The 2012 Washington Auto Show

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The Washington Auto Show has returned to DC for its annual presentation of the latest and greatest in the auto industry. I am not really a car person, but we spontaneously decided to head over to the Washington Convention Center to check out the revival of Detroit and test drive the new Toyota Prius V.

The show was well attended, but at no point did it ever feel crowded or overwhelming. The open layout of the various “show rooms” allowed you to roam freely from car to car. My two-year-old daughter loved riding in the cars, climbing in the back seats and safely playing in countless open trunks. Although we did not see the much-beloved Super Why, we did spy Bugs Bunny and Tweety Bird from a distance. Other characters and programming for children are planned throughout the event.

We walked through the center of a divided Ford Explorer. On one side we saw the deconstructed framework of the car. The other half showed crash test dummies protected by inflated air bags.  Honda presented a driving video game, which measures your fuel efficiency in the city. Despite the appeal, we did not wait to drive a Fiat in the indoor driving track located on the lower level. If you thought Fiats looked like go-carts before, you will see the resemblance even moreso after seeing this track.

Near the end of our visit, we took a round trip to Grandma’s house buckled into the back seat of a Mercedes without realizing the six figure price tag. I was impressed that the Mercedes line was parked on top of the cushiest carpet in the place. It was a great place to finish up our 2012 tour. After two hours, we were pooped and our legs were tired. Our daughter had a lot more fun at the car show than we expected, as did we.

If you aren’t ready to plunk down a considerable amount of change in a neighborhood where you can walk practically everywhere, toy cars are available from vendors at a more reasonable price of $10 each or two for $18.

The event is fairly expensive in a town where most of the museums are free. However it was the perfect afternoon outing and ideal for a rainy or windy day. Adult tickets are $12 per person, although children under five get in for free. Members of the military and senior citizens receive a $2 discount. But military families should wait to go for free on Tuesday, January 31st. Students can also receive a 50% discount on Thursday, February 2nd.

WHERE: The Walter E. Washington Convention Center

WHEN: Friday, January 27, 2012 and runs through Sunday, February 5, 2012 (Hours)

COST: Adults – $12, Children (6 to 12) – $5, Under 5 – Free; Discounts Available

CONTACT: http://www.washingtonautoshow.com/

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