This is a museum that kids (and kids at heart) will want to come back to time and time again. There’s an exhibit for any interest, from ancient Egyptian mummies to sharks and other ocean creatures, and beyond. Kids will no doubt find the fossilized poop intriguing, and adults can marvel at the massive Hope Diamond. You could easily spend a full day here, or pick out a few exhibits to see in advance if you’re short on time. Pro tip: the Butterfly Pavilion is one of the best-kept secrets of the Museum of Natural History.
“The world’s preeminent museum and research complex”
The National Museum of Natural History is part of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s preeminent museum and research complex. The Museum is dedicated to inspiring curiosity, discovery, and learning about the natural world through its unparalleled research, collections, exhibitions, and education outreach programs. Opened in 1910, the green-domed museum on the National Mall was among the first Smithsonian building constructed exclusively to house the national collections and research facilities. Cretaceous Diorama, Dinosaur Hall, National Museum of Natural History Whether looking at the history and cultures of Africa, describing our earliest Mammalian ancestor or primate diversity around the world, examining ancient life forms including the ever popular dinosaurs, or exploring the beauty of rare gemstones such as uniquely colored diamonds, the Museum’s temporary and permanent exhibitions serve to educate, enlighten and entertain millions of visitors each year. The main building on the National Mall contains 1.5 million square feet of space overall and 325,000 square feet of exhibition and public space; altogether the Museum is the size of 18 football fields, and houses over 1000 employees. With a growing network of interactive websites, the Museum is transforming itself into a hub for national and international electronic education, accessible to anyone with access to the internet.
I am absolutely obsessed with this place. It's actually quite overwhelming to visit. It's a gorgeously-laid out series of museums, but there's no humanly way you'll be able to see all of it. It's massive. 1.5 million square feet massive. The Air and Space Museum is my favorite.
You will need more than one day to really do this place justice and see all there is to see. If you only have one day, though, definitely make sure you see every hallway and exhibit, and take some time to really admire the detail.
It's incredible to me that this place is free! The kids LOVED it - especially the T-Rex.
My favorite museum! I literally spend hours and hours at this museum and still don't see everything. It's free and totally worth the time.
There was a lot of really neat stuff to see, but it was just too crowded for me to really experience the museum. Compared to the other great museums on the Mall, I would make this one a low priority, unless you have kids, which I don't.
The Smithsonian's museum of Natural History isn't my favorite of all the Smithsonians, but it's definitely worth checking it out--especially if you're traveling with kids. The place has a totally cool collection of dinosaur fossils, and then a pretty thorough exhibit that takes you through the Earth's various eras and the animals that inhabited the planet during those time periods.
Nice exhibits, good for all ages
I know this is one of the top attractions in DC, but I honestly wasn't that impressed. To be sure, this would be a great place to take younger kids, and is probably a completely different experience when less crowded.
Put on your good walking shoes! My son loved it, especially the bugs and t-rex.
This was the best museum of all on the mall. So many exhibits to keep everyone interested.
Fun for all ages.
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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
- Thu - Sat: 10:00 am - 7:30 pm
- Sun - Wed: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
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