Visiting with Kids

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Here's a sample of activities that you and your family can enjoy together. We have something for children of all ages from tots to teens.

fish on screen.

Smithsonian Theaters

Our two IMAX theaters are the largest in the area and offer an immersive movie-going experience. The Warner Bros. Theater at the National Museum of American History offers state-of-the-art digital 2D, 3D, and 35mm films.

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.

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.

magnifying glass.

American History Museum Things to Do

Get your hands on history with interactive carts, step right into history with our Historic Theater, and more!

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!

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. 

girl drawing.

Asian Art Museum ImaginAsia Family Programs

Discover Asian artworks and combine Freer and Sackler gallery experiences with art projects through a variety of programs and resources for young people and families. This is perfect for a family outing.

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.

butterfly on a flower.

Natural History Museum

Highlights include the Insect Zoo, Q?rius jr. Discovery Room, Live Butterflies.

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.

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)

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.

child on carousel giraffe.

National Zoo

Highlights include Tiger Tracks, Amazonia Science Gallery, Reptile Discovery Center, Kids' Farm, and the Conservation Carousel.

Kids' Favorite Exhibitions