kid Concierge
When starting his career at a Holiday Inn, Brian Thomasson promised himself he’d someday work at The Willard, where his parents brought him as a young child to experience history. Little did he know that years later, he’d help create a program that would introduce history and add fun to young hotel guests (all 12,000 stay at the hotel each year).


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Photo: Brian Thomasson

History and Peacock Feathers
Brian treasures the excitement and joy he experiences from the hotel’s young guests, and feels it is truly the reward.  He gets some pretty unique requests from young visitors, mostly relating to history. One particular child asked Brian to recommend hat stores in the area because they wanted to wear an elegant hat with a peacock feather to the high tea in the Willard’s famous Peacock Alley (It is called Peacock Alley because of the hats that were worn in the early 1900’s!).

Photo: Chris Waits via Flickr

The Kid Concierge’s Top 5 Must-Visit Places for Kids in D.C.
The National Building Museum
Kids can learn how engineers construct architectural wonders by building an actual arch or truss using soft blocks in the Great Hall of the National Building Museum. Little ones will love the Building Zone, where they can drive a bulldozer and build a house using a tool belt and hardhat. It is one of the most family-friendly, awe-inspiring spots in Washington, D.C. with many family activities for ages 2-11.

The National Gallery of Art
A favorite for adults and children, they welcome families to attend workshops featuring an interactive guide and hands-on art activities in the Education Studio in the East Building. Younger kids (ages 4-7) will enjoy Stories in Art, which involve reading, exploring and experimenting.

The National Building Museum
Kids can learn how engineers construct architectural wonders by building an actual arch or truss using soft blocks in the Great Hall of the National Building Museum. Little ones will love the Building Zone, where they can drive a bulldozer and build a house using a tool belt and hardhat. It is one of the most family-friendly, awe-inspiring spots in Washington, D.C. with many family activities for ages 2-11.

National Museum of American History
The museum has interactive exhibits called The American Presidency, America on the Move and The Price of Freedom. Be sure to ask the Welcome Center about the museum’s programs that day, which may include activities like peeking through a stereoscope, using a printing press or handling a cotton gin. Don’t leave without visiting Spark!Lab, where kids can try their hand at inventing.

The White House Visitor Center
The center has several charming interactive exhibits. Activities include guessing who ordered from various plates of food on display, watching a film about the presidency and reading letters from children to past presidents.

The National Zoo
Marvel at the National Zoo’s conservation efforts firsthand along the Asia Trail. Pay a visit to giant pandas Mei Xiang and Tian Tian. Be sure to take a peek at their tiny neighbors, the red pandas, too.

Have you checked out any of the Willard Hotel’s kid concierge’s favorite spots? Do you agree with his picks?

–Guiomar Ochoa