40 Best Children Museums in Washington DC (for 2023)

Let’s explore the best museums for kids in DC! While museums aren’t always the most exciting, d.c. museums are quite amazing and most of them keep the little ones in mind.

Here you’ll find all the dc museums for kids so you can pick the best ones for your family.

You’ll find a lot of the museums are free and only some that are paid.

#1 Anacostia Community Museum

1901 Fort Place SE Washington, DC 20020 | 202-633-4820

Did you know the Anacostia Community Museum actually falls under the umbrella of Smithsonian Museum?

This local museum was also the first federally funded museum in the country.

The museum focuses on a number of issues facing urban communities today. It’s actually a quite powerful museum.

Kids will enjoy the looking at the displays which gives parents enough time to read and dive a little deeper into the history

Cost: Free admission and parking

Advanced Tickets Required: No

Hours: Open Daily. 11 am to 4 pm.

#2 The Postal Museum

2 Massachusetts Ave., N.E. Washington, DC 20002

The Postal Museum | Washington DC Museums for Kids

OK…this is a bit of a hidden gem for kids. The museum also has fun events and even story time for kids so this is one calendar you’ll want to keep an eye on.

The Postal Museum is another one of the Smithsonians and is likely the easiest with kids.

Here you’ll find the largest collection of stamps in the world.

And if you’re thinking mail doesn’t sound that exciting, you’ll just may be surprised! Kids enjoy making their own stamp collection and taking home stamps of their own to keep.

They’ll also have a chance to see different vehicles that have delivered mail including trucks, trains and stagecoaches. Little ones can even climb into a semi-truck and pretend to drive.

For the older kids, they’ll find fun selfie spots throughout.

Perhaps what’s even more fun is learning about and then participating in sorting and delivering mail with hands on activities.

Kids can also pick-up a scavenger hunt to complete during your visit.

See the museum’s 10 things to do with kids during your visit.

Cost: Free admission

Advanced Tickets Required: N/A

Hours: Open daily 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

#3 African American History & Culture Museum

1400 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20560 | 844-750-3012

African American History & Culture Museum - DC museums for kids
Source: Smithsonian Institute

The national museum of African American history is a powerful museum everyone should visit at least once (although you’ll probably go back again).

The architecture is really interesting here and carefully planned. The museum actually starts 3 levels underground where you’ll learn about what took place in the 1400s.

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As you go up, each level moves you through time so you can learn about the history, culture and historical achievements during those years.

The exhibits are quite interesting and easily grab kids attention. Keep an eye out for the Serena and Venus Williams statues!

READ NEXT: 10 Tips for Enjoying Museums With Kids

The museum staff are helpful and happy to answer questions.

If you’re short on time and with kids, visit the 3 above ground levels. It’s better to dive deeper into less exhibits than to try and rush to see them all.

Kids enjoy the Explore More! Interactive Gallery (especially the Step Afrika! Interactive Dance), as well as the Community and Culture Galleries.

Cost: Free admission

Advanced Tickets Required: Yes

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday–Sunday
12 to 5:30 p.m. Monday*

#4 National Children’s Museum

1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington, DC 20004 | 202-844-2486

The Children’s Museum is all about…well, children! And kids of all ages love it!

The museum focuses on STEAM related activities through interactive exhibits making this a great place for kids to learn without them even realizing it.

Their exhibits include:

  • Dream Machine: for kids 5 and up to climb up to the clouds in the 3-story climber and slide.
  • Little Dreamers: the cloud and flight themed area for infants and toddlers
  • Innovation Sandbox: shoot bolts of lightning, make it rain, create clouds and more.
  • Art + Tech: find friends like SpongeBob, PAW Patrol and Slime
  • Data Science Alley: send a pom-pom through tubes and learn about data points
  • and several more!
National Children's Museums - Best museums for kids in DC
Source: National Children’s Museum

Don’t forget to keep an eye on their calendar for story time and other events for kids.

Cost: $15.95 for everyone age 1 and older

Advanced Tickets Required: No; although strongly encouraged as walk up tickets are limited

Hours: 9:30 am – 4:30 pm. Closed Tuesdays.

#5 US Botanic Garden

100 Maryland Ave SW, Washington, DC 20001 | 202-225-8333

All kids should have the opportunity to be around nature and the US Botanic Garden gives them the chance both inside and outside.

In the Tropics, kids can enter the a rainforest full of beautiful plants and climb up to the mezzanine to see out over the canopy.

The gardens give them the opportunity to see many plants they otherwise wouldn’t see in the DC area.

They even have a seasonal children’s garden from Spring through Fall which gives kids a more hands-on experience. This is an amazing museum to teach young children about the different varieties of plants and their importance.

Tip: for kids ages 9 and up, ask at the visitor desk in the conservatory for a free Junior Botanist backpack kids can use during their visit.

Cost: Free

Advanced Tickets Required: Yes

Hours: The National Garden is open everyday from 7 am to 5 pm including weekends and most holidays

#6 Textile Museum at George Washington

701 21st St NW, Washington, DC 20052 | 202-994-5200

Textile Museum - washington dc museums for kids

The Textile Museum at GW is a really interesting place to see rugs and clothing from around the world.

You will have the opportunity to see how they change in locations as well as in time from 3000 BC to the present.

This is one of the smaller museums and will only take a couple of hours to go through. It’s completely worth it though as there is a lot to see and do for kids!

Kids will have the opportunity to learn about where materials such as cotton, silk and wool come from and how clothes are made.

They can even try on clothes from different parts of the world and they’ll definitely like the Kid’s Room.

Tip: this museum is a short walk from the Renwick Museum if you’d like to explore another museum on the same day.

Cost: Children are free and there is a suggested donation of $8.

Advanced Tickets Required: No

Hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm

#7 National Museum of Asian Art

1050 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20560 | 202-633-1000

Source: National Museum of Asian Art

The National Museum of Asian Art has 2 galleries – The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery which has rotating exhibits and the Freer Gallery of Art.

The galleries give kids the opportunity to see Asian Art from around the world and gain an understanding of this art.

These 2 large museum galleries are connected. When you visit, make sure to pick up a family guide at the Visitor’s Center.

Stop by the Peacock Room as well for one of the kid’s favorite areas.

Check out the free, family-friendly art events and workshops (currently online).

Cost: Free

Advanced Tickets Required: Encouraged

Hours: Open daily 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

#8 Frederick Douglass’s Home

1411 W St SE, Washington, DC 20020 | 202-426-5961

Source: Frederick Douglass’s Home

If your or the kids don’t know about Frederick Douglass, you should definitely come see his final home.

This is one of the most fascinating places to visit where you will learn a lot about Frederick Douglass and his important contributions. The house is very well kept and is the same as it was left.

You’ll learn much more in even a short tour of this home than you will in school.

You’ll notice the house is located high on a bluff above the Anacostia neighborhood. The visitor’s center is actually dug out of the side of the hill there.

The house itself can only be entered with a guided tour so definitely make a reservation in advance.

Cost: Free

Advanced Tickets Required: Yes

Hours: Temporarily closed.

#9 FBI Experience

Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation

You can visit the FBI Headquarters for a self-guide tour. While this tour is open to the public, you can’t simply walk-in.

In fact, you’ll actually need to go through a number of steps including contacting your congressional representative’s office to schedule a tour and being screened.

This program publically opened in 2014 to share the FBI’s history, capabilities and ideas.

You can see the steps for scheduling a tour, along with a list of what NOT to bring here.

Cost: Free

Advanced Tickets: Yes

Hours: Open to the public.

#10 Ford’s Theatre

511 10th St NW, Washington, DC 20004 | 202-347-4833

The Ford’s Theatre is well-known for being the site of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

Today the museum offers both historic museum exhibits and live theatre performances.

This museum is great for teaching kids about the Civil War, the president and his assassination.

Tip: While about 13 minutes apart, you can combine your visit to Ford’s Theatre with a visit to Frederick’s Douglass’s House as the two had meetings together dealing with the Civil War.

The tour is self-guided and will only take about 30-minutes.

Cost: $3.50 per person

Advanced Tickets: Strongly encouraged

Hours: Open Daily. 9 am to 5 pm.

#11 Department of Treasury Historic Treasury Building

West Entrance, 1500 Penn. Ave., NW, Washington, DC

Treasury Building | Washington DC museums for kids
Source: Department of Treasury Historic Treasury Building

The Department of Treasury has some different tours so we’ll start with the first tour of the Historic Treasury Building.

Like visiting the FBI headquarters, in order to visit this building you will need to contact your Congressional Office to schedule a tour.

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On the tour you will have the opportunity to see the Salmon Chase, Andrew Johnson suites the restored West dome and lobby, as well as the Cash Room.

The tour takes about 1 hour.

Cost: Free

Advanced Tickets: Yes

Hours: Every other Saturday mornings between 9 am and 10 30 am

#12 Department of Treasury Bureau of Engraving & Printing

Bureau of Engraving & Printing
Source: Department of Treasury Bureau of Engraving & Printing

Tours at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing are currently on hold due to the high demand for cash. Keep an eye on the website for when tours resume.

When open, the museum is really enlightening for kids. It offers free 40-minute tours where kids have the opportunity to see the gallery which overlooks the production of money!

Cost: Free

Advanced Tickets: No

Hours: Temporarily closed

#13 Department of Treasury US Mint

801 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20220 | 800-872-6468

Department of Treasury US Mint
Source: Department of Treasury US Mint

Washington DC is just 1 of 6 United States Mint Facilities and it’s the headquarters. On the tour kids see how coins are made and the various stages of the process.

Cost: Free

Advanced Tickets: No

Hours: The store is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. It is closed on federal holidays.

#14 US Navy Museum

Buildings 76, (Building 70 – now Closed), Washington Navy Yard, DC | 202-685-0589

US Navy Museum

No ticket is required for this museum, although you will need to bring your ID…a military ID that is.

In order to enter this museum, you need to have one of a handful of specific military IDs. If you don’t have one, you need to be accompanyied by someone with such ID or complete and submit a Base Access Pass Registration form before your visit.

Once you there there are a lots of exhibits exploring the Navy’s past and present with photography, fleets and more.

Kids will like the submarine! There are so many naval artifacts to see here.

Cost: Free

Advanced Tickets: No tickets required

Hours: Open only on Saturdays 10am-4pm.

#15 Renwick Gallery

Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street NW Washington, DC 20006

While the exhibits do change here, they typically have some big exhibits that capture kids attentions.

Tours are currently on hold but you can still take a self-guided tour and more information is provided with a QR code.

Right now their programs are currently online only but they typically have fun, family-friendly events.

Cost: Free

Advanced Tickets: Yes

Hours: Open Daily from 10am – 5:30pm

#16 Woodrow Wilson House

2340 S St NW, Washington, DC 20008 | 202-387-4062

After leaving office, this is the home President Woodrow Wilson lived and died in.

This tour gives you the opportunitiy to explore a historic house built in the 1920s and even see the Wilson’s bedroom. There are over 8400 objects on display so there is something for everyone here.

Tours are reopening February 2022 as they finish repairs.

There are free 30-minute Museum highlights guided tours available. There is also a 60-minute general guided tour. Check the schedule for other speciality guided tours as well. Family rates are available.

Cost: Varies as per your tour type

Advanced Tickets: Yes

Hours: Mon – Sat 9am – 5pm; Sunday closed

#17 Arts + Industries Building

900 Jefferson Dr. SW, Washington, DC 20560 | 202-633-1000

If you haven’t taken the kids to the Arts + Industries building, it’s about time.

What’s different about this museum is the interactive, time-traveling exhibits using art, technology and more. The museum is also quite colorful which always draws the attention of the kids.

The current exhibit is called FUTURES and is all about the exchange of creative ideas and opjects. Kids enjoy all the interactive exhibits.

If you’re coming with older kids ages 10-14, make sure to pick up a free Field Guide to Sustainable Futures.

Drop-in tours are available daily at 12pm and 2pm

As this isn’t a huge building, you could always combine your visit with the nearby Smithsonian Castle or one of the other museums or galleries.

Advanced Tickets: No

Hours: Temporarily Closed.

#18 National Geographic Museum

1145 17th St NW, Washington, DC 20036 | 202-857-7700

National Geographic Museum
Source: National Geographic Museum

The National Geographic Museum is a paid museum but all the proceeds go towards supporting their nonprofit educational, conservation, and scientific work.

This museum is one you’ll want to visit again and again as there are many changing exhibitions and it is interesting for the whole family. Kids love seeing photos of places and creatures they may not have scene. There are many famous artifacts, interactive learning stations and behind-the-scenes looks.

Cost: $15 adults, $10 kids (ages 5-12); Under 5 are free

Advanced Tickets: Yes

Hours: Wed – Sun 10am – 5pm

#19 Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site

1318 Vermont Ave NW, Washington, DC 20005 | 202-673-2402

The Mary McLeod Bethune Council House is quite inspiring. Bethune is known as a civil rights champion.

Keep in mind, this is a very small museum located in a small row home in Logan Circle. There are 2 floors with several different rooms for you to see. If you are not familiar with Mary McLeod Bethune, it’s helpful to research her before your visit to make your time there even more interesting.

Tip: if you have a NPS Passport, they do have a stamp

Nearby you can head to:

  • The Frederick Douglass National Historic Site
  • Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site
  • Anacostia Park
  • The African American Civil War Memorial and Museum

Cost: $20

Advanced Tickets: No

Hours: Monday – Sunday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. EST

#20 Museum of the Bible

400 4th St SW, Washington, DC 20024 | 866-430-6682

Museum of the Bible

You may think Museum of the Bible is all about the bible and religion…but it’s not.

Of course, you’ll find information about religion focused around the bible but even if you are not religious or share different beliefs, you’ll still find this museum worth a visit.

Here the kids will enjoy interactive exhibits and cutting-edge technology. This is mean to be an immersive experience to help you understand the impact and history of the Bible.

It’s easy to spend an entire day here.

Cost: $19.99 for adults and $13.99 for children. Children four and under are free.

Walk-in admission price is $24.99 for adults and $14.99 for children.

Advanced Tickets: Yes

Hours: Open Daily 10am – 5pm

#21 Library of Congress

10 First Street SE Washington, DC 20540 | (202) 707-9779

A free timed-entry pass is required to enter the Library of Congress.

There is no specific tour here you must take so you can let your (or your kids!) inspiration guide you. You will find 3 theme paths you can choose to follow.

The first is the Quick Look where you’ll see the mission of the Library of Congress written on the walls. The next path is the Ideas + Action path where you’ll see ideas and people that changed the world.

The last path is the Art + Science path which brings the two subjects together.

In July, the museum hosts it’s annual Movies on the Lawn Series which is a fun time to visit.

Cost: Free

Advanced Tickets: Yes

Hours: Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m

#22 Old Stone House

3051 M St NW, Washington, DC 20007 | 202-426-6851

Old Stone House
Source: NPS Old Stone House

The Old Stone House is the oldest structure in the city as it still stands on its original foundation, dating back to 1765. Outback you’ll also find a garden area which is nice for a small stroll or to let the kids run for a few.

On the first floor you’ll find a souvenir shop and the second floor shows the house as it was when it was built. Some say this house has an eerie feel to it and it is supposedly haunted.

This is a fun way to show kids what a pre-revolutionary house looks like and even see some of the old furniture and toys.

Cost: Free

Advanced Tickets: No

Hours: The building is open to the public seven days a week, from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm Monday through Thursday and Friday to Sunday 11:00 am to 7:00 pm

#23 Natural History Museum

1000 Madison Drive NW Washington, D.C. 20560 | 202-633-1000

Just a few of the attractions at the national museum of natural history are the Coral Reef fish tank, cave handprints, a replica of Megalodon jaws to get a selfie in, see a live tarantula and more.

Elephant exhibit at National Museum of Natural History
Image Source: National Museum of Natural History

Make sure to visit the second floor where some of the temporary exhibits are on display, Many of these interactive exhibits are exciting for the whole family, especially older children. And of course you can’t go and not see the Hall of Fossils and the Insect Zoo!

Cost: Free

Advanced Tickets: No

Hours: Open Daily 10am – 5:30pm

#24 Smithsonian Castle

1000 Jefferson Dr SW, Washington, DC 20560 | 202-633-1000

If you haven’t been to the other Smithsonian Museums or aren’t sure where to start, this is a perfect place to see highlights from the different museums.

The volunteers inside are helpful, can answer questions and point you in the right direction for what to see and do as well. Here you can also take a docent lead tour to learn more about the castle’s history and architecture.

Cost: Free

Advanced Tickets: No

Hours: Daily 8:30am – 5:30pm

#25 US Holocaust Memorial Museum

100 Raoul Wallenberg Pl SW, Washington, DC 20024

Source: US Holocaust Memorial Museum

The united states holocaust memorial museum shares the history, study and interpretation of the history of the Holocaust.

Due to the gravity of the Holocaust, you’ll have to judge which kids you can explain these events to before visiting.

A particular exhibit, Remember the Children: Daniel’s Story is perfect for young kids and families. This provides the stories and events of the Holocaust from the perspective of a child.

Cost: Free (tickets reserved online before your visit are subject to a $1 transaction fee.)

Advanced Tickets: Yes

Hours: The Museum and its exhibitions are open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

#26 Tudor Place Historic House & Garden

1644 31st St NW, Washington, DC 20007 | 202-965-0400

Tudor Place is a beautiful place to spend an afternoon looking at the historic artifacts inside the house and visiting the garden.

While you can visit the house anytime of the year, the best time to visit the garden is in the Spring and Fall. If you’re looking for a beautiful surrounding or a place to relax, the gardens are definitely a go-to.

In the house you can learn about the history of Tudor Place and it’s residents, see collections of jewelry, furniture, art, musical instruments, weapons, and more.

The house itself is the historic home of Martha Washington, built by one of her granddaughters.

Cost: $3 to visit the gardens; $10 for a docent led house tour

Advanced Tickets: Yes

Hours: Tudor Place will reopen for guided house tours & self-guided garden visits on February 1, 2023

#27 International Spy Museum

700 L’Enfant Plaza SW, Washington, DC 20024 | 202-393-7798

This is definitely one of the best museums for kids. They are sure to have a blast!

You’ll need at least a half day to visit the International Spy Museum in its entirety and do all the interactive exhibits and activities. Kids especially like trying out their sleuthing and spying skills.

As this is a popular museum, try to visit during the week or during the off season.

There is so much to learn at this museum but the kids will never know as they are too busy having fun, playing and completel unique missions for each player to reinforce the concepts here.

There are lots of stories about spies around the world. The ideal age here is 6+, especially those that are readers will enjoy it most.

Cost: $16.95 ages 7-12; 13 and up $26.95; 6 and under are free

Advanced Tickets: Recommended

Hours: Open Daily. 10 am to 6 pm, and Saturdays 9 am to 7 pm

#28 President Lincoln’s Cottage

140 Rock Creek Church Rd NW, Washington, DC 20011

This museum really makes you reflect and that is a good thing. This is a hidden gem in the area and reminds of justice.

At the cottage you can take 1 of 2 tours:

  • The Cottage Guided Tour
  • Wild Home Landscape Tour

Keep in mind the cottage is located on the ground of the Armed Forces Retirement Home and security there will require you to show a valid ID.

Cost: $0 – $15

Advanced Tickets: Yes

Hours: Open Daily 9:30 am to 4:30 pm

#29 The National Building Museum

401 F Street NW Washington, DC 20001 | 202-272-2448

National Building Museum is one of DC’s less popular museums but this is such a neat experience. You will find exhibits on architecture, building projects from around the world and even learn about the vision behind them (including photography).

Once you’ve run out of other big museums to see in the city, this is where to head next.

The lobby itself is quite interesting.

kids playing at National Building Museum in DC
Source: National Building Museum

While there are typically only 4 museums on display, it will take around 1 1/2 – 2 hours to go through. Here you can experience various stories about the world of buildings and how it shapes our lives.

Note: Tickets are not required to visit the Great Hall, the Museum Shop, or the Gun Violence Memorial Project.

Cost: $7 kids ages 3-17; $10 for adults

Advanced Tickets: Suggested

Hours: Thursday through Monday, 10 am to 4 pm

#30 African Art Museum

950 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20560 | 202-633-4600

This self-guided museum has 3 levels taking you through an entire African Art museum and educating you on what it means.

It’s really an incredible museum and the set-up is very different than the other museums you’ll visit.

It’s packed with culture, history and fun. You’ll easy need at least 2 hours to explore this museum. Make sure to visit regularly for new experiences and exhibits.

Tip: The African Art Museum is located near the Hirshhorn Museum and The Washington Monument if you’re looking to do more in one day. The Smithsonian Castle and Arthur Sackler Gallery are both right next door.

Cost: Free

Advanced Tickets: No

Hours: Open every day 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

#31 National Air & Space Museum

6th St. and Independence Ave SW | 202-633-2214

Where else can kids touch a piece of the moon?

The most popular display is probably the Hubble Telescope and a piece of the moon. Plus, you’ll see hundreds of other space objects on display.

On Fridays and Saturdays you can observe lunar craters, phases of Venus and more at the public observatory. There are also virtual reality and simulators to experience 360-degree barrel rolls and more!

MORE FUN: Flight of Fancy Story Time at National Air & Space Museum

The museum has 23 changing galleries and spaces, 1400+ objects, science demonstrations, tours and an IMAX theater. It is a great option for younger kids to experience what space exploration feels like!

Cost: Free

Advanced Tickets: Subject to change

Hours: Open Daily. 10 am to 5pm

#32 American History Museum

1300 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20560 | 202-633-1000

Believe it or not, National Museum of American History has over 1.7 million objects that tell the nation’s hisorty.

There are a large number of exhibits on display as you can imagine with that many objects. You’ll find exhibits such as:

  • All Work, No Pay (Moms, you can imagine what this one is about)
  • America on the Move
  • The Dolls’ House
  • Fighting fire in the 19th Century
  • Girlhood (It’s Complicated)
  • Giving in America and more

During your visit, go to the Wegmans Wonderplace for kids ages 0-6 and Spark!Lab for kids ages 6-12).

Cost: Free

Advanced Tickets: No

Hours: Open Daily 10am – 5:30pm

#33 The Hirshorn Museum

Independence Ave SW &, 7th St SW, Washington, DC 20560 | 202-633-1000

The fun part of the Hirshorn Museum is how the building itself adds to the experience as the building curves along. Each floor is entirely different as it has a different artist or topic that it focuses on.

The lobby has interesting tables building using a tree’s root system which is quite interesting to see. Don’t miss the best part here, the human sized color wheel gallery!

Cost: Free

Advanced Tickets: No

Hours: Open Daily 10am – 5:30pm

#34 American Art Museum

G Street NW, 8th St NW, Washington, DC 20004 | 202-633-1000

The focus in the American Art Museum is on American portraits. It’s said to be one of the most inclusive collections of American Art in the world.

During your visit, make sure to visit the Kogod Courtyard which was named as one of the 7 architectural wonders of the world by Conde Nast magazine.

There’s 1-inch of water in the courtyard that little ones seem to not be able to resist. There is also a small cafe with snacks to enjoy as well.

If you’ve never been here before, you’ll probably spend 2-3 hours visiting.

Cost: Free

Advanced Tickets: No

Hours: Open Daily 11:30am – 7pm

#35 American Indian Museum

4th St SW, Washington, DC 20560 | 202-633-1000

This museum has some really impressive architecture. Starting in the grand lobby, you’ll see dozens of tribe flags and you can proceed through 4 amazing floors. Definitely leave plenty of time to visit this one.

This museum is really welcoming to kids. They can take a tour to a virtual space station, create ideas for scientific research, explore the universe and more.

The children’s area is especially fun!

It’s really nice to visit during the spring and summer with the fountains are on and the flowers are in bloom outside.

Cost: Free

Advanced Tickets: No

Hours:Daily 10am – 5:30pm

#36 National Museum of Women in the Arts

1250 New York Ave NW, Washington, DC 20005 | 202-783-5000

The National Museum of Women in the Arts is the only museum in the world dedicated to the Women in the Arts so this is definitely worth seeing and supporting.

The National Museum of Women in the Arts has over 5,500 pieces of work from the Renaissance to today so there is plenty to see. Not only will you see a wide variety of art but you will also learn about gender inequality in the art world.

Cost: Kids up to age 18 free; adults $10

Advanced Tickets: No

Hours: Temporarily closed for renovations and will reopen in fall 2023

#37 Larz Anderson House

2118 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008 | 202-785-2040

The Larz Anderson House is an old Embassy Row gilded age mansion that is now open to the public.

There are many artifacts displayed here and some unique architectural details that are quite interesting. It is also a nice place to find some quite. Explore the large rooms and take a guided tour if you have time.

This house, built by the Andersons, has been the home of the Society of Cincinnati since 1938 and today is used to advance the Society’s historic mission.

This is a lesser known museum only being visited by a few thousand people each year.

When the museum is open, you can take a tour starting at 10:15am. Tours last about an hour and start 15 minutes past each hour. No self-guided tours are allowed.

Cost: Free

Advanced Tickets: No

Hours: 10 am to 4 pm. Closed on holidays and during official events.

#38 National Archives

701 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20408 | 202-357-5000

The most well-known thing to do in the National Archives Museum is to see the founding documents of the United States including the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights and Consititution right inside the Rotunda.

Interactive exhibits truly enhance the experience. Think listing to recordings from the Oval office, see telegrams send from Abraham Lincoln and more.

Guided tours are currently not available, however, you can still go through the museum on your own.

Try to get there early, or even better, go during less busy months.

Cost: Free

Advanced Tickets: Yes

Hours: Daily 10am – 5:30pm

#39 Interior Museum

1849 C St NW, Washington, DC 20240 | 202-208-3100

One of the lesser visited museums, the Interior Museum is a hidden gem itself. A mural tour is definitely recommended as there is art you won’t get to see unless you are on a tour.

The museum is small so it’s perfect for a short visit when you don’t have a lot of time.

You will need to go through security to enter this museum and it only has 2 rooms.

Cost: Free

Advanced Tickets: No for admission, yes for tours

Hours: Monday to Friday, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM (closed Federal holidays)

#40 Planet Word Museum

925 13th St., NW Washington, D.C. 20005 | 202-931-3139

Not only is Planet Word DC’s newest museum (first opened in 2020), it is also the world’s first voice-activated museum.

This is a language arts museum and while that may not sound exciting, think again.

Here you’ll see words come to like through the interactive exhibits and you won’t regret visiting.

Make sure to reserve a pass online before going.

Cost: Free (with a $15 suggested donation)

Advanced Tickets: Yes

Hours: Wed – Sun 10am – 5pm

Washington DC Museums Map

Museums for Kids Near DC

If you’re willing to venture outside of DC a bit, there are some other fun museums for kids. Here are some to consider:

  1. College Park Aviation Museum – this is the oldest continuously run airport in the world
  2. The Marine Corps Museum
  3. Visit George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate & Garden
  4. Visit Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA (especially while the National Air & Space Museum is closed in DC)

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