Planning a trip to Washington D.C?
My husband is a news junkie and the Newseum was at the top of our list on our last trip to Washington D.C. It's a fairly new museum dedicated to the First Amendment and the free press. We spent a full morning here and found it absolutely fascinating.
The Newseum is especially good for older children and teens who have some understanding of current events, history and the U.S. Constitution. You'll find conversation starters and learning opportunities all over the museum.
Here are my top tips for visiting the Newseum.
What to Expect
The Newseum is conveniently located on Pennsylvania Avenue, just down the street from the U.S. Capitol Building, one block from the National Mall and across the street from the Smithsonian's American Art Museum.
The Newseum is not a Smithsonian museum – there is an admission charge. Look for ways to save on admission later in this post.
The Newseum opens an hour earlier than the Smithsonian museums, so it's a good place to start your day. We arrived at 9 AM and spent 2-3 hours exploring the exhibits. We finished with lunch in the Newseum's food court. The menu was designed by Wolfgang Puck. We found it to be tasty, convenient and reasonably priced.
Your Newseum ticket includes free next-day admission. If your time is limited and you want to return, you can visit the next day for no additional cost.
The Newseum also has a full service restaurant, The Source by Wolfgang Puck. Save 15% here when you show your Newseum admission ticket.
We used Metro to reach the Newseum. The Archives/Navy Memorial/Penn Quarter and Judiciary stops are nearby. Secure paid parking is available onsite.
Must See Exhibits
The Newseum has more than a dozen permanent and rotating exhibits. All are worthwhile, but there are a few that I found especially impressive.
Those of us who remember September 11, 2001 were glued to the news reports that day and those memories are forever fresh. The 9/11 Gallery contains a mangled steel column from the World Trade Center that was destroyed by terrorists. The column is surrounded by front page headlines from around the world.
The Berlin Wall Gallery is another powerful exhibit. I grew up during the Cold War and the Berlin Wall came down when I was in high school. In this exhibit, you can see a section of the Berlin Wall, touch a small piece of it and learn more about the fast-moving events that finally reunited East and West.
The News History Gallery is riveting. It's the largest of the Newseum's permanent galleries and it preserves 500 years of headlines. Stroll through history and see the front pages announcing many of the major events in U.S. and World history.
The Pulitzer Prize Photographs gallery is the most comprehensive collection of prize-winning photos ever assembled. You'll probably recognize some of the photos. Others will be difficult to take in. It's generations of history at a glance.
Today's Front Page is your chance to find the current front page from your hometown newspaper, along with up to 80 other papers from every U.S. state and several international papers. It's so interesting to compare them all, side by side.
The NBC News Interactive Newsroom is a place where your kids may want to spend some time. In this hands-on permanent exhibit, you can prepare a story for the front page, or report the news with a teleprompter and camera.
Ways to Save
There are several ways to save on Newseum admission.
- Buy online – Save 15% on admission when you buy in advance from http://www.newseum.org.
- Kids ages 6 and younger get in FREE
- Journalists, military, teachers, college students, and AAA members save 10-15% when you purchase at the desk with appropriate ID.
- Go Card – Save up to 47% on top attractions like the Newseum, Mount Vernon and Big Bus Tours when you bundle them on the Go Washington D.C. Card. Learn more at https://gocity.com/washington-dc/
- I used the Go Washington D.C. Card. My husband did not because he was in D.C. for work and didn't know how much he'd be touring with me. It cost more for him to pay full price for the Newseum and Big Bus than for me to enjoy the same activities, plus one more with the Go Card.
Click the blue button to read all my tips for using Go Card in Washington D.C.
I loved visiting the Newseum and hope to return with my kids (ages 11 and 14). It's a fascinating and educational destination, and a must-see for anyone with an interest incurrent events or history.
Good to Know
Where: 555 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, DC. Onsite parking is available. The Archives and Judiciary Metro stops are within walking distance.
When: Open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
How Much: Adult tickets (age 19-64) currently cost $24.95, with discounts available for children, seniors and other groups. See current pricing at http://www.newseum.org/visit/. Review my Ways to Save section to save money on admission.
How Long: 1-3 hours. We spent all morning and finished with lunch at the Newseum's food court.
Amenities: restaurants, gift shops, restrooms, parking