As a lover of natural history museums in our country, may I just say that the entrance to our nation's capital's natural history museum is happy-dance worthy. Which I certainly did the first time I walked inside. I'm not proud of myself for it, but I've gotta tell ya, it was awesome! The live butterfly section(extra charge, of course) is so lovely. I mean, who doesn't want a butterfly to land on their clothes? And nose. On the second floor you can view the Hope Diamond. Yeah, it's behind bullet proof glass and surrounded by gun carrying security. But, you still have the opportunity of taking its picture. There's so much to see that the dinosaurs played second fiddle. I would never tell them that, though. Have you seen the size of their teeth?! Exactly.
The Natural History Museum is one of our favorite museums to visit when in Washington, D.C. at the Smithsonian. They have so much on display and different things then anywhere else. We can be there for a short visit and pick what we want to view or spend a whole day there seeing everything on display. You will not be disapointed with this one! Great for all ages too!
We love visiting at least one Smithsonian when we are in DC, and this is definitely a favorite! Our almost four year old daughter loves the dinosaurs and all of the beautiful gems. Even when it is crowded it is fun. The giant elephant in the main entrance is also a big hit. It's amazing to see so many exhibits for free. Definitely check it out!
There are so many amazing things to see in this museum that I really feel you need to make more than one trip to take it all in. We asked everyone what they really wanted to see and did those galleries. Our favorite galleries were the dinosaurs and geology.
An amazing temporary display was a coral reef that was made of all crocheted items. Here they had a staff member set up with crocheted items and she even gave us a little lesson. On the other side of the display they had a scientist with a table of coral and fossils and the kids were able to touch them and ask questions.
We really wanted to visit the butterfly garden but were disappointed to find there was a fee for this and the line looked to be about 3 hours long. Luckily around the corner there were staff members that were out with bugs that the kids could hold and ask questions about.
It was insanely crowded and insanely hot in the galleries which put a damper on the experience. Look for off times to go and dress light or in layers. Eat before you go because the cafeteria is insanely priced and ended up being our most expensive meal of our entire vacation. I think this is how they make up for the free admission.
The bathrooms are also inconveniently located and then when we had to use the rest room, the only one on our floor was closed (although there was no sign telling us this) and we had to go down 2 flights to use the rest room.
So much history in one building. We loved the Smithsonian Natural History Museum as well as the other Smithsonian Museums. They are so clean and so full of History. So many neat things to look at and all the people working there were so friendly. We could have spent a couple more days at these museums they are huge and so full of interesting items.
This is by far my favorite Smithsonian museum. I love seeing the history perseved in such a way that it seems so real. The layout is perfect and easily navigated. If you see anything while in Washington D.C., make sure this is one stop that you don't pass up.
I have to admit by the time we got to the Smithsonian I was done. There are a lot of cool things to see, but it felt like information overload. I was ready to pack up and head back to the hotel and go swimming. You need about a month to tour D.C. so you can really appreciate all there is, but when you try to cram it all in a few days it's just too much.
I visited the Smithsonian Natural History Museum with three teens all of whom were very excited to explore the museum. Many of the exhibits were not there as the museum lends exhibits to other museums/schools. The teens thought it was just okay. Maybe if more exhibits had been on display we would have had a better experience.
I, not being a big history person, was not too excited about going to this museum. But, surprisingly, I actually enjoyed it a lot. It was a very good museum with a lot of information on everything it had on display. The kids really enjoyed the displays that you were allowed to touch, as they are always putting their hands on things. There were also some cool Dinosaur exhibits, and all of the kids really enjoyed that. My family is really big on history, so they all definitely loved it!
I think the Natural History Museum is beautiful and houses many important, interesting things. However, for preschoolers, it is a little over their heads. If you plan on devoting maybe an hour to two hours for this and just plan to walk through each exhibit quickly, then it would be fine. However, I would not expect your children to just hang around while you read ALL of the information that is contained there. Now, I do believe that all the information is wonderful and educational, but small children will not be interested in reading every word. As always with the Smithsonians, the caliber of the museum is amazing. Also, it is notable that they state some theories as fact. So, if that is something you are careful about, you may want to have a discussion with your children before viewing so that they can pick up some of the references.
My 3 year old daughter absolutely loved this museum! There are so many things to look at and even some interactive exhibits. They have the big animal exhibit, which of course is amazing. They also have an insect exhibit that really targets to younger kids. They will even let you hold some crazy insects! It's a great place to have some fun and do some learning!
I love all of the Smithsonian museums, but the Museum of Natural History is a favorite of my kids. My son is two, and loves looking at all of the animals. We usually keep him in his stroller, as it has been pretty crowded both times that we went. I love seeing the Hope Diamond- it's beautiful! The best thing about these museums is that they are always free, so you can go in for a short time whenever you are in the area.
This is my favorite museum in the DC area. As an animal lover, I'm always excited to step inside! This is a great museum for kids and adults with fantastic staff. In addition to the exhibits, my family loves the gift shops, cafe and iMax. An awesome place to visit!
This is one of my daughter's favorite museums to visit when we are in the DC area. The floor plan is well thought out and easy to move from one area to the next. It can get very busy during holidays and summer, so prepare for that. We usually walk around the first floor, where the ocean and animal areas are located, but we started on the second floor to view the gems and the infamous, Hope diamond.
when you kids are old enough to walk around and enjoy history, definately hit up the smithsonian. Everything is free, you can walk the mall and there are always cool things going on. we parked at college park md and rode in on the subway which was very cheap and clean and not crowded. we typically go on Columbas Day when school is closed. all of the museums are free and the gift shops are also very cool. My favorite is The American Indian Museum. The kids always like the Natural History or the Air and Space Museum. Bring small bills, watch your pockets and bring your own water. Also, wear layers, it can be cold in the morning and warm in the afternoon. for kids, small kids should be in a stroller and older kids need to hold your hand. it is a crowded city with business people and tourists.
We have been to the Natural History Museum on two trips to DC and both times the kids have loved it. There are several halls filled with animals - the ocean area, the land animal area, and the dinosaur area. They love all three! I liked the gem area where the Hope Diamond is. The gift shops are great as well.
From the insect petting zoo to the dinosaurs and the new permanent ocean exhibit, this is hands-down the best place I take my kids in DC! We travel to DC at least twice a year, and they always want to go back to the natural history museum. There is so much to look at (and touch). I have been taking my kids since they were about 2, and my 6 year old still asks to go back every time.