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Smithsonian Museums

Washington Smithsonian Museums
Category: Family / Kids
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Smithsonian Museums

With 18 different museums and the popular National Zoo, the Smithsonian Institution has been inspiring generations through discovery and learning for over 160 years. See world-class attractions and an array of exhibits, ranging from the Apollo lunar landing module to 3 billion-year-old fossils. Get a close-up view of over 137 million fascinating objects, including scientific specimens, cultural exhibits, famous works of art and one-of-a-kind historical artifacts.
 

Museums under the Smithsonian Branch

African American History and Culture Museum

The most recent of the Smithsonian museums, the AAHS is the only museum in the nation solely devoted to the documentation of African American life, art, history, and culture.

African Art Museum

Including such highlights as The Walt Disney-Tishman African Art Collection, this museum exhibits examples of traditional and contemporary art from the African continent.
 

Air and Space Museum

The Smithsonian Institution's most popular attraction based on attendance, the National Air and Space Museum plays host to 23 galleries that explore the history of flight. See a full-scale mock-up of the Hubble Space Telescope, the Apollo 11 command module, SpaceShipOne, the Spirit of St. Louis and the 1903 Wright Flyer
 

Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center

What exhibits are too large to house on the national mall are held here including; Space Shuttle Discovery, B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay, Concorde, Lockheed Martin SR-71 Blackbird, and Boeing Stratoliner.

American Art Museum

American Artworks-including paintings, sculpture, photographs, folk art, and decorative arts stretching from the colonial period to today
 

American History Museum

Home to some of America's most prized artifacts including; Star-Spangled Banner, the flag that inspired the national anthem; Washington's uniform; Jefferson's lap desk; Dorothy's ruby slippers.
 

American Indian Museum

Housing an extensive collection of historical Native art and cultural objects.

Anacostia Community Museum

Located in the Southeast of DC, this museum exhibits African American history and culture from the 1800s to the present.
 

Arts and Industries Building

Currently under renovations, the building was original home of the National Museum.
 

Freer Gallery of Art

One of the world's greatest collections of Asian art, including Chinese paintings, Indian sculpture, Islamic painting and metalware, Japanese lacquer, Korean ceramics, Whistler's Peacock Room.

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Contemporary style comes alive within this cylindrical building and sunken sculpture garden. Within the formation include sculptures by Rodin, Matisse, and Moore.
 

National Zoo

One of the world's most renown zoos, the National Zoological Park hosts over 2000 animals from over 400 different species including giant pandas, great apes, big cats, Asian elephants, exotic birds, and more.
 

Natural History Museum

This family favorite offers an array of incredible exhibits and rare objects, including a butterfly habitat, a life-size whale, dinosaur bones and the awe-inspiring Hope Diamond. Watch a 3D film at the museum's IMAX theater and look for the enormous stuffed African elephant in the rotunda.

Portrait Gallery

Spanning from pre-colonial times to the modern age covering some of the most impactful figures the gallery features anything from poets to presidents visionaries to villains. The gallery also hosts the nation's only complete collection of presidential portraits outside the White House.
 

Postal Museum

Devoted to the history of America's mail service and the hobby of stamp collecting. Highlights include; three vintage mail planes; stagecoach; 1931 Ford Model A postal truck; replica of a railway car; letters; updated exhibition on the Pony Express; special exhibits of rare and important stamps.
 

Renwick Gallery

Currently under renovations until 2016, the gallery exhibits American contemporary arts from the 19th to the 21st centuries. Important pieces include: Larry Fuente's Game Fish, and Wendell Castle's Ghost Clock.

Sackler Gallery

Features exhibitions of Asian art from ancient times to contemporary including South Asian sculpture, Chinese jades and bronzes, and modern Japanese ceramics.
 

Smithsonian Institution Building, The Castle

Main hub to the Smithsonian branches including the Information Center and Smithsonian headquarters.
 

Details

Hours -

10:00 am - 5:30 am regular hours / 10:00 am - 7:30 pm summer hours
 

Prices -

Free of charge
 

Events

  • 50th Anniversary Celebration
  • Asia After Dark: Bollywood and Beyond
  • Beau Willimon on Creating House of Cards
  • Kenya: Sculpture Stones and Rock Art
  • Summer Concert Series: The United States Air Force Airmen of Note and Air Force Strings
 
 

Activities

  • Air and Space Museum
  • American Art Museum
  • American History Museum
  • National Zoo
  • Natural History Museum
  • Smithsonian IMAX® Theaters
  • Albert Einstein Planetarium
 

FAQs

  • What’s the best way to get to the museum?

    The Smithsonian Information Center is located at 1000 Jefferson Dr., SW, Washington, DC and ten of the Smithsonian museums span a 1-mile area from 14th to 3rd Streets between Independence Avenue and Constitution Avenue. Due to parking difficulties, the Institute recommends public transportation, including taxis or Washington's Metrorail subway system and Metrobus.
  • Where are most of the museums located?

    You'll find most of the Smithsonian's most popular museums along Independence Ave. SW and Jefferson Drive SW.

Map/Directions

Driving Direction to Smithsonian Museums
or Georgetown Inn @ West End
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