I've been to most of the Smithsonian museums several times, and the American History museum remains my favorite. I see something new every time I go. My favorite exhibit is the food exhibit, where you can see a replica of Julia Child's kitchen, and watch clips of her cooking. There are a couple of children's areas for different ages of kids. Little ones will be sure to love the Wegman's play area. There is also a fun area for older kids about creativity and inventions, where kids can make their own prototypes.
There are a couple of nice gift shops here as well, with different themes. For more traditional patriotic/presidential sorts of souvenirs, go to the gift shop upstairs. The downstairs gift shop has more varied gifts and souvenirs.
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