The Smithsonian, the Apollo 11 cockpit at the National Air and Space Museum – Washington DC has much to entertain and educate visitors of all ages. Kids will feel at home in these family-friendly hotels, and there’s plenty for the grown ups to love, too.
The kids won’t feel like extra baggage on your holiday – the capital city has as much to offer them as you. Marvel at the t-rex skeleton, a mere 60m years old, on display at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, and peek inside the cockpit of the Apollo 11 space capsule at the National Air and Space Museum. Many of DC’s finest and best-located hotels also cater to younger guests, with special family packages and on-site activities to keep kids occupied while parents indulge in some well-deserved relaxation.
Four Seasons Hotel Washington DC
Courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel Washington D.C. / Expedia
The luxury brand’s urban resort in downtown DC rolls out the red carpet for guests of all ages. All details are covered so you can enjoy stress-free family time: booster seats, bottle warmers, a kids’ library, glow-in-the-dark sleeping tents and more. Make a splash any time of year in the heated indoor pool — swim diapers and pools toys provided. Say the word and the Kids’ Concierge will arrange excursions tailored to your darlings’ interests.
The Conrad is ideally situated for family fun, just blocks from the US Capitol Building, whose imposing white dome is visible from the rooftop terrace. Upon arrival, each kid receives a teddy bear dressed as American founding father Benjamin Franklin, complete with spectacles and a curly white wig. The Conrad’s family fun package includes complimentary breakfast for two adults and two kids under five years old.
Marriott’s Moxy hotels are designed for fun-hunters of all ages. Adults receive a complimentary beverage at check-in — the front desk is connected to the bar and staff do double duty as bartenders. Kids (and kids at heart) will go crazy for the complimentary gummy bears and goldfish crackers. You won’t mind that the rooms are small, since you’ll be spending more time in the common living space, a homely arcade/Ikea showroom combo, with cushy sofas, a foosball table and ride-on mechanical horse.
This boutique hotel in Georgetown takes care of the entire family, from practicalities like full-size cribs and babysitting services, to delightful little luxuries like Erbaviva baby lotions and downy velour bathrobes. No matter your age, you will be wowed by the rooftop infinity pool, with views stretching over the flat rooftops of Georgetown to the stone spire of the Washington Monument. Both young and old are sure to end their trip with a deeper interest in history.
The pool alone is reason to book a family vacation at the Omni Washington DC Shoreham. The enormous, resort-style beauty is only 3.5ft (1m) deep; ideal for wading and splashing. There’s even a separate one-foot (0.3m) alternative for toddlers. The sprawling patio area opens onto the hotel gardens, full of fanciful gazebos, balustrades and staircases. And it’s only a 15-minute walk to visit the pandas at the National Zoo. Kids will be in their element.
This French hotel chain transports families into the magical world of The Little Prince (1943), the classic children’s tale by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The royal treatment begins at check-in, when staff present kids with a keepsake travel diary coloring book. The ‘magnifique’ family package entitles your petit hero to free breakfast, and a regal bathrobe emblazoned with the Little Prince’s likeness. More adventure awaits outside: the White House is right around the corner, and the National Mall and Madame Tussauds Wax Museum are all within walking distance for longer and shorter legs.
Diapers? Check. Peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Check. From game consoles to pack’n’plays, the Mandarin Oriental takes every aspect of families’ needs into consideration. With the nitty-gritty out of the way, you can enjoy time together splashing in the 50ft (15m) indoor pool, or embark on a Potomac River cruise from the wharf at the hotel’s doorstep — a spectacular way to tour DC’s iconic monuments without having to push a stroller. Kids also take home a new plush toy — a panda just like the ones you can see at the National Zoo.
Imagine unwinding with a glass of wine while the kids unwrap brand new toys — no, it’s not a dream, it’s wine hour the the Kimpton George Hotel, which takes place every day from 5pm to 6pm. This Capitol Hill boutique hotel is the perfect base camp — or should we say base glamp — for family adventures. Marquee attractions including the Washington Monument and the Museum of Natural History are all within easy striking distance. The George equips young guests to explore the city with complimentary backpacks full of stickers, treats and kids’ guidebooks. After a full day of fun, return to find gummy bears and wine waiting in your room. Up to you if you want to share the candy with the kids.
The Fairmont Washington Hotel proves that family friendliness and luxury aren’t mutually exclusive – take, for instance, afternoon tea in the hotel atrium. Older kids will adore the dainty teapots, finger sandwiches and mini-pastries artfully arranged in two-tiered wooden bento boxes. Sweeten your tea with honey from the hotel’s rooftop hives — which you can read all about in your kid-friendly welcome packet. If that doesn’t take care of your sweet tooth, Georgetown Cupcakes is only blocks away.
Kids choose from five Darcy Daypacks with themes like Hip Historian and the Darcy Detective, each with their own customized itineraries and accessories. The Capitol Kiddos package also includes a play tent, and ice cream cookies delivered to your room. Gear up for urban adventures with loaner bikes, scooters and strollers. Tired parents will appreciate the cocktail butler, a personal, bedside mixologist who will come to your room to craft custom cocktails. Stay in your bathrobe and let the bar come to you.