The Washington Monument is the most prominent structure in Washington, D.C. and one of the city's early attractions. It was built in honor of George Washington, who led the country to independence and then became its first President. The Monument is shaped like an Egyptian obelisk, stands 555’ 5 1/8” tall, and offers views in excess of thirty miles.
this is a great spot for the adventurous enough to go to the top and a nightmare for those afraid of heights. I say this is a good picnic spot because its in a wonderful park and this monument provides a great spot of shade and relaxation in a very busy and un-relaxed city. So roll out the checkered sheet and enjoy
Towering 555 feet in the air, the Washington Monument is perhaps one of the most recognized sites in DC besides the White House and Capitol. Tickets for the monument are required and can be obtained from the Washington Monument Lodge located below the monument on 15th Street or online (online is first come, first serve). Securing the tickets online (which I would recommend) allows you to better choose your trip dates as if you arrive at the lodge on the day that you want to visit, it is quite possible that they have all been released for the day. Reserving online does require a small fee whereas the lodge is free. There are clearly marked signs indicating where you should stand while you wait for your tour. While waiting, there isn’t any shade so be prepared on a hot day. Although the info provided on the Park Service website said that water was not allowed, the rangers did say that disposable water bottles were allowed. Large bags are not allowed and there isn’t anywhere to store them at the monument. This is because when you enter the monument you are placed into an elevator for your trip to the top and it can get very crowded during tourist season. Once you arrive at the top of the monument, there are four sides of small windows and placards indicating what you are viewing from the windows. This will take a bit of time to view on a busy day. There are steps at some of the windows to allow kids to see out since the windows are about 3.5 off the ground. If you have children who are afraid of heights, this area can get a little hairy. I’m not sure if it is the movement of the elevator or once you eyes look out and realize how far up you are, but I was a little anxious about being up so high after a bit. From this area, you must walk down a level using stairs (this seemed to be the only way to exit the monument). This second level reviews historical facts about the monument and some of the key features. From here, you will wait for another elevator to take you back to your starting point. On the way down, the ranger will point out the state markers located on the inside of the monument and the lights will turn out in the elevator for a time. This is a must see for most folks who visit the DC area, but be prepared that small children may spend quite a bit of time waiting (the lines, to see out the windows, for the elevator to leave, etc.). The closest metro station is Smithsonian.
Earlier this summer the Washington Monument opened back up to visitors. Our family had decided that we wanted to visit together on a weekend so we went online and reserved tickets (for a small fee) two months ahead of time. I'm sure that once the rush of locals trying to visit the top of the monument after the 3 year closure dies down, it will be easier to get tickets.
We had reserved a 9:30AM ticket. When we arrived around 9:10, there were about 40 people in line ahead of us for our ticketed time, and the last 9AM ticket holders were just entering. The rangers started taking people from our 9:30 group into the monument around 9:20 - about 15 people at a time. We entered the monument right around 9:30. The security is tighter here than in the Smithsonian Museums.
The line moves efficiently. We did not wait anywhere in the monument for more than 3-5 minutes. At the top we had to wait our turn to look out the windows, but never for more than a minute or so. There are 8 windows and one in each direction has steps so that a 42 inch child can comfortably look out the window by themselves (any shorter and you might be lifting them.)
There is a small visitor center just below the viewing windows. There was nothing that interested my 4 and 5 year old here.
On the trip back down the elevator. They dim the lights in the elevator so that you can see the stones on the inside of the monument. If you have a child that is afraid of elevators or the dark, you might prepare them beforehand.
We spent almost exactly 30 minutes inside the monument. So, I'd plan for 30-45 minutes of time inside the monument after your ticketed time.
The kids were impressed and enjoyed the views. We visited on a partly cloudy day - it didn't really diminish the view at all.
Having been up the top the view is certainly unbeatable. You used to have to wait in line for the free tickets really early in the morning but since it was damaged by the earthquake last year, you can't go up it any longer. However, you can still wander around the area where you can see the White House, the Jefferson Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial and the Capitol.
The Washington Monument can be seen from all over DC, at many different angles. It's great if you love taking different pictures of it. Unfortunately you are unable to go into it now. They closed it off to the public after the earthquake in August 2011, so we were just able to view it's magnanimity from afar, but it's definitely worth it!
Everyone needs to visit the Washington Monument when in DC. The trip to the top is exciting and educational. The view is breath taking. You can see the White House and all over DC from the top. It's a great place to go before or after dark and the pictures are great from the top or out on the yard.
Everyone who visits our nation’s capital should take the time to go up in the Washington Monument. After a quick introduction downstairs, you pile into a custom-built elevator for your journey to the observation deck. The guide is well-informed and the information on the ride up is very interesting. At the top observation deck, you are welcome to spend as much time as you like enjoying the view from windows on each side of the obelisk. At each viewing station is a map to help you orient yourself to get the most from your viewing experience. Several of the windows also have steps so that smaller children can also get a good view without having to be hoisted up by their parents. My kids loved pointing out the other places we had been that weekend as they looked through the windows. When you are done there, you can go down the other observation deck and check out several educational exhibits as well. Your ride down in the elevator will also include some question and answer time with your guide, who is more than happy to help answer any questions you might have. As a side note, the lawn around the memorial is ideal for a picnic, and the kids (mine, at least) really enjoy running around on them, so it’s a good way to get some of those wiggles out of little legs. That way, they can really enjoy the tour and be calm. Some things to remember, there are a limited number of tours each day and tickets run out fast! By ten in the morning, most of the tickets are already spoken for, so plan to stop by and reserve your slot early in the morning. Tickets are free, but there is usually a long line waiting ahead of you to get in, so make sure to allot plenty of time to see the memorial. Don’t forget: As with all National Parks, there is a Junior Ranger Badge to be earned at this location.
I love seeing the Washington Monument in the skyline of D.C. I never get tired of it. It is a true part of our nations history and I believe that everyone should stop and see it. I haven't had the pleasure of going inside yet because the last time I was there they were doing some construction, but even outside it is breathtaking!
This was cool to see. It's fun to say you've been there, but that's about all I got out of it. I wouldn't plan on spending more than an afternoon around this section of the mall especially if you have kids because once you see it you're done. The museums will take up more of your time. But definitely one you have to see in person.
I debated about writing this review. I can only comment on the outside of the monument which is definitely worth a look. If you plan to go inside, you must get your tickets very early and then plan to stand in long lines to view. Even so, we couldn't go to DC and not visit the Washington Monument!
I saw this monument when there was close to two feet of snow on the ground. It was one of the most beautiful things I had seen. It is very, very tall. It is a great place to take your family and let them learn a little history. This is such a great place!
Washington DC is a great place to take your children to give them a love and appreciation for our leaders, present and past. The Washinton Monument is beautiful and has so much history behind it. These trips make for great teaching moments. There's not a ton to do at this one particular spot, but I think it's worth going to.
This one was fun, of course, because you get to go up so high and look at Washington DC from a different perspective, so the kids did like that part. However, that's basically all there is to it, so don't expect anything too interesting or exciting.
If you get to the National Mall early, make a stop at the National monument first so that you can get your ticket for inside. They are free, but limited on a first come first served basis. The Washington monument is HUGE, and the entire mall is beautiful.
When visiting the Monument, keep in mind that you need to arrive early to get a timed ticket for entry into the monument (see http://www.nps.gov/wamo/planyourvisit/feesandreservations.htm for great tips on planning your visit). Spend your waiting time at the small gift shop at the base of the Monument. You can take plenty of pictures from the site, but if you are walking to other monuments, you will be walking a far piece, so make sure you have time before your monument entry time. Wear comfortable shoes. Would not recommend taking children up the monument who are unwilling or unable to climb! No strollers allowed.
If you are interested in visiting National Park Service sites, this is the ideal starting point for a National Mall monument and memorial tour. Plan for an ALL DAY experience. If you have children that enjoy the Junior Ranger program, start at the National Mall Park Ranger office which is a short walk from the Washington Monument (you do not have to take a tour of the Washington Monument to complete the program booklet).
I visited the washington monument in the summer of 2009 and it was fun, but there was not much to do. Nevertheless, i would recommend visiting this place. If nothing else, you can at least say you visited the washington monument!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We have been to DC numerous times, usually a few times a year and we have NEVER been able to get inside of the Washington Monument. I've always wanted to go to the top of it, so have the kids, but we have never been lucky enough to get tickets. Definitely requires some planning ahead if you want to get inside.
Otherwise it is an amazing building to look at. Tall and just truly beautiful with the rest of DC surrounding it. Makes for a cool postcard of the kids!
My family of four really enjoyed visiting the Washington Monument. Our only regret is that we didn't realize that it was free to take the tour inside, until it was to late. We didn't bother checking because we thought it was going to be an added expense and we didn't have any extra money. This is the main idea that I would like to point out to future visitors- the fact that the Washington Monument tour is completely free. However, we were told that it is important to arrive very early in the morning in order to get your tickets because they are all handed out very quickly for the entire day. You will be given your tickets that will tell you what time your tour is. You may need to come back at a later time for the tour. Even just visiting the outside of the Monument is very worth it. The Monument is surrounded by an open, grassy area that is good for letting the kids run around or to throw down a blanket for a picnic.
We have visited DC numerous times and have tried often to get tickets for the trip up to the top of the monument. The tickets are usually sold out days, if not weeks before we arrive, though everything we've read online says to arrive early to obtain tickets. On this visit, the lady at the ticket area, told us to get our tickets online before coming to DC, which we will try to do next time. We did enjoy walking around and taking pictures of the monument though.
We were extremely disappointed that we were not able to get tickets for the tour. We tried to get them ahead of time online and they were sold out for months and months in advance. However, we walked around and took our picture with it and felt we got to experience it despite not going to the top.