Family friendly app serves as D.C. tour guide

The $1.99 app works on Apple devices like the iPad and iPhone. (Courtesy Candyce Stapen)

WASHINGTON – Parents playing tour guide for their kids in the nation’s capital can have some extra help at their fingertips.

The DC With Kids app costs $1.99 and is organized in a family friendly way. Author and app creator Candyce Stapen says instead of listing the city’s attractions alphabetically, the app divides opportunities into easy-to-grasp categories like “Top 11″ and breaks activities down by age.

For example, say a family takes a trip to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

“You can go straight to the Discovery Room if you have a young kid and say you’ll meet your teenager at a place that’s great for him,” Stapen says.

The digital travel guide also covers destinations in Maryland like Annapolis and Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, as well as Virginia locales like Mount Vernon and Old Town Alexandria.

“I do some day trips because after all, D.C. is wonderful but if you have a free afternoon you might want to go somewhere else,” Stapen says.

The app is GPS-equipped to provide directions from a user’s current location and also includes Metro directions. Users additionally can create a custom itinerary of favorite attractions, and updates to the app are free.

The app is compatible with the iPhone, iPad and iPod, and is available here and here. Check out its Top 11 — along with particular activities for each attraction — below:

  • Museum of Natural History – Sleepovers – For grade-schoolers.
  • Air & Space Museum – See “One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure” – Sesame Street’s planetarium show. For young kids.
  • Museum of American History – Join the student sit-ins at the theater performance at the Greensboro, N.C., Woolworth’s Counter. For teens.
  • White House
  • Capitol
  • National Archives
  • Newseum
  • National Zoo – Wild Stage Performance Series targets ages 2-10. Combines dance, song, puppetry and storytelling with a tour of an animal house. Jan-March on select Sundays. For young kids.
  • International Spy Museum – KidSpy workshops for ages 9-14 to learn espionage tricks. For the family with kids 10 and older: Go on a GPS led Spy in the City mission on the streets of D.C. Operation Secret Slumber: Sleepover at the museum. Decode messages, locate dead drops (where spies hide things in plain sight) and find the mole in your midst. One adult for every two kids ages 9-13.
  • Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • Monuments & Memorials (covers all D.C.-area monuments and memorials)

WTOP’s Evan Haning contributed to this report. Follow Evan and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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