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January 7, 2009

Kids @ the inauguration: Crazy, or what?

Filed Under: Maryland | Northern Virginia | Washington, DC

So here we are, locals living a stone's throw away from one of the biggest moments in American history. And we have kids.

I know I'm not alone in entertaining two lines of thought about the situation. They go something like this: 1) We MUST take our pre-k-age daughter to see this moment she'll tell her children and grandchildren about, and watching it on TV while we sit a few miles from the action is lame and lazy, 2) We are INSANE to consider taking our pre-k-age daughter into this crowd-control/security/transportation nightmare amid 2.5 million tourists in the dead of winter.

I don't know yet what I'll decide. And I'm not lucky or important enough to have tix to the swearing-in, so that's not an issue - It's the parade and the other unticketed mayhem I've been pondering. If you, like me, are trying to do the due-diligence and make an informed decision about taking children, of any age, to inaugural celebrations, here are a few online resources you should consult:

Comprehensive "Getting There" guide to deciding if you should attend - and planning your trip to the inauguration

Overview of several official events, including a lower-key thing @ the Lincoln Memorial on Sunday the 18th

Advisory for parents of young children attending swearing-in ceremony

Spectator info for the parade

Using the metro system during inauguration week

Issues affecting District of Columbia residents during inauguration week

Info on a free youth concert @ the Verizon Center on Monday the 19th (complete info forthcoming, but you can sign up for email updates)

More on the Verizon Center kids' concert from the Post

Tips for families from Chesapeake Family magazine

Nickelodeon kids' cable channel coverage of the inauguration

Know of other important info or resources on this topic? Please share with the rest of us by posting your "comment" at the end of this blog entry.

p.s. Tix to the children's inaugural ball hosted by the NCM are now SOLD OUT!

Posted by Sarah at 1:15 PM.


Wow! This is resource list is exactly what I've been looking for/dreaming about! We might just get together with other friends with kids, something on the order of a Super Bowl party for progressive politics. Thanks, Sarah!

Thanks, Jessica - This is a great idea you have! Many folks are off work - or working reduced hours/from home - on inauguration day, and most schools and preschool programs are closing. So it could be fun to host a family-friendly "house party" to celebrate on a saner scale w/ the kids.

Thank you for putting all of this together for us! I am really leaning toward going and hope one day my girls are glad they were a part of it. What a great resource!

We're going - with our kids, ages 7 & 4, unless the weather is horrendous. Our plan is to not worry about getting near the Inauguration site and/or parade. We may end up walking across a bridge into DC from Arlington and just hang out at or near the Lincoln Memorial. Then if we feel up to it, we'll head out to the parade route. I think it is the feeling of being in DC that day that is more important to me than a glimpse of a motorcade or a person from far away.