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“Just o.k.”

National Museum of Crime & Punishment
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Reviewed 17 February 2009

We went enthusiastically to check out this new museum but were very disappointed. Although, the exhibit started out promising with clever crowd control bars made of cufflinks and an exhibit of police badges from across the country, it soon went downhill. Overall I would say there is too much emphasis on the sensationalized crime - serial killers, mobsters, medieval torture devices,etc. There was one small area covering white collar crime and nothing on art theft or forgery, just a passing mention of internet crime. Both my husband and I found it very depressing from a subject content since there was a lot on crime and not too much on how to stop crime, with the exception of a room dedicated to "America's Most Wanted" (which the exhibit was not working at the time). I would also add a caution to those who go with younger children (9 and below)... we were worried that the subject matter was too grim for our 9 yr old son. ("Mommy, what is a serial killer"? - not a conversation you want to have.)
We were also surprised that there was very little emphasis on all the men and women who dedicate their lives to fighting crime. They have one token uniform hanging with a sign that says something like "dedicated to those who have lost their lives in the line of duty".
In addition, subjects were not covered in depth or to highlight little know but interesting facts. I contrast this with the Spy Museum, which shows little known facts, like how even Julius Ceasar used some espionage in his day.
From a physical plant point, the museum does not have a very good air handling system and it very stuffy in the building and we all went home with headaches.
In summary, while the museum is not awful it is not great either. With all the other museums in D.C., these guys will have to work a lot harder to keep up with their high quality neighbors if they want to stay in business.

Thank MerionSta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 13 January 2009

This was by far the most interactive museum in Washington. Must-trys include the police chase simulator as well as the CSI crime lab. There's something for everyone! Bring the kiddies.

1  Thank mesomedes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 January 2009

I went to the Crime and Punishment Museum for the first time this weekend and had an excellent experience. The museum is huge and I was so captivated that I ended up spending 4 hours there without even realizing. There is great historical information as well as really neat artifacts and props. There are also a few interactive exhibits at the museum, my favorite part. I would definitely recommend this museum to anyone visiting the DC area, it is fun for people of all ages.

1  Thank dc804
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 January 2009

I didn't know what to expect when I decided to check out the Museum of Crime and Punishment. I had an afternoon to kill and happened in as I walked around Chinatown. I am so glad that I did.

Not only does the museum showcase the fascinating history of this important cultural phenomenon, but it has a variety of interactive activities unlike any other exhibit I have been to. Want to see if you have the chops to catch a criminal in a high-speed car chase? See if your powers of deduction match up to Sherlock Holmes? Then this is the place to you.

I can only imagine that the museum will become more engaging as it stays open. Even though I spent 4 hours on my first visit, I feel like I saw less than half of what the museum has to offer. I will be back!

1  Thank freckmoto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 6 January 2009

My family and I had a great time from when we walked in until the very end. The staff was very friendly and helpful and well worth the money. We would love to go back and even met TV host John Walsh there who was filming an episode of his show. They said he is around frequently. Anyway I highly reccomend this in DC. -Stacy

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

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