Washington, DC is awash with world-class museums and the majority of them are free to enter. The Smithsonian runs a large proportion of them and their buildings occupy large blocks on either side of the National Mall, so they are easy to find.
Air and Space Museum: This Museum is part of the Smithsonian setup and must be one of the ugliest buildings in all of DC. But it’s easy to get past the ugliness, because all the good stuff is on the inside. Highlights are Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis (when it’s not away on loan) and the 1903 Wright Flyer. My tip is to go for opening at 10. We arrived around lunch-time and it was mobbed. Also, the food court is currently closed, which obviously isn’t great when you arrive at lunchtime.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum: It’s not easy visiting this museum and we’d prepared The Boy Child pre-trip by reading The Boy in the Striped Trousers with him and talking through what happened in the Holocaust. The museum gets busy quickly and you’ll need a timed-entry ticket for the permanent exhibition. On arrival, visitors are invited to collect Identification Cards which tell the stories of real people who lived during the Holocaust.Mina died in Belzec extermination camp in August 1942. She was 59 years old.
Samson survived the war and emigrated to the USA in 1946.
Jules survived the war and emigrated to the USA in 1950.
International Spy Museum: This is a privately run museum, so there’s an entrance fee. There’s a lot about the Cold War and the relationship between the USA and the former Soviet Union – think dead letterboxes, weapons hidden in umbrellas and listening devices hidden in the most ordinary of objects.The bulk of the museum actually focuses on the British literary secret agent, James Bond, which is generally a hit with all ages. Everyone has their favourite Bond, right? There’s a lot of video clips from the Bond films, alongside costumes and gadgets.
A visitor could probably spend their whole (short) stay in one of Washington’s many museums, particularly as most of them are free to enter. Which ones would be on your ‘to visit’ list?