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Visiting with Kids

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Family visiting Ai Weiwei Trace exhibition at Hirshhorn

This is a small sample of activities that you and your family can enjoy together. We have something for young people of all ages from tots to teens!

A family looks at examples of astronauts gloves.

Air and Space Museum Discovery Stations

Discovery Stations at the Washington, D.C., and Virginia locations encourage informal learning through active looking, discussion, and hands-on activities related to aviation, space exploration, astronomy, and planetary geology. 

kids in planetarium.

Air and Space Museum Planetarium

Feel the sensation of zooming through the cosmos, enveloped in color saturated moving images and spine-tingling sound at the National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall.

red rocket simulator.

Air and Space Museum Ride Simulators

Climb aboard an interactive flight simulator or take an exciting virtual trip on board one of our passenger ride simulators at the National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall and at the Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center. (fee)

boy looking at video art.

American Art Museum Family Activities

Bring your young, budding artists and participate in fun hands-on activities at the Smithsonian American Art Museum that will be sure to spark their creativity! Visit the Luce Center to check out secret eye miniatures, audio tours, cool jewelry, and scavenger hunts. 

activity lab for kids.

American History Museum Spark!Lab

Hands-on space for children between the ages of 6 and 12 to create, collaborate, explore, test, experiment, and invent.

children pretend grocery shopping.

American History Museum Wegmans Wonderplace

This 1,700-square-foot interactive space in the National Museum of American History provides the youngest historians with age-appropriate activities and experiences.

screen like a windshield.

American History Museum Ride Simulators

Experience the excitement of state-of-the-art motion simulation and celebrate America's love for adventure!
(fee)

kids in a tipi.

American Indian Museum imagiNATIONS Activity Center, DC

The center at the American Indian Museum in Washington, D.C., provides visitors of all ages with a multitude of unique learning experiences.

kids using interactive table.

American Indian Museum imagiNATIONS Activity Center, NY

In this family-friendly, interactive space in the New York museum, visitors of all ages explore Native scientific discoveries and inventions so ingenious many continue to affect the modern world. This exploration is made even more fun by solving puzzles, performing experiments, and playing state-of-the-art computer simulations.

girl drawing.

Asian Art Museum Family Programs

Discover resources designed with kids in mind that you can use in the galleries for a family outing.

older woman reading to a child

Hirshhorn Guide for Visiting with Kids

There’s something for kids of every age: artworks that spark conversations and inspire new ways of thinking. The Museum’s unique shape is perfect to explore as a family—no art history required.

butterfly on a flower.

Natural History Museum

Highlights include the Insect Zoo and live Butterfly Pavilion.

parent painting with a child.

Portrait Gallery Youth and Family Programs

Designed to “inform, involve, and inspire,” Portrait Gallery programs invite the discovery of art and history through a variety of hands-on activities.

Owney the dog.

Postal Museum

Meet Owney the Dog, the mascot of the Railway Post Office. He is just one of the 10 fun things to do with kids at the museum.

kids look at monitor.

Q?rius at the Natural History Museum

Q?rius (pronounced "curious") is an interactive and experimental learning space. Visitors can use microscopes, handle some of the 6,000 collection objects, solve science puzzles, do touchscreen activities, and even meet a scientist.

Theater performers all stack hands.

Smithsonian Associates' Discovery Theater

The best in live performing arts, this venue provides a variety of educational and cultural programs for both kids and adults.

child on carousel giraffe.

Smithsonian's National Zoo

Highlights include the Conservation Carousel, the Animal Adventure Guide, and daily animal demonstrations. 

Carousel with brightly decorated horses.

Smithsonian Carousel on the National Mall

Located on the National Mall near the Smithsonian Castle, the carousel is open year-round, weather permitting for a nominal fee.

fish on screen.

Smithsonian Theaters

Our IMAX theater at the Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia offers immersive movie-going experiences. 

Kids' Favorite Exhibitions