There are plenty of things you can do in Washington DC, whether you are a resident or a tourist. After all, it is the United States capital. If you are planning a trip to the capital with your kids, there are also plenty of options for them aside from sightseeing and visiting some of the best U.S. tourist destinations.
Here are some science and technology museums you can visit when you are in Washington, D.C.
National Museum of Natural History
This museum, which is the largest natural history museum in the world, is also known as the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, located at 10th Street and Constitution Avenue NW, within the district. This is a perfect location for travelers on budget because the museum’s admission is free. You can visit this museum from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM.
Most of the exhibits consist of artifacts from different sides of the world. You can see the Hope Diamond in the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems, and Minerals. Since most children are usually into dinosaurs, you get to see actual dinosaur fossils and other exhibits related to the Triassic period when dinosaurs dominated the Earth.
There is also a Bone Hall that showcases skeletons of different animals such as snakes, turtles, monkeys, and more. Other exhibits you can visit in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History are Butterfly Pavilion, Mega-toothed Shark, Eternal Life in Ancient Egypt, David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins, Kenneth E. Behring Family Hall of Mammals, and Epidemics in a Connected World.
National Museum of Health and Medicine
This is not exactly located within Washington, D.C., but it is in Silver Spring, Maryland and is just a few minutes from the capital. This may seem like a not so traditional museum that kids go to, but it is a great way to introduce your child to medicine, especially if they are showing interest in the field.
Some of the exhibits you can see are the Advances in Military Medicine, Collection That Teaches, and Anatomy and Pathology. It was initially founded as the Army Medical Museum because of its founder, General William A. Hammond, who was a U.S. Army Surgeon.
United States National Arboretum
This museum is located at 3501 New York Avenue NE in Washington, D.C. The museum focuses on agricultural research, which may be essential for your kids’ future since most of the developed countries are straying away from developing and improving the agriculture industry.
What your kids can see in the National Arboretum is a huge collection of plants. The Gotelli Conifer Collection exhibits different conifers from different climates, including Japanese maples, daffodils and many more.
Another exhibit that might interest you is the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum which exhibits a variety of mini Chinese and Japanese trees. You can learn the art of bonsai while touring this part of the museum.
National Geographic Museum
This is one for the books, especially for your kids. Think of the National Geographic channel, but in a museum. Apart from photographs, the museum also features interactive and engaging exhibitions. Bringing your children here would allow them to be more aware of conservation and protection of our environment, especially the animals.
The museum is located at 1145 17th Street, NW in Washington, D.C. The museum is open throughout the week from 10:00 AM to 06:00 PM but closes on holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas.
National Air and Space Museum
Since some kids are also interested in space, planes, or even the concept of flying, this is the perfect tourist spot for them. This museum is located at 600 Independence Ave SW in Washington, D.C. It is open every day from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM.
The museum showcases different exhibitions. You can see Neil Armstrong’s Apollo 11 Spacesuit. There are also exhibits of old aircraft from World War II and rockets and missiles. You also get to see different apparatus and equipment used in space such as satellites.
International Spy Museum
This museum is located in the L’Enfant Plaza in Washington, D.C. This is an interactive museum that may be more appropriate for young adults. Some of the permanent exhibitions here are the Briefing Center, where guests receive their identities and test out their skills for their missions, and Stealing Secrets, where guests get to have a closer look with other spies, scientists, engineers and gadget makers.
After stealing the secrets, guests get to go to the exhibit Making Sense of Secrets, where the try to crack the code. Participating in the spy museum is an exciting experience that you can do as a family when you are in D.C.
This may be one of the best museums for your kids. The museum does not just allow your kids to observe, but also to learn through different programs, workshops and more. More importantly, the KID museum allows kids to have cultural awareness, to enhance their creativity, and to harness their passion.
Before traveling to the capital, make sure you create your itinerary and prepare your accommodation ahead of time so you would not have to waste your time. Strategically schedule your trips depending on the location of each spot you want to visit, so as not to waste travel times. Choose the locations near to each other on the same days.
Also, choose accommodation near the areas you want to visit to save more time. It is better to have extra time because you can just use them to rest as touring is often exhausting. When you are well-rested, you have the energy to enjoy your travel.
Apart from museums, you can also visit other parks and try out other activities that the district has to offer. Always research before you travel so you would know which activities you prefer. Researching also allows you to know which restaurants are the best in the location because eating is essential to traveling.