WHEN VISITING THE WASHINGTON, DC AREA
Welcome to the Field Trip Club Resources page, this is my list of the sites and services I use & love when going planning a trip with my family. I’ve used every single recommendation on this page. Please note that some of these links are affiliate links and I may earn a commission if you purchase through one of those links. Please let me know if you have any questions about anything listed below or any other companies you suggest I check out!
DEALS ON FAMILY ACTIVITIES
I’m always looking for a good deal or unique experience that will spark the excitement in my children’s eyes. These sites help me do that…
Certifikid’s mission is to help families make unforgettable memories together before their kids grow up (don’t you love that?!). They do this by working with area venues to offer deals on local experiences and getaways.
A few of the places we’ve gone using a Certifikid deal are the Shenandoah Caverns in VA, a train ride with a mock robbery in MD, DC sightseeing cruise, and the Baltimore Museum of Industry (very cool, hands-on museum).
In addition to the Washington, DC area, they also have deals for Baltimore, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, South Florida, and national coupons.
Public Transportation in Washington, DC
One of the most important things to plan, besides where you want to visit, is HOW you’re going to get from one place to another. In addition to sturdy walking shoes and a stroller when my kids were younger, here are my go-to resources…
Citymapper is the easiest to use transportation map for DC that we’ve found. We use it ourselves anytime we go to DC. Put in your current location, where you’d like to go, and what transportation options you’re willing to use. It’ll give you multiple step-by-step options for getting to your destination along with tracking all of the buses and trains in real-time. It uses Metro, the DC Circulator, Metro buses, trains, walking, and more. It’s always been incredibly accurate and it will definitely simplify your trip. You will LOVE this app!
You can’t visit DC without considering whether or not to use the Metro system. It’s clean, efficient, and can save money over a parking spot (of course, it all depends on where your starting location, ending location, time of day you are using the Metro, and how many people are riding!). Their website makes it easy to find your route as well as calculate the cost of your trip.
The DC Circulator is easily one of the best things Washington, DC has done for all of us visiting in a long time. I remember nearly melting on hot summer days walking down to the Lincoln Memorial from the nearest Metro station which was on the other side of the Washington Monument! The Circulator opened in 2005, so those days are now long gone! You can easily hop on the bus for only $1 and with routes that go all over DC, you’re touring options are truly endless.
Parking Options in DC
If you decide to drive into the city, you’ll want to plan how you’re going to park ahead of time. Here’s what I use most often…
Find the best deal on a guaranteed parking spot close to your Washington, DC destination. This was the main way I drive into the city during the Cherry Blossom festival or summer season when I know street parking will be near impossible to find. I also use this when I know that I won’t want to be going back to my car every couple of hours to move it.
If you plan on driving into Washington, DC, and parking on the street, you NEED THIS APP. Long gone are the days of using your spare change to pay for your parking spot on the street, you’ll need the ParkMobile app to do that. Simply put the parking zone off of the meter into your app and you’re good to go. Street parking is easiest to find in the later fall and winter, but I always keep it on my phone, just in case.