National Air and Space Museum

The National Air and Space Museum located on the National Mall is our favorite museum to visit with our son.  Like most young children he loves all airplanes and space ships and rockets and helicopters and, well, anything that can fly.  There are actually two Smithsonian Air and Space Museums, one in Chantilly (the Udvar-Hazy Center) and one on the National Mall.  The National Mall location is easy to get to and has a lot of great exhibits.  The Udvar-Hazy Center is AMAZING.  If you can make it out there, I highly suggest it.  The place is just massive, I mean it has to be when you have the Space Shuttle there (and literally 100’s of other planes).  Both museums are free, however the Udvar-Hazy does charge $15 for parking.


Eilam liked the museums last year but they are much more fun with a 3 & 1/2 year old then a 2 year old.  He is interested in learning about some of the exhibits and talks about what we are looking at.  The museum in DC has both a Planetarium and an IMAX theater.  The 10:30 showings at the Planetarium are free.  On Fridays the show is One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure.  This was a great show featuring Big Bird, Elmo and another one of Elmo’s friends.  Eilam loved learning about the sky and stars and landing on the moon.  This last visit we were there a little over an hour.  If you have never been before, be ready to spend a couple hours.

Having way too much fun at the Air and Space Museum

The Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly (about 30-40 minutes from DC depending on traffic) is an absolute massive complex housing the Space Shuttle Discovery, a Concorde, the Enola Gay, an SR-71 Blackbird, a replica of an air traffic control tower and much, much more.  We have barely touched the surface of this museum and we have been twice.  If visiting the area and you can swing a visit, I highly suggest it.


National Air and Space Museum

Where:  Independence Avenue at 6th Ave SW, Washington, D.C.

How to Get There:  L’Enfant Plaza metro (orange, blue, silver, yellow, green) exit the 7th and Maryland, walk one block towards the National Mall, cross Independence Ave and the building will be to your right.  There is an entrance along Independence and along Jefferson facing the National Mall.

Hours:  10am-5:30pm (7:30pm during summer months)

Cost:  FREE

Steven Udar-Hazy Center

Where:  14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway, Chantilly VA 20151

How to Get There:  Since it’s not in DC please check out their website for directions.

Hours:  10-5:30pm (extended to 6:30 during summer months)

Cost:  FREE admission ($15 for parking)


National Portrait Gallery

The other day I read in the Washington Post that there was a new exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery with pictures and memorabilia about Babe Ruth.  I hadn’t been to that museum since we had moved to the area so yesterday I spent an hour walking around the museum and checking out the exhibitions.  I had forgotten how beautiful the inside of the building in.  There is a large indoor courtyard on the first floor that is just breathtaking.  On the third floor is the Great Hall where President Lincoln celebrated his second inauguration.


While this is an art and portrait gallery it probably isn’t the most exciting place for young children.  So this was an afternoon for me to enjoy a quiet museum.  On the second floor is the American Presidents exhibit with Presidential Portraits.  There is also an interesting modern art exhibit on the third floor.

The Babe Ruth exhibit was small yet interesting.  It mainly concentrated on his baseball life and his influence on the game.  It runs through May of 2017.


I also had to check out the Presidential portrait of Frank Underwood.  It is on the first floor not in the Presidential Portrait gallery, thank goodness.


National Portrait Gallery

Where:  8th and F Street NW

How to Get There:  Chinatown/Gallery Place Metro (Red, Green, Yellow) exit toward Galleries or 7th/F Street

Hours:  11:30am-7pm

Cost:  FREE