Insider Tips for Navigating the Inauguration or Women’s March on Washington With Kids

presidential inauguration
The US Capitol before the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th US president in Washington on January 20, 2009.  PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images

Sure, you want your kids to witness history but does navigating the Inauguration or Women’s March on Washington together sound like it might be a capitol-sized headache? Vote ‘yes’ on that trip to DC and check out these tips to make your civic-minded family day a success!

Dress Warmly You’re gonna be cold. (Temps are expected to be in the 40s and it may rain). Outfit the whole fam in plenty of layers, comfy shoes or boots, hats, gloves, scarves, hand warmers, ponchos, you get the idea.

Bring Snacks Lines at food kiosks will be loooong and the kids will be hangry. Pack everyone’s favorite eats … or as much as you can fit: you’re allowed a small bag (18” by 13” by 7”) for the inauguration and each march participant can tote one 8”x6”x4” bag plus a clear plastic gallon-size bag.

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Have a Stroller? Look for the Jumbotrons: If you’re bringing a tot on wheels, don’t try to get too close to the action on the west front of the Capitol. Instead, opt for a spot further back near the Washington Monument where there are sure to be Jumbotrons but the crowd won't be a packed. Much easier if you need to make an early exit!

Get your Metro Farecard Early Buy your “SmarTrip” card at any Metro station at least a day before your event. (Kids aged 5 and up need their own card.) You don’t want to be stuck in line at ticket machines and miss the festivities! 

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Remember Many Museums (and Their Bathrooms) Are Open If you need to escape the cold or your kids need a bathroom and refuse to use those portapotties, duck into one of the Smithsonian museums that line the National Mall. Nearly all will be open and they’re always free of charge! 

Take Photos Get your selfies snapped ASAP, that way even if you leave early, you have proof you were all there!

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