The cherry blossoms are blooming here in D.C. and Virginia so I took a morning walk around the Tidal Basin. The trees are beautiful and it was a nice morning to be outside. I took the metro in and walked around the basin to the Jefferson Memorial, continued around to the F.D.R. Memorial and then to the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial. Since it was so nice out I ended up walking to the Arlington Cemetery Metro to head back home. The whole trip took right around 3 hours and I walked about 5 miles.
The National Museum of the American Indian is another Smithsonian Museum along the National Mall. It is located between the Air and Space Museum and the Capitol. It is one of the most interesting buildings located on the Mall. The building itself is really interesting architecturally. There is a large fountain the runs along the length of the building facing the Mall. The clay, curvaceous look really stands out against the more classical architecture that so many of the buildings along that area have.
The inside is quite stunning as well. Eilam and I visited the museum on an event weekend to celebrate the opening of the The Great Inka Road: Engineering an Empire. Brian and I visited Peru and hiked to Machu Picchu a few years ago, so this was an exhibit that we were looking forward to. The weekend we visited, they had traditional Andean music and dancers, various educational exhibits, traditional vendors, and arts and crafts projects for children. Eilam was able to sculpt a llama out of clay and also made an Andean flute out of straws.
While the museum holds an extensive collection of artifacts, the real draw for us to go here is their imagiNATIONS Activity Center. The Activity Center is a great, interactive place for children. They get a passport to stamp at each station. Each station consists of learning about something related to daily life of the Native people. One of the first stations is a giant basket to learn about the various styles of basket weaving. Other highlights include large blocks to make an igloo, a tee-pee, and a skateboarding interactive challenge. The Center also holds a library of books written by or about Native cultures.
I would definitely recommend this museum to check out the imagiNATIONS Center. Supposedly the cafe is the best food you can get along the National Mall as well. While I haven’t eaten there, I did get one of their specialty coffees and it was delicious. If you are visiting here, you could do the Air and Space Museum when it opened, then head over to the National Museum of American Indian. With younger kids, this stop would mainly be the Activity Center. Across the street from this museum is the U.S. Botanic Garden.
National Museum of the American Indian
Where: Fourth St and Independence Ave SW
How to Get There: Nearest metro stop is L’Enfant Plaza (yellow/green/orange/blue/silver) exit towards Maryland Ave. Head towards the Capitol. This unique building will be hard to miss.
Hours: 10am-5:30pm, imagiNATIONS Activity Center is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10-5pm.
I have five glorious days off in a row this week. So I am trying to make the most of my staycation. Today I went to the Renwick Gallery which is part of the Smithsonian Institute. It has recently reopened after a two year renovation. The new exhibit is WONDER, an immersive artwork experience.
Each gallery has one installation and photography is encouraged. Check out the Instagram #renwickgallery. The museum building is a National Historic Building and is just steps away from the White House. There was a lot of children and the installations are very interesting but there are no strollers allowed inside and you can’t touch any of the artwork. So it would probably be better for slightly older children. I think Eilam would like to see some of the installations but he would want to grab them.
The Renwick Gallery
Where: Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th St NW
How to Get There: Farragut West Metro is the closest (orange/blue/silver). Exit via 17th and I St.