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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
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Morning Monuments Tour of Washington DC
Ranked #11 of 431 things to do in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Established in 1910 and located on the National Mall, this prestigious museum, part of the Smithsonian Institution, holds the world's most extensive collection of natural history specimens and human artifacts including the remains of dinosaurs and tools used by early man.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Level Contributor
87 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed May 17, 2013

The fist time I visited the National Museum of Natural History, I was disappointed to say the least. As a wildlife biologist, I love this stuff. The mammals wing was awful. Common names only, poor displays, nothing that would make anyone excited about what they are seeing or learn about these fabulous and far away critters.

Well, the renovation to the mammal wing was extraordinary! It is spectacular. Scientific names, animals displayed in habitat setting with other non-related species, an interactive setting that lets you feel like you are among the forest or jungle or desert. It is my favorite part of the museum and must return soon for another visit.

The remainder of the museum is worth seeing as well. I also enjoy the entomology section. Again you can see the bugs and SEE the bugs. There are live specimens and an active bee colony.

Love, love, love this place.

Thank DeerBio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed May 17, 2013

Great for young and old , my husband loved this museum . We spent hours wandering around , it was excellent

Visited May 2013
Thank kir1970
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pensacola, Florida
Level Contributor
157 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“One day isn't nearly enough”
Reviewed May 16, 2013

I have been here 4 times in the past few years and still haven't fully seen everything as I would like to. With free admission, though, there's no problem in coming back for more when you can!

Visited July 2012
Thank Chris A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milton, Vermont
Level Contributor
214 reviews
94 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
“All Day Fabulous”
Reviewed May 16, 2013

A great museum with lots of history and great artifacts from dinosaurs, stones, gems, and even the Hope Diamond to name a few. A definite must see museum where you could literally spend the entire day here. There is a nice cafeteria style food court to get something to eat and drink and to rest some tired feet. Great stuff here and one of the highlights of the trip.

Visited April 2013
Thank SkydogVT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
33 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Almost too big!”
Reviewed May 16, 2013

Another great museum, retracing the first breath on earth to nowadays. They have a wide collection of fossils, dinosaurs... even mammals... The geology section was one of my favorite. It's amazing to see how much history there can be in a rock and with a lot of work can become a beautiful jewel... nice collection of that too!

I must say my favorite part was the forensic exhibit. It reminded me of Kathy Reichs' books. How can bones can talk on the way someone lived and died.

My advice: Prior to going to the museum, decide which exhibit you really want to see, like 1-2, and visit them first. Otherwise you might be a little overwhelm and tired when you get to it and you'll skip out on infos you would of like. It's all great, but there's so much we can take in day!

Visited May 2013
Thank Pat L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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