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Washington in November

Yes, it will be getting a bit chilly, but a November visit to Washington DC is fantastic for families with inquisitive children. It's packed with US history and culture and a great value destination - once you've paid for your flights and accommodation, all of the Smithsonian museums are free to enter and view.

In a nutshell

  • Will suit: families with children aged eight and above
  • Flying time: 7 hours
  • Time difference: GMT-5
  • Average temperature: temperatures will be starting to drop, expect highs of 14°C.
  • Tourist information: www.washington.org

How to get there

Where to stay

  • There's a wide range of accommodation available to suit all budgets. Check out Laterooms.com which has 22 hotels in the city.


What to do

  • Visit the memorials

No trip is complete without a visiting some of the many Washington memorials, including icons such as the Lincoln memorial and the latest addition to the National Mall – the Martin Luther King memorial.

There are 19 in total, including the National Museum of American History, National Air and Space Museum and National Museum of Natural History (Think Night in the Museum 2). 

Tours are currently not available and when they are, the process for non-US residents is tricky. For more information contact the British Embassy.

If you get the chance, take the metro over to Arlington Cemetery, a truly moving experience – see the eternal flame of JFK and make sure you watch the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns.

  • Other great museums

The International Spy Museum, Crime Museum and Ford's Theatre.

Top tips

  • Remember to wrap up warm! Don't worry about overheating inside an attraction, the air conditioning will still be on.
  • Pace yourself and don't try to see everything at once. Instead, make a 'must-see' list and plan your route around town.
  • Plan ahead. Some of the city's most famous attractions require some advance planning.  Same-day tickets may be available to tour the Capitol, but you can avoid waiting in line by booking online in advance. You can also beat the queues at the Washington Monument, US Holocaust Memorial Museum and International Spy Museum by reserving tickets in advance.
  • Want to know what's going on in the city during your visit? Head straight to washington.org for a complete and searchable calendar of events.
  • Take advantage of the metro - it's one of the world's most convenient, safe and clean subway systems. One-day unlimited ride passes and weekly passes are available. The DC Circulator bus connects Georgetown and Downtown with Union Station and the National Mall, and also operates a seasonal loop around the National Mall.
  • It's best to tour at 'off-peak' hours. check for special early opening or late opening at select museums (often seasonal). Washington DC's beautiful memorials and monuments are open 24 hours.

What Mumsnetters say about holidays in Washington

  • Do bear in mind that Dulles airport is situated quite some way from the city itself, so you will need to get a taxi to arrive at your hotel (takes around an hour dependent on traffic conditions). AttilaTheMeerkat
  • We loved the bus tours. Bought our ticket early evening and rode one route, then the next day caught another that took us out to the zoo (free entrance and you get to see pandas), and then in the afternoon did the final route. TeamEdward
  • We hired bikes. It was fantastic - we cycled everywhere - Capitol Hill, out to Arlington Cemetery, the monument, the White House etc. We felt very safe. And because DC is pretty flat, it was easy cycling. (My children were nine and nearly-eight at that point). pennygallops
  • I would recommend a tour around the US Engraving and Printing building. Tours run daily I think, but timed tickets are limited and you will need to line up early to procure these. This is one of some sites in the US where their currency is made and you can even buy it at the end of the tour! AttilaTheMeerkat


Last updated: over 3 years ago