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“Lacking Umph”

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
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US$64.00*
and up
Morning Monuments Tour of Washington DC
Ranked #12 of 465 things to do in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Established in 1910 and located on the National Mall, this prestigious museum, part of the Smithsonian Institution, holds the world's most extensive collection of natural history specimens and human artifacts including the remains of dinosaurs and tools used by early man.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Reviewed 17 May 2014

So much to see, and learn here, a well curated collection. There were not a lot of interactive exhibits for children, like other Smithsonian museums, though. I really feel it was missing some umph, that extra little bit that makes the museum enjoyable for small children. A bit slow and the big draw, the dinosaurs, have recently been removed for a time. We enjoyed seeing the giant squid all stretched out, with eyes like dinner plates. The museum exhibits are laid out nicely, and traffic flows well. I like the little windows that show children the people at work, makes the career a more tangible option to consider. There is a bit of a stuffy atmosphere here, and the gift shop was the kids favorite part. I would really like to see some more color and more interactive exhibits to bump this one up to 5 stars.

Thank Lauren T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"hope diamond"
in 1,644 reviews
"butterfly exhibit"
in 263 reviews
"gems and minerals"
in 191 reviews
"human evolution"
in 121 reviews
"stuffed animals"
in 115 reviews
"t rex"
in 105 reviews
"dinosaur bones"
in 100 reviews
"ocean hall"
in 93 reviews
"all ages"
in 383 reviews
"great exhibits"
in 149 reviews
"imax theater"
in 87 reviews
"great for kids"
in 110 reviews
"on display"
in 241 reviews
"my favorite"
in 136 reviews
"take your time"
in 86 reviews
"national mall"
in 99 reviews
"mammals"
in 528 reviews
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5,836 - 5,840 of 9,893 reviews

Reviewed 16 May 2014

It was wonderful to see the Hope Diamond and some of the rare jewels. My children enjoyed the hands-on genome project.

Thank dnumme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 May 2014 via mobile

The museum is very well diversified and organized. There should be something for everyone.

I found it interesting that their Imax 3D only cost $5 per show. Our local full sized Imax 3D runs $18 a show.

The food court is also one of the best in the Smithsonian.

Thank Matt M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 May 2014

While there is a lot to see at the museum, there are a TON of school kids. The day we went, we were told this was a light day and if we wanted less kids/ people to come between Dec and March. It was hard to see any of the exhibits or read any of the information with all the kids/ chaperones in the building. The kids during our day were very loud and appeared to care less about what they were seeing or that they may be walking into/ bumping other people.
While I think this is a great free exhibit, if I go again, I will take their advice and go during the winter.

Thank Travel_bug99205
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 16 May 2014

We were two families visiting the natural history with 3 girls in the age from 9 to 11. They were fascinated by the dinosaurs and the gem stones.

Thank PeterOdgaard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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