After quite a few hassles with getting the tickets, including barely getting in because they couldn't print them at the office when we arrived, we finally went up the Washington Monument. I wished we could have walked down to see the memorial stones that different groups have donated, but at least they slow the elevator down on the way down and you can see some. Right now there isn't an option to walk down but I hope they'll allow that again someday.
Once you're up, you look out the windows, which is fun, and then you walk down level to the elevator going down where there are also a few displays. I thought that it would have been interesting if they'd talked more about the history of the Washington Monument, but some of the displays were interesting.
If you don't get tickets ahead of time, you need to be in line at 7:30 (an hour before the office opens) to get them for the day, even at this time of year. Personally, I don't think the trip up is worth that, so if you want to go up, get your tickets ahead of time online. All in all, this isn't a must-do in DC in my opinion.
We also walked by several buildings that Adolf Cluss designed and/or built. He was a German immigrant who built quite a few of Washington's major buildings after the Civil War, including a few that are still there. Many of his buildings used red brick. We saw the Masonic Temple, Cavalry Baptist Church, the Hook and Ladder Fire House, the old Patent Office, and the Arts and Industries Building.