Washington DC is filled with attractions; its museums, monuments, memorials, National Parks, etc., are all favorites among all kinds of travelers from around the world. In fact, DC has more than enough places to offer sightseeing for people of all age groups. If you are interested in science and technology, then given below are 10 museums in the US capital city that you must visit during your Washington DC tour.
National Geographic Museum
The National Geographic Museum is famous for its wonderful collection of magazines that contain articles regarding history, geography, and world culture. The displays in this museum change often, but there are always a lot of things to see and do here, from interactive programs to amazing photography featuring Nat Geo explorers, scientists, and photographers’ works. The museum also hosts live thought-provoking and engaging presentations.
National Museum of Natural History
The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History is a top science-related museum in DC. Surprisingly, this museum has a collection of a whopping 125 million artifacts, and you can see different topic related displays varying from science and technology to human evolution here. Some of the popular exhibits in the museum include the Sant Ocean Hall, Hall of Human Origins, the Family Hall of Mammals, the Last American Dinosaurs, etc.
Marian Koshland Science Museum
Located in the Penn Quarter locality in DC, the Marian Koshland Science Museum offers many interactive exhibits and activities focused at the teenagers. You can learn about what causes climate change, why only some light bulbs work more efficiently, how the brain works, and many more interesting things here, besides exploring the museum highlights that include state-of-the-art exhibits, educational programs, and public events.
National Air and Space Museum
The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum is yet another science museum that you should not skip when in DC, especially if children are accompanying you. In this museum, you can gain some knowledge about the history of flight and airplanes, and go explore thousands of artifacts and real flying machines on display. Moreover, the Planetarium and Imax Theater in the museum that bring technologies to life are also must visits.
National Museum of Health and Medicine
The National Museum of Health and Medicine was established in the year 1862 as the Army Medical Museum. Its main aim is to promote the understanding of medicine especially by emphasizing on tri-service American military medicine. The exhibits here include anatomy and pathology, traumatic brain injury, innovations in military medicine, and military medicines used during the Civil War.
National Cryptologic Museum
The National Cryptologic Museum is a cryptologic museum affiliated with the NSA. The collections in the museum include thousands of cryptologic artifacts including German Enigma machines used during World War II and a Navy Bombe that was used to break the code. Exhibits here highlight the history of American cryptology and the techniques, people, machines, and locations associated with it.
Udvar Hazy Center
The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is a part of Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum that is located near the Dulles International Airport in Northern Virginia. This museum displays many spacecraft and airplanes which visitors can enjoy viewing up close, including satellites, gliders, World War II fighters, airliners, helicopters, and the massive space shuttle Discovery. Furthermore, the museum hosts educational programs and special events.
KID Museum is a new museum that opened in 2014. This museum offers many innovative activities and programs for middle school and elementary students by allowing them to engage in a hands-on experience that integrates science, technology, and art. Kids get an opportunity here to show their creative side by experimenting with many types of materials and tools like laser cutters, 3D printers, electronic circuits, textiles, video cameras, etc.
United States Botanic Garden
The US Botanic Garden is a living plant museum in DC that was opened to public in the year 1820. It highlights 4,000 seasonal, tropical, and sub-tropical plants showcased along three different zones of the garden namely the National Garden, the Conservatory, and Bartholdi Park. Some of the showcased plants here are Yellow coneflower, ‘Silky Gold’ Gold Butterfly Weed, ‘Barmstedt Gold’ Witchhazel, Japanese woodland peony, Carolina Jessamine, Alice oakleaf hydrangea, ‘Honorine Jobert’ Japanese Anemone, Spanish dagger, etc.
International Spy Museum
The International Spy Museum is the only museum in the US dedicated to espionage. It displays around 200 gadgets, cameras, weapons, vehicles, bugs, and technologies used for spying throughout the world. Most of the exhibits here highlight the stories of real-life spies and their missions, the main ones being School for Spies, The Secret History of History, Spies Among Us, and War of the Spies. You can also take part in the “Operation Spy” game in the museum, where you get missions that need to be fulfilled within a given time; “Spy in the City” is yet another interactive activity to try in the museum, which involves GPS based outdoor walking.