We’ve been getting our fix of all things DC with these books and virtual tours. But nothing beats the real deal. If we’re being honest, we long for the halls of the Kennedy Center, the ding-ding of King Street’s trolley and literally every. single. playground in the DMV! Here are 10 things we desperately miss in DC—and look forward to doing again soon.

photo: Devin Murphy for Smithsonian's National Zoo

Taking a Spin on the Conservation Carousel

We can't wait to hop a ride on the National Zoo's Conservation Carousel. We miss the sweet faces of the endangered animals; it's the best ride in town! We also miss the Me & Bee Playground, the talented face painters, Ambika the elephant (sniff, sniff) and all of the animal exhibits. Right now, we're getting our zoo-fix with animal webcams and at-home educational activities

photo: Angelica Lynne Kajiwara

Hangin' with the Pigeon at the KC

Oh, Mo Willems, how we miss you! We miss the hands-on cartoon workshops at Moonshot Studios. We miss roaming the halls of the Kennedy Center with the Pigeon. And, most of all, we miss the live performances written by Mo himself! We've been keeping ourselves busy with Mo's Lunch Doodles. These virtual classes are now over (sigh), but if you missed them, you can watch them here. 

Daytripping in the Inner Harbor

Pirate ships, dragon boats and the USS Constellation; we can't wait to count floating vessels in the Inner Harbor again! We look forward to exploring the Maryland Science Center the National Aquarium, and a stone's throw from the water, the Port Discovery Children's Museum

Date Night at The Dabney

Shhh! Come close. Can we tell you a secret? We love our kids, but we miss kid-free nights on the town. And our favorite place to go for a special occasion? The Dabney! You can order a prix fixed menu that includes an app, dinner and dessert for $45; it's delish, but not the same as sitting in the intimate space enjoying the open kitchen. Sigh! 

Using our ImagiNation

We love the (free!) Smithsonians. We love the National Mall. But our first stop post-pandemic? The National Museum of the American Indian. We can't wait to get hands-on in the ImagiNation exhibit, to play eye spy with the Native dolls exhibit or to grab a snack at Mitsitam Cafe (they have the best guac in the city!). We look forward to live performances, but in the meantime, we are enjoying these digital lessons. 

photo: R. Kennedy via Visit Alexandria

Hitching a Free Ride on the King St. Trolley

Let's face it, the King Street Trolley is literally the highlight of Old Town Alexandria for those 6 & under. A trip down to the waterfront followed by a scoop at Pop's Old Fashioned Ice Cream is pretty much the perfect weekend day. The Trolley is not currently running, but if you need a lift, check out the abbreviated bus schedule here

Going to Playgrounds. Period.

Beauvoir, the National Cathedral's Elementary School may have the most picture-perfect playground, but honestly, we'd be happy to hop onto any slide right now. We can't wait to swing, jump and play at one of these 17 playgrounds in and around DC! 

Grabbing a Book & a Bite

We miss perusing the stacks at Kramer Books while we wait for a table at Afterwords. If your kids are missing their mac & cheese, don't fret. You can order Afterwords to-go with a fresh side of books, courtesy of Postmates.  


photo: Meghan Yudes Meyers

Exploring a New Museum

The National Children's Museum had barely opened their doors when they had to close them again. We haven't gotten nearly enough of their crafting room,  hands-on exhibits or reading nook. We miss exploring this new museum! You can still get your STEAM work on with daily Facebook prompts (here). 

Running Free at the National Arboretum

Who needs a playground when you can run and play (all day!) at the National Arboretum. We can't wait to stretch our legs on the 10+ miles of trail that cover almost 450 acres of these protected lands. We'll see you soon, National Capitol Columns!

—Meghan Yudes Meyers


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