Educate and Entertain at the National Geographic Museum

Posted By Katie on Jul 23, 2014

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The rotating exhibits at the National Geographic Museum in Washington D.C. ensure that this museum is always fresh. Washington D.C. is filled with excellent museums, but this often-overlooked gem is worth carving out an hour or two enjoy.

The National Geographic Museum has two large exhibit spaces that change every few months.  You could visit often and find new things to enjoy each time.national geographic museum

When I took my kids for an afternoon visit in July, we enjoyed two exhibits: Peruvian Gold and A New Age of Exploration.  I was glad we started with Peruvian Gold.  We enjoyed looking at death masks, gold crowns, jewelry, and some amazing woven tapestries and dolls dating back over 1000 years old.  I loved this section, but my younger kids were less interested in the ancient history.

At the A New Age of Exploration exhibit, my kids loved the bright pictures on the wall.  We especially enjoyed the wall of cover photos from National Geographic Magazine over the years and spent a lot of time looking at each photo.

The walls of the National Geographic Museum are packed with information.  I loved that we got an education about the amazing world around us everywhere we turned.

national geographic museum

World-class photos cover the walls, and my three-year-old loved talking about everything he saw.

The interactive screens and movies in the New Age of Exploration exhibit are a hit with kids. Near the 11-foot globe, we explored the map screens to find our home address, and also to entertain the little ones while I read all the interesting details on the walls.

National Geographic museumLike everything done by this organzation, the National Geographic Museum is well worth a visit when you are in Washington D.C.

Good to Know

Where:  1145 17th Street, NW (17th and M), Washington, DC

When:  10:00-6:00, daily.

How long:  Plan on 1.5-2 hours.

How much:  $11/adults, $7/kids (ages 5-12).  Discounts available for students and National Geographic members.

Transportation:  Riding the metro to Farragut North or Farragut West would be easiest route.  Limited metered parking is available nearby, and there are a few parking garages but some were full the afternoon I visited.

national geographic museum

How else can we help?

Need a place to stay? Allison has stayed at Kimpton Hotel Madera and Hotel Harrington, which are both within a short walk or Metro ride from this and other popular attractions. Read her review of Hotel Madera HERE. Check rates and read reviews at TripAdvisor or

Do you know about Explorer Pass? Save up to 40% on admission to the National Geographic Museum, International Spy Museum and Mount Vernon, plus other attractions of your choice. Learn more HERE.

Need new walking shoes? The best way to see the monuments and other top attractions in Washington D.C. is on foot. Find comfortable walking shoes for your family at The Walking Company or

Save money on your Washington D.C. trip! Learn more about our FREE Travel Deals Email Club HERE.

Get more ideas for your Washington D.C. trip on our Washington D.C. page or our Washington D.C. for Families Pinterest board!

Katie is a busy mom living in Northern Virginia with her husband and five children ranging in age from toddlers to teens. When she isn't traveling, she is planning her next trip. Katie loves all types of travel, but she especially loves beach vacations. The Outer Banks of North Carolina is a favorite family destination.

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