When we started planning everything we were going to do while we were in Washington DC for our family vacation, I have to admit, I was so excited about all of the museums! We had about 4 days in the city and spent a lot of our time exploring the museums around the National Mall. Here are the ones we got to visit on our trip…
One of the many Smithsonian museums right along the National Mall is the Air & Space Museum, and we spent a couple of hours there on the morning of 4th of July. Half the museum is about space and the other exhibits are all about flight. The museum is huge and we only had time to see the flight side, more about what we saw in this post!
We also visited the American History Museum on the 4th which is full of exhibits and artifacts from all throughout our country’s history. We saw the original Star Spangled Banner, dresses from a lot of the first ladies, Abraham Lincoln’s top hat and Dorothy’s ruby red slippers!
Right next door to the American History Museum is the National Museum of Natural History. The first thing you’ll see when you walk in is a 14-foot-tall African Elephant in the lobby! Then there’s three floors of exhibits to explore, including huge galleries of mammals and ocean life on the first floor and an extensive gems and minerals exhibit upstairs where the Hope Diamond is on display!
Another museum we spent a lot of time at was the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. At the entrance to the exhibits, everyone is given a card with the name and story of a real person who lived during the Holocaust. So as you go through the museum learning about the events leading up to and during the Holocaust, you also follow your person’s story along the way. The museum really illustrated the horrors of the Holocaust as well as served as a moving memorial to the millions lost.
And on our last day in DC, we visited the Newseum and it was one of our favorites. It was all about – you guessed it – the news! It was a mix of history and current events. One of my favorite exhibits was full of front page newspapers from hundreds of important days in history like Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech and the first man on the moon. More on the Newseum in our last post!
After visiting all of these museums, we felt like we could have spent hours longer in each of them. And this is not an inclusive list of museums in DC, there are plenty of others that we didn’t fit into this trip, which just means we are going to have to make it back sometime! Up next is a post about day we spent taking a break from the museums to see some other sites…