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“A great museum”

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
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$64.00*
and up
Morning Monuments Tour of Washington DC
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and up
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$40.00*
and up
Taste of DC Segway Tour
Ranked #12 of 460 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 older children, Activities for young children
Reviewed September 11, 2013

Having the Smithsonian museums a hop, skip, and a jump away from my house reaaaaally spoils me. I just love having a weekend afternoon with nothing to do but meander through exhibits I haven't seen before, or revisit some of my favorites.

The NMoNH is one I've been to several times since moving to DC. I love so many aspects about it (other than it being free, of course).

The ocean exhibit is, in a word, awesome. Understanding a part of nature as enormous and complex as the ocean (not that I pretend to be an expert), the NMoNH does a fine job capturing and bringing to life every part.

Another favorite: the animals exhibits! Who doesn't love sizing themselves up against a grizzly or lynx?! Good thing they're stuffed.

There are really well put together seasonal/special exhibits, too. Currently, there is a special exhibit on orchids - complete with a mind-blowing display of award winning species from around the world. So gorgeous. Also, currently there is a special exhibit on artifacts from Cyprus. I love how varied these exhibits are, but each done with meticulous detail.

Oh, and there is also an IMAX theatre! (not free)

There are, of course, a few drawbacks. Yes, crazy children would be one. But you'll get that anywhere. My more practical complaints:

-While there are a lot of great interactive features, too many of them seem to be geared to elementary school kids. Or...broken.

- The layout seems to be slightly haphazard, which may add to its charm for some, but drives me a little bonkers.

In all, a fabulous gem in this fair city that all people, visitors or residents, should check out!!!

Thank Juliet A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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6,295 - 6,299 of 9,835 reviews

Reviewed September 11, 2013

I had previously visited this museum over 10 years ago and loved it. Recently, I revisited it, this time with my 6-year old in tow. It certainly opened up a whole new experience, viewing the hotel's various fossil exhibits through the eyes of a child. It was like having a tour guide with me, as my son pointed out various animals that he knew (the Pacific Hawksbill turtle!), and their habits (raccoons are omnivores and nocturnal!).

Definitely worth visiting with kids who are into dinosaurs, fish, whales and animals in general!

Thank David_T_Zarraga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 11, 2013

Have not visited any of the Smithsonian Museums that were not high quality. This visit to DC chose to visit the Natural History which had an excellent Butterfly (live) exhibit. From the Hope Diamond, the mummies; found an excellent time spent

Thank CharlieVVancouver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 11, 2013

It was wonderful, we attempted to go through our last day in DC and didn't have as much time as we would have liked. There is so much packed into this museum. We have to go back.

Thank kathykinnear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 10, 2013

It's definitely a good place to visit but we prefer the Museum of Natural History in New York City. The egyptian area is disappointing, the galleries are small and crowded with students. The restaurant was very expensive, we opted to eat out of the museum.

Thank jamesbond7839
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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