Who? Anyone who is visiting the Washington DC area has a must do on their list – The Smithsonian Museums. Many a visitor tends to cram all the museums on the Mall in one day. But, if you have the luxury of time , it is awesome to spend at least half a day or more at each museum.
What? The National Museum of Natural History is located on the Mall in Washington DC. Like most of the museums on the Mall, this one costs nothing to enter, making it an affordable, fun treat for the whole family.
How? You can take the Metro to the Smithsonian station and walk the path across the Mall to this museum. Parking is tough, so public transportation is recommended.
Why? Having spent many years in the DC area, we have lost count of the number of times we have visited the Smithsonian museums. And now living away from the area, the museums are still a mandate on our yearly sojourns into the city. This week, we were facing an incredibly cold day and off we walked into the National Museum of Natural History. From the magnificent African elephant that greets you in the Rotunda, the museum is chock full of treasures and elements that holds attention spans across ages. The Kenneth E. Behring Family Hall of Mammals features 274 mammals found across continents over 220 million years. From life size animal likenesses on display to artifacts that you can touch to learn more, the exhibit is simply awesome. Toddlers are amazed to watch the animals in their story books come to life, young children marvel at the differences and similarities and adults walk away learning yet another unknown fact. If animals are not your thing, and murder mysteries intrigue you, then you will love the Written in Bone: Forensic Files of the 17th-Century Chesapeake. Of course, if diamonds are on your mind this holiday season, you cannot miss the Hope diamond on display in the Harry Winston gallery. No visit for us is complete without catching an IMAX movie and this time we watched the Flying Monsters 3D, an impressive narration by David Attenborough.
I can go on and on about all the reasons we love this museum, including the gift shop and cafe….instead, I will stop here and share some pictures so you will want to visit. You can also find an exhaustive listing of all the exhibits at their website at http://www.mnh.si.edu/