Smithsonian Museum of Natural History
10th St. & Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20560
10:00 AM – 5:30 PM except Christmas
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An Adventure that never gets old near the National Mall.
The Museum of Natural History is another one of my favorite museums. From the main entrance off the National Mall, you are greeted by a life-sized African elephant. Fossils, mammals, gems, oceans, butterflies, insects; "The museum’s collections tell the history of the planet and are a record of human interaction with the environment and one another".
Interactive exhibits are scattered throughout the museum, and docents or staff are available to answer questions. The dinosaurs, recently renovated, are a favorite. You can watch archeologists working on actual artifacts through glass windows.
Be sure to check out the molerats and the insect area complete with live tarantulas The butterfly exhibit is another must-see, be sure to get your timed ticket. It's an awesome experience to have a butterfly light on your shoulder.
There are as many as 20 exhibits and experiences at any given time, so there is sure to be something for everyone, and you could spend all day without exploring all of them. If you need a break, we love stopping at the Garden Lounge, an indoor garden where you can sit, relax, and charge your phone if need be.
I suggest picking a few areas to get the most of your experience. Located on the first floor near the Constitution Avenue entrance is Q?rius offering interactive, hands-on experiences for all ages, but especially for kids who love this area.
There is an impressive museum store, as well as The Atrium Cafe serving locally sourced food made from scratch. Spend a few hours or a few days exploring. You won't be disappointed.
The closest metro stop is Judiciary Square, which is about a 15 minute walk. Ella's Wood Fired Pizza and Matchbox are both about a 10 minute walk away and are great places to take your kids if you decided not to eat at the museum.