Raising Kids in Washington DC | The non-sarcastic version
Ok so some people who don’t know me well or who can’t read my charming sense of humor, did not understand that when I made a list of reasons you’ll love raising kids in DC and included, “Kids become excellent rat hunters” that I was joking. Sort of
Do you want to know why it’s really great to raise kids in the DC Area?
- Free Museums – You just cannot beat this. The Smithsonian offers 17 DC museums / galleries and the zoo and they are free. This can really keep you and the kids busy. People who live in DC are well aware of the fact that we have access to all these amazing museums and they take advantage of it! Museum of American History is one of our favorites. There’s Natural History, Air and Space, the Hirshhorn, American Indian, African American History.
- Field Trip Opportunities Around Every Corner – Whether the kids get to do it through school or you decide to be a parent and take them yourself. I grew up in Connecticut and we did not have so many opportunities for adventure. Unless you count Putnam Cottage, a place that used to be a tavern where George Washington allegedly swooped in and paid for some of his soldier’s lunch a field trip then yea. Thanks a lot Connecticut.
Ford’s Theatre – No doubt your kids will learn all about the Civil War, the end of slavery, and one of the country’s most beloved President’s – Abraham Lincoln, no matter where they go to school in the U.S. Seeing Fords Theatre, and the viewing box where he was sitting when he was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth, well, there’s nothing else like it.
- Tuition Assistance Grants – If you live in DC don’t think you’ll lose out on state college access. DC offers a Tuition Assistance Grant for kids who attend a state school in any of the 50 states. So you get $10,000 off the out of state tuition for any state school. And if you live in Maryland or Virginia, no tuition assistance for you, but having the option to go to the University of Virginia or University of Maryland is a really great “consolation” prize.
- Friends in High Places – They will be surrounded by friends whose parents make huge decisions that affect our government. And that’s pretty cool. It’s very international here as well, and many diplomats who come to the U.S. have children who will become your kiddo’s friends and this opens them up to other cultures. If you’re one of my kids, you just think it’s cool that your cartoon likeness is on your mom’s logo.
- The Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights are Here – You can see them at the National Archives. This is pretty mind-blowingly cool when you consider that kids in the rest of the country may never have this opportunity unless they come here on their middle school or high school trip.
- The Library of Congress – Kids have access to the largest library in the world and it’s here in DC. The Library of Congress is not just another arm of government, it is open to the public and has exhibits and events, as well as a host of online learning activities. I also feel that it sets the tone for our libraries in the city which host a lot of programs for both adults and kids.
- Vacations Within 3 Hours of DC – You can ski, hike in the Shenandoah, visit Gettysburg or Hershey Park, go to the Inner Harbor in Baltimore or go to the beaches in Delaware or Maryland. It’s also easy to get to New York City by bus or train.
- Sports – DC has football, baseball, basketball, hockey and soccer teams. There’s always a sport in season here and games to take the kids to.
- Pop-Up Museums – DC will be home to various museums that pop up, some stay, some run out of funds. But no matter what happens, they are founded in some really great ideas. There was the Newseum which closed, but was open for several years and took a couple days to really get through the exhibits. The Spy Museum is another favorite of visitors and residents alike for it’s cool exhibits and ability for kids to go on a mission.
- Kids Play Outside – At least in some neighborhoods. Everyone lives in such close quarters that they all end up at the local parks or neighborhood pool. Our kids play in the alley behind our house, and they don’t even realize they don’t have a backyard. And we love every weekend that comes where we don’t have to mow the backyard because we don’t have one!
There are plenty of other reasons why raising kids in DC is great. And when I’m talking about DC, I don’t just mean DC proper, I’m including the Maryland and Virginia suburbs too. Kids living anywhere in the nation’s capital all benefit from these awesome opportunities. If you want to hear more about why I think my kids have thrived in city-living, contact me anytime!