Even more free family activities in Washington, D.C.

Skeleton on display at the National Museum of Natural History in D.C.
Skeleton on display at the National Museum of Natural History in D.C.

As a follow-up to my previous post, here are three more free activities that both kids and adults might enjoy:

National Museum of Natural History (10th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW): This museum is a favorite for local elementary school field trips. It’s easy to see why, with such exhibits as “Dinosaurs and the Hall of Paleobiology” at which you can see fossils of dinosaurs, mammals, and fossilized plants. Kids will also like visiting the “Discovery Room,” where kids can interact with staffers and volunteers to learn about and examine specimens such as fossils, shells, and skulls. Adults might also like seeing The Hope Diamond.

National Museum of American History (14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW): While the entire family will enjoy exploring this museum, kids will enjoy visiting “Spark Lab!” It’s a hands-on lab where kids can try their hand at invention. They can also play games, do science experiments, and explore inventors’ notebooks. Just note that Kids under 13 will have to be accompanied by an adult.

National Museum of the American Indian (4th Street and Independence Avenue, SW): “Hok noth-da?” (Shawnee for “Did you hear?”), a 20-minute hands-on reading program for kids in K through 5th grades, is just one of several programs offered at the museum. There are also family activities where one can learn about weaving, beading, and pottery, among other things. If you are there around lunch time, try some of the many different American Indian foods at the museum cafeteria, Mitsitam; the quality is a cut above the typical museum fare.

For a stay near these museums, consider the Holiday Inn Washington Capitol, the Residence Inn Washington Capitol, the J.W. Marriott, or check out Oyster's list of the best kid-friendly hotels.

- Susan Holmes

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