National Museum of Natural History
National Sculpture Garden
The National Gallery of Art’s 6-acre garden is studded with whimsical sculptures such as Roy Lichtenstein’s House, a giant Claes...
From November to March the fountain at the National Sculpture Garden becomes a festive ice rink.
Screen on the Green
Classic movies such as One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory flicker on a large outdoor screen set...
Set amid the rambling sylvan serenity of the National Sculpture Garden, this pizza and panini place bustles throughout the seasons. Eat...
cnr 10th St & Constitution Ave NW · interesting places nearby
National Museum of Natural History information
Smithsonian museums don't get more popular than this one, so crowds are pretty much guaranteed. Wave to Henry, the elephant who guards the rotunda, then zip to the 2nd floor’s Hope Diamond. The 45.52-carat bauble has cursed its owners, including Marie Antoinette, or so the story goes. The beloved dinosaur hall is under renovation until 2019, but the giant squid (1st floor, Ocean Hall) and tarantula feedings (2nd floor, Insect Zoo) fill in the thrills at this kid-packed venue.
Adults will find lots to love here too: Easter Island heads (lobby at the Constitution Ave entrance), enormous stuffed creatures in the Mammal Hall (1st floor) and creepy skeletons in the Bone Hall (2nd floor). In a somewhat political statement, which is uncommon for the Smithsonian, the museum has heavily promoted its Darwin and evolution exhibits as a counter to creationism proponents.
The Johnson IMAX Theater (per ticket $9) shows nature extravaganzas in 3D daily. Movies sell out so buy tickets as soon as you arrive, or online in advance. The Butterfly Pavilion has a separate admission fee ($6); it's free on Tuesdays.