Sure, the Washington, D.C., Metro is convenient for an adult crowd. But when you've got your kids with you, a walk from your stop to your destination can suddenly seem very, very long.
Washington, D.C., is full of museums and businesses sure to hold your child's interest, but sometimes they're just one step too far away from the Metro stop. Here's a guide to four D.C. Metro stops with entertainment buzzing nearby.
1. Woodley Park Zoo | Adams Morgan
Cost-effective and close-by, the Woodley Park Metro stop on the red line is only a 10-minute walk from the National Zoo. Take your tots to the ape house, where your family can see a male Western Lowland Gorilla just born in April, or a group of nine flamingo chicks who hatched this June.
Lemur Island is a great place for kids to match their energy with the ring-tailed, red-fronted, and black-and-white ruffed lemurs who are up to all kinds of mischief in their extensive outside enclosure.
Keep an eye out at Lemur Island for ducklings and turtles in the water. (Courtesy of the National Zoo)
How to get there? Take the red line toward Shady Grove, only a few stops from the heart of downtown D.C. The zoo is less than a half mile from the Metro stop.
National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, D.C., 20008
2. Columbia Heights
Columbia Heights has officially arrived in terms of its nightlife, living area, and restaurants. The best part about this Metro stop on the green line? There are fountains next to it where kids splash around in bathing suits all day long during the summer months.
There's nothing better than a little bit of free, water-involved fun to cool off. Afterward, take a one-minute walk to Magic Ground, an indoor park with a playground, crafts, games, and costumes galore. Prices range from $25 to $80 for two-hour to full-day activity passes where staff monitor children. Be sure to check out their two-hour drop-off weekend pass for $30, where you can shop at nearby Marshalls, Best Buy, and DSW Warehouse, or enjoy a meal at one of Columbia Heights' plentiful restaurants. The $40 "parents night out" pass on Fridays and Saturdays provides the children with a meal while parents grab dinner and drinks.
Magic Ground, 3100 14th St. NW, Washington, D.C., 20010
3. Gallery Place Chinatown
Gallery Place is one of the more convenient Metro stops because it connects to the green and red lines. Whether you're traveling from downtown D.C. or suburbs in Virginia or Maryland, this location is prime for foodies, sports fans (go Caps!), and international spying.
You heard that right. The International Spy Museum provides fun for the whole family — even Grandma. Each member of the family takes on a fake identity while traveling throughout the museum.
At the Spy Museum, you can "adopt a cover, break codes, and test your own spy skills," according to its website. Tickets are $22.95 for adults and $14.95 for children, ages 7 to 11. Children under 6 are free.
International Spy Museum, 800 F St., NW, Washington, D.C., 20004
4. Smithsonian National Mall
This Metro stop is a given. Located on the blue, silver and orange lines, this location is convenient for travelers from Maryland or Virginia suburbs. The Carousel on the National Mall is only a four-minute walk from the Metro and is cost-effective at $3.50 a ticket.
The Smithsonian Castle is only a three-minute walk from the Smithsonian Metro stop and is a great place to relax, regroup or picnic. (Courtesy of Washington.org)
The Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History is less than a half-mile walk from the Metro stop and is a popular spot for kids to visit. While taking a break from the books this summer, kids can learn about mammals, D.C. birds, gems, and minerals, and the famous Hope Diamond.
Museum of National History 10th and Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, D.C., 20560
National Air and Space Museum 600 Independence Ave. NW, Washington, D.C., 20560
Where are some of your favorite summer spots for kids in D.C.? Comment below!