On the first Saturday in February my family took a tour of Frederick Douglass' Cedar Hill home in the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington DC.
This site appeared to be fully staffed by volunteers (not rangers) on the day of our visit. Our tour guide was an energetic college student who was thrilled to see some children on her tour.
The tour covered the life of Frederick Douglass and did not delve too deeply into the details of the house. The focus was most definitely on Frederick Douglass the person -- not the personal items in the house.
It was fun to hear the stories of Frederick Douglass playing with his grandchildren in the house.
The tour itself would be appropriate for anyone who can stand for a 30-45 minute tour. Your experience probably would depend a bit upon the tour guide. Groups are small and there are barriers (ropes) which visitors stand behind so little hands won't be quite as tempted to touch things that they shouldn't.
Families can pick up a junior ranger packet at the visitor center. The volunteers here, while enthusiastic, were not as organized as your typical park ranger. There is a bookstore, a statue, a few exhibits on one wall and a movie.
The movie is older, but fairly engaging for children. It should be noted that there is one scene where a slave is whipped. Personally, I felt that was a bit much for my 7 and 8 year old. My kids have been to enough historic sites that that 2-3 second scene didn't shock them - as they have heard about this sort of treatment before.
The visitor center is only worth a visit if you have tickets to the house tour.
Tourists will not want to ride the Metro to this site. It is in one of DC's rougher neighborhoods. I did feel perfectly safe driving there in the day time and parking in their parking lot. I would not have wanted to park on the street or visit after dark.
If you are driving through the DC area with a car and looking for a 45 minute history lesson, the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site is an excellent place to stop and remember an important piece of the nation's history. Check the website in advance to reserve tickets for a nominal fee.
This is THE opportunity for your young Jedi to battle Darth Vader or another villain and the perfect way to celebrate a special occasion! For the best chance to sign up, as soon as you enter the park head over to near the Indiana Jones show, you will see a line at the outpost to sign up for the time. Your child must be present when you sign up. At the appointed time, the kids line up and are provided robes. Then, they parade over to the Trials of the Temple stage for their opportunity to fight. When we visited, the smaller children were paired with the Sixth Sister Inquisitor to battle and the older children were paired with Darth Vader. All the kids have a blast using the force to help Nedris conquer her fear. Great photo opportunities here! If you are able, have one parent stay with the child and send the other over to the Trials of the Temple stage to stake out a photo spot up front - they fill up quickly.