3. See What’s New at the Newseum
Considered one of the most interactive museums in the world, the Newseum has seven levels with 15 galleries and 15 theaters to help visitors experience the story of news. Exhibits include a 9/11 Gallery, a Berlin Wall Gallery with eight concrete sections of the original wall and a Pulitzer Prize Photographs Gallery with photographs dating back to 1942. The newest exhibit—”1968: Civil Rights at 50″—explores the tumultuous events that shaped the civil rights movement in 1968.
Helpful Tip! Plan your family trip to Washington, D.C., to coincide with the free July 4 fireworks display and concert on the Mall.
4. Hit the Mall
Cruise through the National Mall on a bicycle rented from Bike and Roll. Breeze past the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument and other awe-inspiring landmarks. Back at the Mall, make a beeline for the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum to gaze at the Wright Brothers’ 1903 plane and touch a moon rock.
Helpful Tip! If the space shuttle Discovery is on your must-see list, check out the museum’s second location near Dulles International Airport.
5. Have a Family Play Day by the Potomac
National Harbor, just outside Washington, is becoming a destination for families. Ride the 180-foot-high Capital Wheel or take a spin on a merry-go-round. Kids enjoy an “Urban Pirates” cruise, dressing in buccaneer gear and waging squirt gun battles with marauding “pirates.” Check out the Vegas-style MGM National Harbor resort containing millions of dollars’ worth of stunning contemporary artwork and take selfies in the Conservatory, decked with seasonal displays that might involve 200,000 flowers.
Helpful Tip! The Metro doesn’t go to National Harbor, so take a cab, Uber or Lyft, or use Potomac Riverboat Company ferries running from Alexandria, Va., and D.C.’s National Mall area.