Activities & Resources
National Museum of Natural History451in Washington, DC 20560
about National Museum of Natural History:
If you enter from Constitution Avenue, you'll come in through the ground floor, which houses the cafeteria and the Baird auditorium.
The Mall entrance, up one flight (the museum boasts three elevators, never fear!), is home to the beloved dinosaurs, the FossiLab, the Hall of Mammals, the Sant Ocean Hall, African Cultures, and the ticket booth for IMAX. The Discovery Room is nestled in the back, behind African Cultures - be sure to pick up a map so you don't miss it! The room is generally open Tuesday through Thursday 12n-2:30pm, Friday 10:30am-2:30pm, and Saturday and Sunday 10:30am-3:30pm.
Upstairs, on the second floor, you'll find the famous Hope Diamond (be sure to read, or have the kids read, about it's spooky history) in the Geology, Gems, and Minerals section; Bones, Reptiles, and the Insect Zoo (where volunteers conduct tarantula feeding demonstrations, work with live insects that visitors may touch and hold, and answer questions about the many-legged creatures that live in the Insect Zoo) across the way; the Partners in Evolution: Butterflies + Plants live butterfly exhibit; and the Samuel C. Johnson IMAX theater (the box office for IMAX opens at 9:45am; tickets should be purchased at least 30 mintues before showtime).
Free weekday highlights tours of the museum are available Monday through Thursday at 10:30am and 1:30pm, and Friday at 10:30am. Meet in the Rotunda.
The Museum's new Atrium Café, on the ground floor, is open 10am to 5 pm daily. An average lunch costs about $8.
The Natural History Museum features "IMAX & Jazz Cafe" on most Friday nights from 5:30pm-10pm.
For information in Spanish, call 202.633.9126.
The Museum also runs The Naturalist Center in Loudoun County, Virginia, which invites visitors ages 10 and older to use its hands-on collections of natural history objects, books, and scientific equipment to identify things, and for information and study. The center offers a full range of services, special events, and school programs. The facility is located 45 minutes from the National Mall, just 2 miles from the Dulles Toll Road Extension (the Greenway) in the Leesburg Air Park, an easy drive from Washington, free of traffic and stop lights. There is plenty of parking for cars and buses. The address is 741 Miller Drive SE, Leesburg VA 20175. Call 703.779.9712 or 1.800.729.7725 for directions and scheduling information. The Center is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10:30am-4pm.