There’s no better civics lesson than a trip to Washington D.C. There are standard favorites and must-dos… the Smithsonian Museums, monuments and memorials, a walk past 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. However, there’s so much more to experience in our nation’s capital than you may realize. The Kaleidoscope Adventures staff has years of experience touring our nation’s capital with students. As a result, they have collected some exceptional nuggets of wisdom to help you make the most of your visit.
National Museum of the Marine Corps
The National Museum of the Marine Corps tells more than 200+ years of the Marine Corps’ rich history, with collections that highlight “the warrior on the front lines to the families on the home front.” It’s a great venue for student groups, who can even enjoy a boxed lunch in the Devil Dog Diner!
The National Archives is a great spot to study how the actions of the Federal Government are based in our Constitution. Participants take on the roles of archivists and researchers completing a very important assignment: providing the President of the United States with real-life examples of our Constitution in action. The National Archives also houses the three original “Charters of Freedom,” including the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights.
The Newseum is an amazing stop for student groups. The Newseum is a high-tech, interactive museum highlighting the past, present and history of journalism. It’s super easy for groups of all sizes to navigate and students are fascinated by the engaging exhibits.
The National Air & Space Museum Annex at Dulles Airport (Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center)
This facility is a companion facility to the National Air & Space Museum and an in-depth experience of American aviation history. Students may remember it from the Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen movie as well!
Another highlight is the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial. Situated halfway between the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, it’s path winds past waterfalls, bronze sculptures and FDR’s own powerful words carved into the granite walls. All the D.C. memorials should be on your tour list, but this one really should not be missed.
Frederick Douglass National Historic Site
Round out your itinerary with a stop at the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site. Guided tours are available at this home of famous abolitionist and reformer, Frederick Douglass. Catch a glimpse of the statesman’s life, legacy and impact on America.
House of the Temple
Here’s a unique attraction that most don’t realize should be part of the itinerary! The Masonic House of the Temple offers a glimpse into the secret world of the masons. The building, completed in 1915, is an adaptation of one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It’s about 10 minutes outside of D.C. but definitely worth the stop.