WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- The partial government shutdown has left a lot of DC tourists scrambling to make alternate plans.
Some furloughed federal workers lent a helping hand to the frustrated visitors downtown today. They gathered outside of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History this morning, and voiced their opinion about the Congressional gridlock. But they were also there to spread goodwill. They distributed fliers to disappointed tourists with information on which DC attractions are still open despite the shutdown.
Visitors come here from all around the world to see our monuments, memorials and museums. Now that they've had to radically change their plans, they're finding that the options are limited.
Vivienne Katsoulotos, an Australian tourist, said "We planned this trip 6 months ago and we already had a loose itinerary, all the things we wanted to do while we were here, and it's kinda been thrown around a bit".
Ken Schneider, a Canadian tourist, said "I'm thinking about taking a bike ride from my hotel, but it's not what I was looking forward to". Ken really came here to see all the monuments, which he has seen before, but said they are always spectacular.
They're not free, but they are open. Places like the Spy Museum and the Crime and Punishment museum are attracting some of that extra business during the shutdown. The sightseeing buses are still roaming the streets as usual, too.
But it's not the DC experience that tourists were hoping for.
Steven Worthen, a tourist from New Mexico says, "We're winging it now. We're gonna catch the tour bus, because those are still running, and see all the sights we wanted to see from the top of the bus.
Ralph Randall is a furloughed Federal employee who works for the FAA. He says, "Oh, there are museums that are open, but if the museum that you came to see is closed, it doesn't make a difference".