Madame Tussauds Washington DC: Wax Attractions

Madame Tussauds DC has permanently closed. Luckily we have a lot more museum options nearby for you:

I have always been curious about the world-famous Madame Tussauds in Washington DC but had thought it was a bit too touristy to visit.

On a cold day off school I found myself wanting to try something new, so I packed up the kids and headed to see the wax figures “live” and in person. 

I am so glad I decided to check it out since it was very fun, and the kids managed to learn some things.

Madame Tussaud’s Wax Attraction is legendary. With only a handful of locations internationally, even though Madame Tussaud’s is often thought of as a tourist destination it’s worth a visit for locals as well.

Here’s what you need to know for your visit.

Covered Here

What to Expect
Keepsakes
Tickets & Pricing
Coupons, Discounts & Promos
Hours & When to Go
Good to Know Before You Go
Getting There
Things to Do Nearby

What to Expect

Madame Tussauds in Washington DC is roughly divided into sections, each with its own theme.

The themes are categories of famous people, including:

  • Presidents
  • Some first ladies
  • Media & movie stars
  • Music stars from all eras
  • Cultural icons
  • Sports figures

The first wax figure you will encounter is that of Madame Tussaud herself in the act of creating a wax figure. Visitors can watch a video in this section to learn more about Madame Tussaud and the history of the attraction.

Next, visitors enter an exhibit of all 45 presidents.

You’ll also get a chance to see other historical figures from US history sprinkled throughout the attraction, such as the founder of the Girl Scouts, Juliette Gordon Low, and Harriet Tubman.

Posing with wax figures at Madame Tussauds Washington DC

Madame Tussaud’s is not a museum, but there is a lot to learn.

Every wax figure is accompanied by an explanation of who the figure is and why they are significant. I learned a few new things along the way and my children learned a lot, particularly about presidents.

Interactive Exhibits

The attraction is filled with interactive exhibits.

Although visitors cannot touch any of the wax figures, visitors can sit next to Abe Lincoln in his box at Ford’s Theatre, join George Washington in his boat to crossing the Atlantic, sit behind the Oval Office desk, sit at a piano with Aretha Franklin, or join Ovechkin on the ice.

All wax figures are built to scale in terms of height and weight. Some figures were surprising. For example, I thought The Rock was much taller.

Not only are the figures in the museum incredibly life-like but they are also very “approachable.” 

Photo Opportunities

The museum is set-up to provide many, many photo ops and visitors are encouraged to get up-close-and-personal to get the shot, although as expected, there is no touching of the figures allowed. 

For example, George Washington is placed behind a boat that kids can sit in and Al Roker is posed with his mic outstretched for an interview.

My kids loved posing with famous people, past and present, and dancing with rock stars in the music room. 

There is also a popular photo op stop where visitors can pose for professional photos in a mock Oval Office, with the current President, or with Secret Service officers.  Photos can be picked up at the end and it is also permissible to take photos with your phone.

Posing with wax figures (astronauts) at Madame Tussauds Washington DC

Dressing Up

One thing my kids loved was dressing up at various stops.  Visitors have the option of getting decked out in red, white, and blue with Uncle Sam, dressing up like an alien to pose with astronauts on the moon, and getting glammed up to post with Jackie O. 

Hamilton fans will rejoice to see the Hamilton Quiz that the man himself. Madame Tussauds also has two newer additions that are fun. 

The first is an augmented reality experience. 

AR glasses are included with admission and, if you choose to wear them, you will see the wax figures come to life and get some history lessons in.

This is a fun, completely optional addition. 

I really enjoyed wearing the glasses, but my kids found them a bit heavy about 1/3 of the way through the museum and we took them off.  Even if you only use the glasses for a short time we recommend giving them a try.

VR Thrill Coaster

The VR Roller Coaster

The other new addition is the VR Roller Coaster.  Rides are an extra charge but my 4 kids, ages 5 through 12, all loved the experience. 

Riders can choose from a variety of immersive experiences ranging from very mild dinosaur and undersea adventures to more adventurous scary and extreme coasters. 

We highly recommend rides as part of a visit to Madame Tussauds but it is possible to try the VR Coaster without visiting the wax figures. 

We spent about two hours at Madame Tussauds and I left wishing I had checked it out sooner.  While Madame Tussauds is certainly more kitschy than most DC attractions it’s definitely worth a visit for a little bit of fun.

Don’t delay going to “meet” some of your favorite celebrities or introduce your kids to some important historical figures!

A visit to Madame Tussaud’s is definitely a new and different experience, even for veterans of the DC attraction scene. It’s fun and educational, which is a great mix for families with kids of all ages.

Keepsakes

There is also an opportunity to have kids’ (or adults’) hands dipped into wax and colored.  This is an extra $10.00 charge (although it may be included in some packages) but it was a cool opportunity to get the chance to touch some of the wax used to make the statues. 

There is also a photo stop where you can pose for professional photos in a mock Oval Office, with the current President, or with Secret Service officers for an additional charge.

Tickets & Pricing

Tickets can be purchased online and the prices are as follows:

$20 for adults (ages 12-59)
$15 for children (ages 3-12)
$18 for seniors (age 60+)
Children ages 2 and under are free

Coupons, Discounts & Promos

To save on your visit to Madame Tussauds DC, here are a couple of things to try:

  • Sign-up for the Madame Tussauds newsletter as they sometimes have promotions they offer
  • Check this deal on Groupon to see if it is still available

Hours & When to Go

The DC museum is open:

Monday – Thursday: 10am – 4pm
Friday – Sunday: 10am – 5pm

Visiting during the weekends will give you the least crowds so you can spend longer at the different figures and makes it easier to get your photo opps.

Good to Know Before You Go

  • There are various ticket options starting at $21.60.  Combo tickets and packages are also available.  You can check out all of the options here. 
  • The museum is stroller-friendly.  Just ask to use the elevator to go down.
  • Tickets are available for purchase on the museum’s website: https://www.madametussauds.com/washington-dc
  • Tickets start at $14.00 when purchased online. There are several options for combo tickets.
  • Children under two are free.
  • Strollers are allowed in the attraction.
  • There is an opportunity in the attraction to dip your hand in wax of the colors of your choice and bring it home with you. This costs $12.00 at the attraction or can be purchased at a discount as part of combo ticket.

Getting There

Madame Tussauds in DC is located at: 1001 F St NW, Washington, DC 20004.

The closest metro stops are Metro Center and Gallery Place Chinatown.  There is limited, metered street parking around the museum as well.  There are also several parking lots around the museum. 

Things to Do Near Madame Tussauds DC

There are several other fun experiences around Madame Tussauds. Here are some great options:

Note: Madame Tussauds is walking distance from the National Mall so it’s easy to combine a visit with a trip to another museum or to see the monuments.

  1. See a show at Ford’s Theatre (2 minutes away)
  2. Visit the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (3 minutes away)
  3. Walk through the Friendship Archway at the entrance to Chinatown and grab some delicious food (4 minutes away)
  4. Visit the National Children’s Museum (4 minutes away)
  5. Become a spy at the International Spy Museum (6 minutes away)
  6. The National Air & Space Museum (6 minutes away)
  7. See the latest exhibit at Artechouse DC (6 minutes away)
  8. Spot the animals at the National Zoo (18 minutes away)

Photos by Jamie Davis Smith

Photo of author

OK Editorial Team

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