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The Smithsonian American Art Museum

8th and F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

Daily 11:30 am - 7 pm


museums, indoor-activities

Don't Miss This Very Special, Often Overlooked Option For Fun With Your Little Humans


A lovely surprise, American Art Museum has a wonderful kid's room. It is ideal for little ones from six months to eight years old, although storytime would be great for babies and new parents too! Every day at 11:45 am (they open at 11"30 daily) they have a fabulous storytime with three to five stories and some singing too. 


The children’s room has great little reading books and window seats, cozy at any point in the day to enjoy a few quiet moments with your kiddo. The room features entertainment ranging from drawing or playing with blocks to a fun photo booth type activity that transmits your kiddos picture on the big screen. 


Beyond the children’s area, the museum contains a lot to see and enjoy with your kids. A volunteer directed us to take the elevator up to the 3rd floor and check out the Lincoln Gallery. There is a very cool, neon map structure, and some other kid-friendly art pieces and light displays. 


The remainder of the museum is wonderful for older kids. A sports gallery is really popular, and the museum hosts many portraits that will appeal to young people, including paintings of U.S. Presidents and more. 


An hour and a half sufficed for the attention span of my four-year-old, but if you want more time to take it all in, consider breaking up the day. Explore the sites in Gallery Place and Chinatown including the beautiful arch and other displayed pieces of artwork as well as many wonderful eateries. We like grabbing quick meals at Jetties Penn Quarter, Cava Chinatown, or Wiseguy Pizza, and enjoy Farmers and Distillers or The Hamilton for a sit-down meal with table service. For a sweet treat, meander over to Rita's Italian Ices and Frozen Custard.


Additional options for indoor activities include the movie theatre and upscale bowling lanes next to the Capital One Center. The Capital One Cafe is also a great place to regroup, use a clean restroom, charge your phone, or seek caffeine and a snack from Peets. 


The MLK library is under construction but is sure to be a local crowd-pleaser as soon as it reopens in the near future.


The closest metro station is Gallery PI-Chinatown. 


Good for All Ages History Cultural Experience
Thoughtfully captured by:
Caitlin Iseler
Caitlin Iseler, happyly founder and CEO, was born in New York and is one of eight children. Her favorite holiday is Thanksgiving and the chance to sit at one table with her favorite 40 people. Caitlin, her outdoor loving husband, Thomas, and daughter, Hanah, live in Virginia Beach. She is also blessed to be a bonus mom to 2 incredible humans, Max & Elizabeth. Being a mom has always been something she dreamt of and it brings her joy beyond measure. Before starting happyly, Caitlin spent 15 years working in executive search with technology companies, most recently with Korn Ferry. In what seems like a lifetime ago, she attended the University of Virginia and was a member of the National & ACC Championship Teams, a gift that keeps giving.
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