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Washington D.C. must-dos

NSPRA 2019 Guide: 5 Must-Dos in Washington D.C.!

I couldn’t be more excited that the 2019 NSPRA National Seminar kicks off this weekend in Washington, D.C.! 

I always look forward to meeting school PR and communications leaders from across the country and to hearing about the community engagement and customer service challenges they face in their districts. 

I’m especially excited about this year’s conference because it’s where K12 Insight is introducing our first-ever national State of K-12 Customer Experience Report

While the full report won’t be released until September, we’re giving NSPRA members an exclusive first look Tuesday, July 16 at 1 p.m. in the Hampton Ballroom.  

Throughout the conference, the K12 Insight team will be on hand to discuss the report preview and to highlight the work of K-12 customer experience superheroes. Be sure to stop by booth #27 to learn more.  

In addition to the great sessions at NSPRA, I hope you’ll take advantage of many of the great attractions our nation’s capital has to offer. Since I call the DC Metro area my home, I have some favorite spots that I recommend when visitors come to town. Here’s just a few can’t-miss adventures.

1. Stroll through the United States Botanic Garden 

Escape to a plant-filled oasis in the middle of the city. The Botanic Garden is host to an entire room dedicated to orchids, a 28,944-square-foot conservatory, a World Deserts room, and so much more. Entry is free and the hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. every day.  Take the Orange, Blue, or Silver lines to the Federal Center SW Metro station.  

2. Explore the many museums on the National Mall

While the National Mall is well-known for its famous memorials and monuments, it’s also the location of many of Washington’s famous museums. The Smithsonian Institution museums include the Air and Space Museum, the American History Museum, the Natural History Museum, the National Museum of the American Indian, as well as the National Museum of African American History and Culture (tickets can be tough at this one). There are amazing art galleries as well, such as the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and the Freer Gallery of Art, and the National Museum of African Art. The best part?  All of these Museums are free! However, some do require timed passes, be sure to get your passes early.  

3. Channel your inner James Bond at the International Spy Museum

Ever wonder what it feels like to be 007? Visit the International Spy Museum to find out. The museum features interactive experiences to test your spying abilities. It also features an extensive collection of espionage-related artifacts from ancient times to post 9/11.

I recommend buying tickets online ahead of time to skip the line. Museum hours are 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday-Friday.

4. Swing away some time at East Potomac Park Mini Golf

Take some time off and play a game of mini-golf at the nation’s oldest continually-operated mini-golf course. Not many people know about this hidden leisure spot. The park is overseen by the National Park Service and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. This scenic course offers a great way to relax and unwind. The one major rule? “No Competitive Putting,” which I guess means no placing wagers on who has to buy dinner. The course features 18 holes and is open 10 a.m. to dark. 

5. Experience a true DC delicacy at Ben’s Chili Bowl 

Looking for a good bite to eat? Try one of the city’s most famous hot dogs! Ben’s Chili Bowl offers the original chili half-smoke, a fan favorite. The descriptions says it all:

“Experience the chili half-smoke, first made famous by Ben’s in 1958. Grilled and served on a warm steamed bun with mustard, onions and Ben’s spicy homemade chili sauce. Have yours split and grilled on request.”

Enjoy your time in D.C.  And don’t forget to come by booth #27 to earn your superhero cape, and check out our special session on the State of K-12 Customer Experience, Tuesday July 16, from 1-2 p.m., in Hampton Ballroom!