CitySights DC

Monuments and Memorials

  • Commemorate September 11 in Washington DC

    September 11 is a day that Americans will never forget. People from all walks of life and different ages come together to memorialize this day in history and honor the victims. Find a way to represent your faith and heritage with a unique experience near the site where it happened. Remember the tragic event with September 11 Memorial Events 2015 in Washington DC. Although many of these programs occur on the actual date of the tragedy, some are on other dates to give everyone to the opportunity to participate.

    National Day of Service

    Make community service part of your remembrance. Since 2009, thousands of volunteers have come together to clean up parks, serve the homeless, and revitalize playgrounds in the Washington DC area. There are hundreds of opportunities to make a difference and strengthen your community. Serving at a nonprofit not only benefits those who need help, but it changes your heart.

    Pentagon Memorial

    184 lives were lost from the attack on the Pentagon. This memorial commemorates those victims, and although it is open 24 hours a day year-round, it does hold special services for the families of the victims on September 11.

    9/11 Unity Walk

    The 9/11 Unity Walk brings together those of different faiths and cultures. Everyone is welcome, and it’s free. Learn more by coming to the open houses at churches, mosques, temples, and synagogues on Embassy Row. In 2015, the Unity Walk will be held on September 27, from 12:30 – 4:00 pm. There will be food and activities for people of all ages.

    Police, Fire & Sheriff 9/11 Memorial 5K Run

    If you’re into fitness, the fifth annual Police, Fire & Sheriff 9/11 Memorial 5K Run will be held on September 12, 2015, starting at 6 pm. All proceeds are donated to organizations which support the military and public safety, such as the Wounded Warriors’ Project.

    Moment of Silence

    At 9:37 am on September 11, the nation takes a moment of silence to honor the victims of this event. If you’re in Washington DC, come to the Arlington National Cemetery to have this special time and enjoy the display of “Flags Across Arlington.” It’s open to the public, and while you’re there you’ll want to watch the changing of the guard ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

    Visit Washington DC for September 11

    Pay tribute to those who gave their life that day by coming to Washington DC to honor their tribute. There will be many special September 11 Memorial Events 2015 in Washington DC for people everywhere to come together and pay their respects.


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  • The Pentagon Memorial Honors Lives Lost on 9/11

    The Pentagon Memorial commemorates the people who lost their lives when terrorists crashed a hijacked plane into the Pentagon Sept. 11, 2001. The installation stands west of the Pentagon Building in Arlington, Virginia and covers nearly two acres. If you wish to honor and remember the victims, here is some of the Pentagon Memorial information for visitors you’ll need for your visit.

    History and Design of the Memorial

    The Pentagon Memorial opened Sept. 11, 2008 near the site where American Airlines Flight 77 crashed seven years earlier. The memorial features 184 benches, one for each of the victims. Each of the stainless steel benches is inlaid with granite, extends gracefully over a lighted, reflecting pool and is engraved with the name of a lost life. If more than one member of the same family died in the crash, family members’ names are engraved in the reflecting pool as well as on an individual bench.

    The benches form a timeline marking the birth years of those who died. The youngest victim was 3-year-old Dana Falkenberg and the oldest was 71-year-old John D. Yamnicky. Benches face in opposite directions depending on whether the victim was on board the plane or inside the Pentagon. The majority of the benches, 125, face the building.

    Maple trees grace areas of the park. The trees provide shade and an element of natural beauty. The memorial’s design was selected from more than 1,000 entries in a design contest. It’s the work of New York architects Julie Beckman and Keith Kaseman.

    Location, Hours and Transportation

    The memorial is open 24 hours every day of the week year-round. It is on the Pentagon Reservation at 1 Rotary Road in Arlington, Virginia. There is no public parking at the memorial itself. Private vehicles can load and unload visitors at designated spots. Visitors are not permitted to gather in the loading zone, and the rules are strictly enforced. Public metered parking is available on streets around Pentagon City. Limited disabled parking is available in the south parking lot of the Pentagon.

    Visitors can use Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority rail system to get to the memorial. Many public buses also stop at the Pentagon METRO Transit Center. No food or drink is permitted in the memorial. Service animals are allowed as is photography within the grounds of the memorial.

    Visiting the memorial is a poignant experience. Events and memorial services are held each year on the anniversary of the attack on the Pentagon. Before you make a visit, be sure to check online to get any updates to the Pentagon Memorial information for visitors.


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  • Best Museums for Kids in Washington, DC

    Washington, DC is a rich source of history, and there are many museums and monuments to keep an individual busy for days. When visiting our country’s capital with kids, however, the focus needs to switch a bit in order to keep the little ones entertained. Fortunately there are a number of museums, such as the National Museum of Crime, that are interesting for both adults and children. Most of the museums also offer child-priced tickets and are open seven days a week.

    National Museum of Crime and Punishment

    The National Museum of Crime and Punishment offers interesting things to see as well as a number of hands-on activities. The museum is highly recommended for those who are fans of the television show ‘CSI’, and it also contains ‘America’s Most Wanted’ filming studios. The museum includes a crime lab, a simulated high-speed police chase, FBI shooting range, and hundreds of artifacts and fun interactives for kids.

    International Spy Museum

    For those interested in spy movies and books, the International Spy Museum is a fun one to visit for all ages. Operation Spy is based off of a real case from U.S. Intelligence, and it combines hands-on activities, live-action video characters, and special effects. The new Spy in the City allows individuals to take an outdoor self-guided mission using GPS equipment. There are other interactive exhibits such as breaking codes, adopting a cover, and identifying disguised spies.

    National Geographic Museum

    National Geographic is an iconic magazine that has brought exploration alive. The National Geographic Museum brings the magazine’s pages to life. Visitors can see stunning photography and be involved in experiences that emphasize thrilling discoveries. There are also opportunities to get behind the photographers’ lenses and walk in explorers’ shoes.

    Other Kid-Friendly Museums

    D.C. hosts a number of other museums that children will enjoy. The National Air and Space Museum offers hands-on experiments, huge planes to check out, a touchable moon rock, and flight simulators. The Newseum is a popular museum for those possibly interested in journalism. Kids can look at front-page stories from all around the world, and deliver the weather forecast. They also have the opportunity to snap photos of a news scene and then get evaluated by a professional photojournalist.

    For science lovers, the National Museum of Natural History offers a lot for tweens and teens. Along with a variety of mammals, insects, and dazzling jewels, the museum also offers Q?rius, which is a unique interactive learning experience. It helps younger ones understand science aspects as they relate to the planet, nature, the universe, and their own lives.


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  • See The Capital’s Greatest Monuments From The Water

    Seeing the most famous sights from a boat during a Washington Monuments Cruise is an unparalleled way to sightsee in Washington, DC. For one, you have the unique experience of being out on the water with the wind in your hair. In addition, these types of tours easily accommodate a variety of passengers and travelers. From your four year old who likes to stand against the handrails and look out onto the water, to your aging parents who prefer to take in the view sitting down, this is a great compromise between an active and more passive experience.

    Having a guided boat tour is a huge plus. You get to hear facts and interesting tidbits about places that you would never hear otherwise. In addition, there are several different types of tours to choose from. They leave from different harbors, during different times of day, with divergent focuses and offer a variety of amenities. Whatever your goals for your tour, you’re sure to find something that accommodates them and pleases all of the travelers in your group. In a nutshell, it’s an affordable and fantastic way of getting the most out of your trip to DC.

    What Will You See on a Monument Boat Tour?

    Monument boat tours will take you alongside some of the most famous and breathtaking landmarks in the nation’s capital. These excursions will often include picturesque views, unlike any other of these monuments:

    Lincoln Memorial
    • John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
    • Washington Monument
    • U.S. Capitol Building
    • Jefferson Memorial
    • Arlington National Cemetery

    Before Selecting a Tour

    Consider the season. Although tours run year round, they are best enjoyed in warm temperatures when you can spend time on the boat deck, taking in the panoramic views.

    Read some reviews - the best tips for sightseeing come from your fellow travelers. They can provide insight into which tours are best, what to expect, and more. Some options might be more family friendly, while others are geared towards adults.

    When You Go

    Be sure to bring sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, and your camera. If anyone is prone to seasickness, you’ll be happy you brought armbands that relieve nausea symptoms and/or over-the-counter medication. If you have binoculars, these adventures are an ideal chance to use them and get an up-close view of the various monuments you pass along the way. A jacket is a must-bring if the trip is windy, and light, breathable clothing is great during the hot summer months.

    Whichever Washington monuments cruise you choose, and whenever you go, you’ll be sure to enjoy yourself on this rare and amazing opportunity.


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  • Experience Washington DC Under The Stars

    If you and your family are seeking a fun and unique way to experience the best of Washington DC attractions, look no further than the enchanting Monuments by Moonlight Night Tour. It’s not only a fresh and exciting way to see the capital city under the stars, but also a great way to beat daytime tourist traffic around some of the city’s most visited monuments.

    About The Tour

    Whether you’re enjoying a lively history lesson or spooky ghost story, there’s plenty to love about the Monuments by Moonlight tour. Let a team of professional tour guides take you through Washington DC’s rich history while you take in a bevy of popular monuments under the stars. It all happens after the sun goes down, giving you a unique look at the nation’s capital. The tour makes three stops along the way so you can stop and explore different sites and memorials.

    Tour Details

    The Monuments by Moonlight departs nightly at 7:30pm from Union Station located on 50 Massachusetts Ave. NE. Reservations must be made at least 24 hours in advance and you should expect to arrive 30 minutes early. Parking is readily available at Union Station. The tour lasts approximately two and a half hours and makes three stops along the way:

    • First Stop: See the memorials for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and FDR.
    • Second Stop: Tour the Lincoln Memorial and visit the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial and Korean War Veterans’ Memorial.
    • Third Stop: Experience the impressive and popular Iwo Jima Memorial.

    All passengers must present their tickets prior to embarking on the tour. Children ages 4 – 12 years are eligible for child tickets. Children under the age of 4 years may take the tour for free. Complimentary shuttle service is available for confirmed reservations at select hotels to and from the Monuments by Moonlight Tour.

    Beat the Heat with the Monuments by Moonlight Night Tour

    Forget the hustle and bustle of heavy tourist traffic during the day and see the nation’s capital in a whole new way. The Monuments by Moonlight Night Tour is the perfect way to explore the best of Washington DC attractions while beating the heat and enjoying the city by the light of the stars. While the professional guides may get a little spooky with the occasional anecdotal ghost story along the tour, this evening outing is guaranteed to be fun for the whole family, even little ones. Take the stress of planning out of your vacation and put the Monuments by Moonlight Night Tour at the top of your list.


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  • Re-live History With The Ford’s Theatre Walking Tour

    On April 9, 1865, General Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia to General Ulysses S. Grant, commander of the Army of the Potomac, at Appomattox Court House, formally ending the Civil War. Five days later, stage actor John Wilkes Booth, a Confederate sympathizer, entered the Presidential Box at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C., where President Abraham Lincoln was attending a performance of Our American Cousin. The shot that rang out from his Deringer pistol would forever change the course of history, and in the process, turn Ford’s Theatre into hallowed ground.

    Yet few realize just how complex the plot surrounding the assassination truly was. Many believe that Booth and his confederates planned to not only kill the President, but also the Vice-President, as well as several members of Lincoln’s cabinet. Their ultimate goal was nothing less than the revival of the Confederacy itself. While the events of the evening didn’t play out exactly as the conspirators had hoped, they nonetheless succeeded at stirring up panic and chaos through the capital city and wounding the country to its very core.

    Assist Detective McDevitt with His Investigation

    On that fateful night, Detective James McDevitt was the detective on duty at the Washington Metropolitan Police Headquarters. Now, you and your family have the chance to accompany Detective McDevitt in a walking tour around the city as he investigates the many events of the evening, and determines whether or not the plot to kill the President was part of a much larger conspiracy.

    The tour itself follows events that occurred throughout the city that night and includes stops at:
    • Ford’s Theatre itself
    • The Petersen House, the boarding house across the street from the theatre where the President was taken and ultimately died
    • Baptist Alley, the alleyway behind the theatre where Booth exited the ensuing chaos that he’d created, jumped on his horse, and began what would turn into a 12-day federal manhunt
    • The White House, in front of which Booth formally decided upon killing the President just three days before

    The tour takes about 2 hours to complete and guests are encouraged to assist Detective McDevitt with his investigation wherever they can.

    The New York Exhibit at the Newseum

    News of the President’s assassination quickly spread, and by 2:00 am, the New York Herald’s early edition carried the news that Lincoln had been shot. As part of the 2015 150th commemoration of President Lincoln’s assassination, the Newseum, located a few blocks from Ford’s Theatre, will feature an exhibit of all seven Herald special editions from April 15th, including the one reporting Lincoln’s death. Why content yourself to simply read about history when you can actually re-live it through the actual news headlines as well as the account of one who was actually there? Every member of your family will find a visit to Ford’s Theatre and an accompanying stop at The Newseum exciting, though-provoking, educational, and entertaining. No trip to the D.C. area is complete with it.


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  • Remembering President Lincoln

    President Abraham Lincoln will forever be remembered for his rise from humble beginnings, his firm and steady guidance during the most tumultuous time in American history, and his tragic death. He is deservedly recognized by historians and scholars the world over as perhaps the greatest president our country has ever had. So much of who we are today is due to his leadership and legacy. Now, on the 150th anniversary of his assassination, Washington, D.C. residents and visitors alike have the unique opportunity to participate in a series of special events and exhibits dedicated to the life and death of the 16th president.

    Special Venues and Events

    Thanks to the efforts of the Ford’s Theatre Society, January through May of 2015 will feature a number of different chances for you and your family to participate in this historic event. Different venues across the city will feature ceremonies and performances, walking tours, panel discussions with political and historical experts, and even an overnight candlelight vigil. The following are just some of the venues that will be participating in this event:

    • Ford’s Theatre: The historic theatre where Lee Harvey Oswald fatally shot President Lincoln has long been one of Washington, D.C.’s most popular attractions. During the commemoration, the theatre will host several different theatrical performances centered around Lincoln. These include Freedom’s Song: Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War, a musical inspired by letters written by those who participated on both sides of the great conflict. One Destiny is a brief but powerful stage play that reviews some of the key events that occurred the night of the assassination. Finally, The Road from Appomattox reimagines the lives of Generals Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee the day following the Confederacy’s surrender.

    • The Peterson House: The home where President Lincoln was taken and ultimately died will feature a commemorative wreath laying on April 15 at the very moment the President passed into the ages. This will mark the culmination of a two-day event in which visitors can tour both the house and the adjacent Ford’s Theatre, hear first-person accounts from actors portraying key players in the assassination, and explore the Center for Education and Leadership.

    • President Lincoln’s Cottage: On Aprils 13, horses and riders will retrace Lincoln’s final ride from the White House to the Soldiers Home the day before he was assassinated. From April 18-30, the Cottage will be draped in black cambric just as it was in the days following the President’s death. Throughout the commemoration, visitors are also encouraged to visit the Cottage for originALs, a display of authentic items from Lincoln’s life never before displayed.

    You and your family won’t want to miss this once-in-a-lifetime chance to relive both Abraham Lincoln’s incredible life and infamous death. This is more than just a celebration meant for American history buffs; it’s a chance for all to get a unique glimpse at where the country once was, insight to where it currently is, and a look at where it’s going.


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  • Enjoy the Sights and Sounds of Winter Theater

    There are any number of different activities for you and your family to enjoy outdoors during the winter months in D.C. Yet let’s face it: one can only take so much of being out in the cold. Pretty soon, your frozen nose and other bodily extremities start begging to be inside enjoying some nice, man-made heat. Lucky for you, there’s a wide selection of indoor Washington D.C. attractions to choose from, as well. If you enjoy the theater, then you should look into the shows comprising the lineup of winter theater in Washington D.C.

    Great Shows at Affordable Prices

    D.C. already has a large community of theater patrons that come out in droves to see the many performances that make up the winter theater in Washington D.C. schedule. That group continues to grow every year. If you’re a fan of musical or dramatic theater but don’t think that you have the budget to enjoy a quality live performance in one of the city’s Broadway-style theaters, think again. There are multi-show ticket packages as well as tickets to individual performances that are priced to fit almost any budget. Don’t get caught up in thinking that the only shows worth seeing are touring performances, either. D.C is home to some extremely talented artists, many of whom help make the area’s local productions rival those seen on Broadway or in London.

    World-Class Theatrical Venues

    Does the thought of watching musical theater not seem particularly exciting to you? Not to worry; the city’s many different theatrical venues offer winter theater in Washington D.C. organizers to stage shows designed to fit all tastes, from dramatic performances to child-friendly productions. Go online and check out the seating options at the many different D.C. theaters, including:

    • The Kennedy Center
    • The National Theatre
    • The Arena Stage
    • The Imagination Stage
    • The Warner Theatre

    Historic Ford’s Theatre

    If you’re looking for an experience that’s both entertaining and educational, don’t miss the chance to attend a show at the historic Ford’s Theatre. Not only will you get the chance to see a high-quality performance, but you can also bask in the historical feel the theater provides. You can tour the very box President Abraham Lincoln was sitting in when he was shot by John Wilkes Booth, while the Ford’s Theatre Museum located on the first floor of the venue walks you through the life and death of the 16th President.

    Not only is winter theater in Washington D.C. a great way to enjoy yourself while escaping the cold, but it also offers you and your family a chance to see memorable performances by some of the country’s top musical and theatrical talent while supporting your local performing arts communities. Isn’t about time you chose to broaden your horizons? With the many different theatrical venues that the city has to offer, you’re sure to find a show that fits your particular interests. Who knows; you may even discover an artistic side to yourself that you never even knew existed.


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  • Documenting the History of the Nation’s Capital

    The Historical Society of Washington, D.C. is one of the must-see attractions in Washington, D.C. It is a museum, and educational and research organization that’s objective is to preserve, interpret and display the history of Washington D.C. The Society strives to inform and engage a diverse audience with its exhibits, lectures, classes and other events.

    History of the Society

    The Society was founded in 1894 and was first known as the Columbia Historical Society. The original members consisted of 36 men and women whose mission was the “collection, preservation and diffusion of knowledge respecting the history and topography of the District of Columbia and national history and biography.” By 1899, there were 108 members. The tremendous and ever growing collection has been housed in a variety of locations over the years. A public library was its first home, and in 1955 it moved to a four story mansion donated by the wife of brewer Christian Heurich. In 1989, the organization changed its name to The Historical Society of Washington, D.C. For over the past decade, the collection has been located at the Carnegie Library building at Mount Vernon Square.

    Window to Washington Exhibit

    Window to Washington is a permanent exhibit on display in the Small-Apler Gallery. It features some of the many artifacts of the 4,000 item Kiplinger Collection including photographs, paintings and rare maps dating back as far as the late 17th century. It is one of the best resources available for documenting the history of the nation’s capital and represents the most significant donation the museum has ever received. Visitors are welcome to conduct self-guided tours of the exhibit. Docent led tours are available for groups of more than five and may provide more in-depth information. Advance notice is needed to arrange these tours. In order to best accommodate the group, it is helpful for the tour coordinators to know the age of the participants and any historical interests they may have.

    Kiplinger Research Library

    The Kiplinger Research Library houses important Washington D.C memorabilia including maps, photographs and books. The exhibits change monthly and include recent donations and a variety of other items. In order to use the library’s research resources, visitors must make an appointment.

    Author and Lecture Series

    The Society also hosts an author and lecture series. Subject matter experts are invited to discuss topics relevant to Washington D.C. Recent speakers include Cindy Janke, author of “A Guide to Civil War Washington, D.C.”

    The Historical Society of Washington, D.C. is one of the true gems in a city that hold many significant cultural institutions.

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  • Enjoy The Beauty Of Washington DC In The Winter Season

    There is something magical about a blanket of fresh snow at the White House. A winter visit to DC frames the city in a special light. You may enjoy Washington DC sightseeing at your own pace without the warm season crowds, and return from DC with unique memories of your winter stay.

    Tour Some, Walk Some

    As anyone may tell you, there is too much to do and see in DC in just a day or two. A little planning, however, may pay off by ensuring you get to see the sights that you want while leaving plenty of space for spontaneity. If seeing the Capitol Building or taking the White House self-guided tour is on your list, contact your Congressional Representative’s office at least a month in advance to make arrangements. With that lined up, you may take a leisurely walk around the National Mall in the snow, or get some breathtaking photos of the Georgetown waterfront district on the mighty Potomac River in its winter coat.

    Take Time to Play

    There are some great spots in the city for some good old fashioned fun in the snow. Break up the sightseeing schedule with a little sledding at one of these ideal city slopes:

    • Rock Creek Park, Connecticut Ave. and Calvert St., NW Washington DC
    • Battery Kemble Park, Chain Bridge Rd., NW Washington DC
    • Ft. Reno Park, Fort Drive, NW Washington DC
    • Fort Dupont Park, Randle Circle, SE Washington DC

    Strap on Some Skates

    Multiple rinks offer public skating in DC. It is a wonderful way to enjoy some exercise while taking in some of the winter beauty of the city. Locations include:

    • Sculpture Garden Ice Rink. This is located in the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden, which exhibits work by renowned artists Louise Bourgeois, Alexander Calder, Roy Lichtenstein, and others.
    Canal Park Ice Rink is at 2nd and M St. in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood of SE Washington DC.
    • Washington Harbor Ice Rink is at 3000 K St. in NW Washington DC, in the Georgetown waterfront district on the banks of the Potomac River.

    See the Sights at Night

    The city takes on a whole new character in the evening when the lights begin to twinkle. Washington DC sightseeing tours are available to take you around the sights, including a moonlight view of snow on the White House. You may even get to thrill to a ghost story or two from your guide. Winter nights in Washington DC seem to add both shadow and sparkle to the many magnificent historic monuments. Day or night, a wintertime visit to Washington DC promises to be a wonderful and memorable experience.


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