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“Expensive but worth it...” 4 of 5 stars
Review of National Museum of Crime & Punishment

National Museum of Crime & Punishment
575 7th Street, NW, Washington DC, DC 20004
202-393-1099
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$21*
and up
Ranked #55 of 471 things to do in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
San Antonio
Top Contributor
140 reviews 140 reviews
30 attraction reviews
Reviews in 53 cities Reviews in 53 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
“Expensive but worth it...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

We were a little bit leary about the cost of entry for this museum, having been burned more than once but- this one is worth the outlay.

It's very well organized- you start out in medievel times (where the emphasis was clearly on punishment!) and work your way through to the spies and bad guys (and gals) of today. There's a booklet you can get with clues for the kids to find which definitely helped us steer the 8 year old to the more kid-friendly exhibits. Some of the stuff is pretty gruesome so we avoided bits. I think his favorite section was the section about the gunslinging times- there's a rifle exhibit with targets that costs one dollar for the two tokens needed. The pirates section was also a hit.

I thought it was really well done and truth be told, my son found this more engaging than the Spy Museum. I don't know if it's because he's a little older than when we went to the Spy Museum or if it's the layout but he definitely enjoyed it.

The gift shop didn't have anything that yelled out 'buy me' for anyone, which is a plus for my wallet but not for their bottom line. (although the entrance fees more than cover my lack of purchasing anything!)

Visited January 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CrimeMuseumStaff, Manager at National Museum of Crime & Punishment, responded to this review, September 13, 2013
We are happy to hear that you had a great visit at our museum and participated in several of our interactives. Especially pleased to find out that your 8 year-old enjoyed the treasure hunt!! Maybe when he is a bit older he would enjoy one of our forensic workshops! We hope you come see us again! :-) Thank you for your feedback!
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Hyde, United Kingdom
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77 reviews 77 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“A great museum”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013 via mobile

We spent a really fun afternoon here. We were there for nearly four hours and it was time that passed so quickly. It covers crime throughout history and takes in every aspect of crime from commission to detection. There is the largest amount of interactive opportunities - more than any other museum I've ever been in. They provide enough for kids as well. A great visit and worth at least one more look next time we're the.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CrimeMuseumStaff, Manager at National Museum of Crime & Punishment, responded to this review, September 13, 2013
Thank you so much for your kind review! We are thrilled that you had a fun afternoon with us and enjoyed our interactives! We are always working on adding new information, artifacts and exhibits, so definitely come back and see us next time you visit DC!! :-)
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Clayton, Georgia
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100 reviews 100 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
“A little more cliche' than expected”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

It's starts off in historic, midevil times to torture of criminals. Some interesting things about the "Mob", famous criminals, etc- but the cost was about $25 each and something I could have skipped. Oh well- live and learn.

Visited December 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CrimeMuseumStaff, Manager at National Museum of Crime & Punishment, responded to this review, September 13, 2013
We are sorry to hear that you did not enjoy your time at our museum, but we do appreciate your feedback.
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Washington, DC
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
27 attraction reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
115 helpful votes 115 helpful votes
“Extremely Cool!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

Finally took a moment to check this off my to-do list. Reserved discount tickets online which allowed me to skip the line and go right in to start my tour. Put on your walking shoes for this tour. Not only are there various stairs, but the museum is vast and every space is filled with interesting data; original documents from courts, newspapers and criminals themselves; and real-life artifacts (e.g., Ted Bundy's VW is in the lobby!). It took friend and I about 3 hours to see most of it. We only scanned a few exhibits because we started to get tired of standing (it was a bit crowded which is understandable as a holiday visitor's mecca). There are great picture-taking props strategically placed that made for great memory making as well. The interactive and hands-on exhibits were fun and educational.

I really liked the attention to detail for each time period from pirates to prohibition to current day executions; there was a lot of history on exhibit. The descriptions of punishment in the early Americas was extremely enlightening - some of the disciplinary actions used then might be helpful in some cases now - LOL! I learned so much going through this exhibit about our criminal justice system, which I must have skipped or tuned out in law school. Ha! Don't forget to check out the America's Most Wanted studio before you leave. Highly recommended visit for ages 8+ because it's a fun learning experience.

Visited December 2012
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CrimeMuseumStaff, Manager at National Museum of Crime & Punishment, responded to this review, September 13, 2013
Thank you so much for your kind review! We are so happy that you had a great experience visiting us and enjoyed the interactive exhibits! I agree, there are a lot of picture-taking props which allow you to create some fun memories! :-)
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Fredericksburg, Virginia
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144 reviews 144 reviews
49 attraction reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
“Interesting & Lots of Interactives”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012

We took our 14-year-old son to this museum because he is very interested in forensics. His grandparents also joined us. We purchased discounted tickets through Travelzoo. Our group spent the most time on the floor that covers the history of crime and punishment. We learned about pirates and torture and the old west and the prison and law enforcement systems. While I thought $10 was a lot to pay for the little booklet full of questions, it kept our son engaged. He answered all the questions and received a "prize" in the gift shop. The interactive computer screens with quizzes were a big hit. Our son loved trying to crack the safe and testing his skill in the mini shooting gallery. The driving and gun simulators were also lots of fun. The second floor is the crime scene lab, where you observe a crime scene and try to solve it. The lower level is supposedly a recording studio for the TV show America's Most Wanted. Not much to see on that level. We spent about 3 hours total in the museum and would recommend it.

Visited December 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CrimeMuseumStaff, Manager at National Museum of Crime & Punishment, responded to this review, September 13, 2013
We are excited that your family had a fun experience at the museum!! Happy to hear that your son enjoyed the treasure hunt as well as many of our interactives, such as the interactive computer quizzes, and the driving and shooting simulators! :-)
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