Skip to main content

Pre – Inauguration Activities in DC

Trying to decide if you should head to the Inauguration?

Maybe one of these events in DC will help get you excited!

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?

Scroll to Continue

Recommended for You

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.  TheNewseumis 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’sNational Museum of American Historyis 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 theirlist of DC eventsfor more information. Tours are free.
  • You can also check out nearby Frederick Douglass National Historic Sitefor 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.


Image placeholder title

Spring Races in the DC Area

So. You forgot to sign up for the Cherry Blossom 10-miler.

Image placeholder title

2014 DC Spring Races

If there’s one thing DCers love, it’s running.

Image placeholder title

2014 DC Area Summer Camp Fairs

I don’t know about you, but summer seems like a laughable thought more than a reality at this point.

Image placeholder title

DC Downtown Holiday Market

DC Downtown Holiday Market

Image placeholder title

Many Christmas Trees to See in DC Area

Oh say can you tree!? There are more than a few places to get your holiday tree fix this year in the DC area.

Image placeholder title

Valentine Date Ideas in DC

I love Valentines Day like most people love chocolate

Image placeholder title

Current Exhibits at DC Smithsonian Museums

Current Exhibits at DC Smithsonian Museums

Image placeholder title

New Year’s Eve in the DC Area

I'm more of a hang out in my socks and pjs kind of New Year's gal