Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum; Udvar-Hazy Center in nearby Chantilly, VA.
There are two (2) Smithsonian Air and Space Museums, one in DC on the National Mall and one in Virginia. There are different exhibits in each museum. (Yes, this is our Junior Civitan Membership Specialist, Emily Kicker. She visited the Udvar-Hazy Center last year while planning this year's convention.)
Udvar-Hazy Center is located about 5 miles from the Hyatt Dulles. Admission is free; if there is enough interest on Saturday we may be able to provide transportation for a nominal fee.
If you'd like to visit on your own, we suggest using the Fairfax Connector bus (more about the Fairfax Connector later in this issue), ride-share (Uber/Lyft) or taxi.
There are several shopping centers close by, unfortunately none are within walking distance.
Reston Town Center has a variety of shopping and restuarants. If there is interest on Saturday during free-time, we might be able to secure transportation for a nominal fee.
The hotel does provide 3 evening shuttles to Reston Town Center at 4:45 pm, 6:45 pm and 8:45 pm that you can use if you are coming in early or staying late. These are not available to us during Convention.
The Fairfax Connector Bus also stops at Reston Town Center.
Other Shopping: (not serviced by bus or hotel shuttle)
- Village at Dulles - has a grocery store, restaurants and general shopping (closest to hotel) https://www.regencycenters.com/property/detail/414/VillageCenteratDulles
- Dulles Town Center - https://shopdullestowncenter.com
- Leesburg Premium Outlet shttps://www.premiumoutlets.com/outlet/leesburg-corner
- Fairfax and Tysons Corner Shopping options: https://www.fxva.com/neighborhoods/tysons-corner/shopping/
Escape Room Herndon
If you are looking for something fun and challenging to do, Escape Room Herndon has several Escape experiences. They are located approx 5 miles from the hotel.
If you are interested in this for a free-time activity on Saturday, make sure to check it on the Doodle Poll. We can negotiate the costs, make reservations and possibly provide transportation. Note, all costs will be the responsibility of the participants.
Manassas National Battlefield Park
Want to get outside in the fresh air and learn about the history that took place just 13 miles from the hotel? Take a self-guided walking tour of the Battlefields.
Entrance is free. If there is enough interest for Saturday free-time we will look into providing group transportation, the cost would be the participant's responsibility. Otherwise, ride-share (Uber/Lyft), taxi or rental car would be your best options.
Mount Vernon: George Washington's Home
Located about 30 miles from the hotel, Mount Vernon offers a guided tour of George and Martha Washington's home and grounds.
General admission is $20. If we have enough interest during free-time on Saturday, we could arrange a possible discount, reservation and transportation. All costs would be the responsibility of the participants.
Arlington National Cemetery
Visit Arlington Cemetery, take a guided tour or walk the grounds on your own. View the Changing of the Guard every half hour at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
You can tour the grounds for free, or pay for a guided bus tour where you can get-off and on the bus throughout the cemetery. General ticket price is $15.
Arlington National Cemetery is accessible by Metro. (more about Metro later in this issue). On Saturday during free-time, if there is enough interest, we maybe able to provide group transportation and secure reservations for group tour.
Georgetown: Ghost Tours & Shopping
"Georgetown is perhaps DC’s most storied neighborhood, and DC by Foot brings out the darker side of this history with two awesome tours. Each one takes you behind the symbols of the past that shroud the area, revealing the ghosts and spirits that have called Georgetown home for hundreds of years (Wicked Georgetown is recommended for ages 14 and up). You’ll even get the inside scoop on curses, startling incidents, and those infamous Exorcist steps." - DC by Foot and washington.org
If there is enough interest for a Walking Ghost Tour on Saturday, we could possibly arrange an afternoon guided tour, discounted tickets and transportation. All costs would be the responsibility of the participants.
Georgetown also offers lots of shopping and restaurants, including the famous, Georgetown Cupcakes.
VIRTUAL REALITY DC HIGHLIGHTS TOUR - TRAVEL BACK IN TIME!
Grab your smartphone and experience Washington, DC’s first virtual reality sightseeing tour!
If there is enough interest during free-time on Saturday, we could possibly arrange a reserved tour time, discount and transportation. All costs would be the responsibility of the participant.
Smithsonian Museums, National Mall and Monuments
There are so many free things to do and see in DC just along the National Mall, all of which is Metro accessible.
If there is enough interest on Saturday, we would could arrange in advance transportation and any guided tours based on interest. Any costs would be the responsibility of the participants. To follow are some suggestions of guided tours:
DC Duck Tours
Explore DC by land and water. General tickets are about $45 per person. If we have enough interest, we could possibly negotiate a lower price, make a reservation and provide transportation to Union Station. All costs would be the responsibility of the participant.
There are many options for guided bus tours, such as this open top bus, trolleys, coaches, tour mobile, etc.
During free-time on Saturday, if there is enough interest we could possibly secure discounted pricing, reservations and transportation to/from DC. All costs would be the responsibility of the participants.
View the Monuments from the water on a cruise:
Based on interest, we could possibly secure discounted pricing, reservations and transportation to/from DC. All costs would be the responsibility of the participants.
Uncover your spy skills at the International Spy Museum in DC.
The Spy Museum just opened in it's new, much larger location. You can go undercover on a mission as you go through the exhibits and track your performance.
If there is enough interest, we could possibly secure discounted pricing, reservations and transportation to/from DC. All costs would be the responsibility of the participants.
Smithsonian National Zoo
Spend some time outdoors with the animals. Admission is free.
Based on interest, we could arrange transportation options to/from the Zoo during free time. Costs would be the participant's responsibility.
The Zoo is accessible by Metro.
The Fairfax Connector Bus
From the hotel, take the hotel's complimentary shuttle to Dulles Airport. (work with the front desk if you have a large group)
If you want to go to the Udvar-Hazy Center/Air & Space Museum, board bus route 981.
If you want to go to the Reston Town Center (shopping/restaurants) or the Whiele-Reston East Metro Station (to go into DC or anywhere Metro takes you) board bus route 983.
The cost per trip (per person) on the bus is $2. Payable ONLY with CASH or a SmarTrip Card (more about SmarTrip cards later in this issue) Each person must have their own payment method.
For your return trip home, go back to Dulles Airport and take the Hyatt Regency Dulles complimentary shuttle.
Note, the hotel shuttle goes to the airport every half hour at the :15 and :45. Contact the hotel if you have a large group going at one time.
Visit the Fairfax Connector link below for their website. The second link is a link to the Routes and Maps that you will want to use.
Once you are at a Metro station, you can go pretty much anywhere in the DC Metropolitan area.
The closest Metro station to our hotel is the Whiele-Reston East Metro Stop on the Silver Line. (approx 6 miles from the hotel)
To use Metro, you will need to purchase a SmarTrip card for $2. Each person will need their own SmarTrip card.
You can purchase SmarTrip cards in advance and have them mailed to you, but you'll want to do this ASAP. You can purchase them pre-loaded with fares, you can load them on-line or you can add value to them at Metro Fare Kiosks at each station.
If you are coming in early or staying late to do some DC sightseeing using the Fairfax Connector and Metro, we suggest purchasing a Day Pass on your SmarTrip Card.
Day Pass will give you one day of unlimited Metrorail and Metrobus travel (base bus fare of $2.00); no time restrictions. The pass expires at the end of the operating day. After the pass expires, new passes or value may be added to the card. (make sure you are purchasing a day pass and not just adding the dollar value of a day pass.)
Watch the video in this issue to learn how to purchase your card or use your card at a Metro Kiosk.
International Director and Chesapeake Governor Victoria Davis and me (Chessie) have our SmarTrip cards and are ready to go!
Metro and Bus Trip Planner
The WMTA website has a feature called, "Trip Planner"
Just type in where you are and where you want to go. (make sure you check rail, bus or both). It will give you a tentative itinerary and approximate times.
Now, you are in DC and don't want to walk....
Here are some options to consider. NOTE: none of these options are covered under Civitan's insurance, nor are any of the activities mentioned. You might want to make sure that you have signed waivers/permission from parents before you leave home. We suggest you visit the website before you arrive and make your decisions ahead of time with your chaperones/group.
Click this link to check-out my previous issue for more sightseeing and advance ticket info:
Visit DC's Visitors Bureau website
If you have questions or suggestions about the Greater Washington DC send an email to:
ChesapeakeJrCivitan@gmail.com or Emily@civitan.org
I CAN'T WAIT to welcome all the new Mascots to their first Convention! Marvin Manatee, from Florida, and I have some convention experience and travel tips that we'd like to share. But first, let's do some introductions:
- Bucky the white-tail deer - South Carolina
- Burt the bear - Alabama Central
- Andre the regal eagle - Alabama North
- Freddy the frog - Magnolia
- Georgie the bull dog - Georgia
- Ollie the otter - Mississippi North (he's a little shy)
- Marvin the Manatee - Florida
- Monty the Mountie moose - Canada West
- Benny the bighorn sheep - Great Southwest
- Beatrice the honey bee - NCDE
- Sly the fox - Appalachian
- Ringo the raccoon - Valley
- Fred the cardinal - Cardinal.m -- not pictured
- If you have a mascot and they aren't pictured or mentioned, please email a pic, the name of your mascot and district to: ChesapeakeJrCivitan@gmail.com before Convention please.
Mascot traveling tips
I've been around for a while and have traveled to both Junior and Civitan International & District Conventions, and I've picked up some traveling tips along the way.
FIRST, you'll want a suitcase if you have any clothes, toys or things you must bring with you. Here's a pic of my suitcase and some of the things I take with me, depending where I'm going. I do have golf clubs because I sometimes participate in the Civitan Golf Benefit, but I won't be needing those this trip
MOST IMPORTANTLY, I suggest that a RESPONSIBLE Junior Civitan is appointed to be your primary guardian during travel and throughout Convention. It's important that someone knows where you are at all times. I've found that sometimes our Junior Civitans get distracted and forget where they might have left us and who knows what kind of trouble we can get into; not to mention 'Stranger-Danger.'
Once you know who is responsible for you, here are some suggestions to safely travel with your Junior Civitans: (as you will see some of these are safe and some, not-so-much)
Make sure they feed you, give you lots of love and take lots of pictures with you.
Remember to use #jcivmascots
Created with images from: Pexels; Prince William County; Trip Advisor; Pixaby, Time Looper; DC by Foot; WMATA; DC Ducks, International Spy Museum; Smithsonian; Big Bus Tour; Potomac River Boat Co; Trip Savy