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Nov 4, 2009 02:42 PM

Washington DC Friday after Thanksgiving Museum and Meal

I want to take my grandsons, 10 and 8, to a museum on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Would also like to eat in the museum. Last year we visited the Museum of the American Indian and it was a fantastic day with lots of special activities. Hoping to find something equally stellar this year. Any suggestions? Thanks

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  1. I don't know that you'll find any other museum in town with a really good restaurant in it. The National Gallery of Art (on the Mall) has a substantial cafeteria in it, and I've always been able to find something good to eat there over the years.

    My best suggestion - depending of course on exactly what your grandsons are into - is the National Portrait Gallery/Museum of American Art. It's a totally great museum. There's a little cafeteria in the building, and a very nice internal courtyard with a glass roof where you can eat. But if I were you, I would hang out at the museum, then walk half a block to the Cowgirl Creamery cheese store and get a sandwich and a soda. The Building Museum isn't far from there (c. 4 blocks), and you could include that in your day too.

    1. Inside the other museums, you won't find a lot of great foods, just the standard fare. If it's a nice day, my kids like to get empanadas from the DC on the fly carts (various locations) and run around the mall, ride the carousel, etc. They're very kid friendly as taste goes.

      The American History museum is newly renovated and has a big cafeteria, sometimes with specials. They just finished a Latin American theme but might have another upcoming. It would be a lot of fun for ones your grandson's ages.

      I don't know if you're looking just at the Smithsonian and mall location but there's a Firehood bakery near the Spy Museum (also fun for kids but pricey). Firehook has great breads, baked goods, salads, smoothies and/or you could head across the street to get cheese from Cowgirl creamery.

      1. GReat to know about the Cowgirl Creamery. Love their cheese but didn't know about the store in DC.

        1 Reply
        1. re: LGD

          to echo Sheldman the American Art/Portrait Gallery (across from Spy) has the best adjacent restaurant choices - search "Penn Quarter" "Gallery Place" and "Chinatown"and the collection has lots of really cool installations. including the uber-sexy Kogod atrium (canopy designed by Sir Norman Foster)

          tons of good choices within a few blocks from casual to formal

        2. The American Indian Museum's cafeteria is really unique in what they offer and the quality. Not all the Smithsonians have something like that.

          I've heard that the cafe in the National Portrait Gallery is nice though.

          1. I was in the Museum of American History a few weeks ago and was really impressed by their cafeteria DOWNSTAIRS. A variety of very fresh food. Pizza and BBQ looked goo as well as a really nice salad bar. If you are at the Portrait Gallery, Chinatown is at your fingertips. A cheap/good chain is California Tortilla (right in Chinatown).

            California Tortilla
            3501 Connecticut Ave NW Ste 1, Washington, DC 20008