January 2013 means one thing around these parts– Inauguration.
If you’ve been anywhere around Pennsylvania Avenue lately, you’ve seen the bleachers already lined up for the parade and festivities on January 21.
Are you planning on going?
We did the last time around, and let me tell you, what an event. We lived in Northern Virginia at the time, and started our day at 5 a.m. sprinting for one of only a handful of buses running that day. Then there was the metro– what a crowded mess (it took us about two hours to get on afterward). Then there were the lines within lines to go through security (we had seats in front of the Capitol). And oh yes, it was FREEZING with that wind chill. I’m pretty sure we were cold for days afterward.
However, it’s one of those things I’m never going to forget– or regret doing.
This year, we’ll be taking in the fun ahead of time, and snuggling up on the couch to watch from our (warm) home. No matter your political preference, a presidential inauguration is something you should go to at least once if you live near and can swing it.
Here are a few activities to help get you in the celebrate the next-four-years-mood for January 21.
Pre – Inauguration Activities in the District
- The National Archives will be showing archival motion pictures of every president since 1933 (FDR) in the William G. McGowan Theater, beginning on January 16 at noon- January 18. They will also show the Inauguration live on January 21 in the theater. A list of days/times for each president is available here. Check out The Public Vaults (a permanent display at the Archives) to hear, see, and experience pivotal moments in our nation’s history. The National Archives is located at 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, and is open daily right now from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The nearest metro is Archives-Navy Memorial- Penn Quarter. Admission is free.
- You can still check out the exhibit “Every Four Years: Presidential Campaigns and the Press” at the Newseum. The exhibit runs through Jan. 27, 2013. The Newseum is located at 555 Pennsylvania Avenue, and is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The nearest metro stops are Archives- Navy Memorial Penn-Quarter and Judiciary Square. Tickets are $21.95 for adults and $12.95 for youth. There are discounts available for advance purchase, military, seniors and students. Children under six are free. Your ticket is also good for two consecutive days.
- Head over to the National Museum of American History to check out “The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden” or the “First Ladies” exhibit, both on the third floor. The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History is located at 1400 Constitution Avenue, NW, and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The nearest metro stops are Federal Triangle and Smithsonian. Admission is free.
- Join a walking tour with the National Park Service this month. They will have walks on topics including Inaugural Balls, Parades and Protests, the Historic Willard Hotel, and the history that’s been made on Pennsylvania Avenue. Check out their list of DC events for more information. Tours are free.
- You can also check out nearby Frederick Douglass National Historic Site for an Inauguration Tour on January 17, 18, 20 and 21. The Frederick Douglass home is located at 1411 W St, SE, and is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. during the winter. Parking is available onsite, and admission is free.
Looking for More Fun…
- Take a day trip out of the city to a few of my favorite places
- Check out some current Smithsonian Exhibits
- Head over to Theodore Roosevelt Island for some fresh wintry air
- Stay indoors and hit up one of DC’s story times at one of the many the public libraries