It wouldn’t be summer without thousands of teachers and parents planning educational visits to the nation’s capital . But Washington DC is much more than government, especially in this season’s hot, humid lazy days when downtown is abuzz with tech startups and millennial loft dwellings. This top-value city plans weekly festivals and street fairs, and the dozens of free monuments and 19 no-charge Smithsonian museums (we love the kids’ website ) mean there’s never a bad time to visit. Look out for the redone National Museum of American History to focus on the history of American ideas and innovation so its baby sister, the National Museum of African American History can join The Mall in September of 2016. The engaging Visitors Centers at the White House and Capitol mean you won’t have to plan ahead or wait in line to see the real thing… the behind-the-scenes exhibits are more revealing than being in the actual building. You may have to book ahead, however, to see the remarkable collection of personal Lincoln artifacts at The Ford Theatre, site of President Lincoln's assassination by leading man John Wilkes Booth. Tickets for National Park Service properties can be obtained in advance from . Even the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has free daily performances — at 6 . on the Millennium Stage.
Two more games are also coming with me that might be controversial. Final Fantasy VI is an old favorite that I have a much harder time returning to than others, mostly because it’s just so easy! You can normal attack your way through that game and still win. Final Fantasy VII is also making the trip since I have unresolved issues when it comes to nostalgia living up the reality of age with that game. The last time I played it, I was unimpressed, so I want to see if one last hurrah with it will help bring those mixed feelings to a close one way or another.