Your Family Adventures- in Washington, D.C.

Your inside source for family friendly D.C.

What You’ll Need For Your Trip

So, let’s talk about the weather in D.C.  To be blunt, it isn’t usually that pleasant.  In the summer, it is hot and humid.  In the winter, it is cold, damp and often drizzly.  There are some glorious weeks in spring and fall, but the temperatures can swing wildly between extremes (in one week it was 80 on Monday and by Friday was barely reaching 40).  You do get snow, although nothing compared with other areas in the USA, and the rain comes quickly and leaves lots of puddles and rushing gutters.

I know, this place sounds awesome doesn’t it?  What you have to remember is there ARE those glorious days that are just the right temperature.  Plus, everything is air conditioned for the summer and in the winter the city is compact enough that you really don’t have to be outside too long.  All you have to do is a plan a little and you’ll be able to stay comfortable.

The nice thing about D.C. is you can really wear whatever you want to.  There are the high-powered business types who wouldn’t be seen in anything less then a full suit and then there are…well…the tourists!  This means that if you prefer to wear shorts and t-shirts you are in very good company and if you like to dress it up a bit that is OK too.  A few restaurants will have a dress code and if you are planning to go “out” in the evening you’ll want to look nice.  Other then that, it is OK to be comfortable.

Now, if you would rather not be INSTANTLY pegged as a tourist there are a few things you should plan to avoid.

  • Anything neon and splattered with the words “Washington, D.C.”
  • Those stripy sunglasses the guy sells out of a suitcase
  • Fanny packs (seriously)
  • T-shirts that are printed to match with everyone in your group

I’m sure there are more, but that will get you started!  Now, on to the things you DO want to have with you for your trip.  Remember, this is just a starting point.

Good to Have Any Season

  • Backpack/purse that is easily opened.  You’ll need to have your bag searched when you go into almost any building in D.C. so it is helpful to have one that the officer can look through easily
  • Travel sized umbrella, the rain swoops in suddenly and with great intensity
  • Government Issued ID….we are just that kind of city
  • Comfortable walking shoes.  Seriously, I mean it, you will be walking a lot and nothing can ruin your trip faster then blistered feet the first day.


  • Clothes that are cool and comfortable (shorts, skirts, t-shirts etc.)
  • A light sweater or something to ward off the chill of over-done A/C
  • Hat, sunglasses, sunscreen…whatever you use to keep from getting burned
  • Water bottle.  Most museums will let you take a bottle of water in with you, although no other food or beverages, and you want to stay hydrated!


  • Water-resistant coat. It gets damp and drizzly as well as cold
  • Good shoes that can protect you from muck and keep you from slipping
  • Bag to stuff gear in when you go inside a museum etc.






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