Thursday, July 25, 2013

Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

When we were in Northern Virginia for my high school reunion, we scheduled in an extra day to take the boys in to DC.  They had never been.  We met up with friends in Alexandria and then caught the metro (subway) in.  It was a steamy hot day, and I'd forgotten how crazy packed DC gets with tourists in the summer, particularly on a weekend.  We went to the Museum of Natural History and it was so crowded that I didn't take many pictures.  I was trying to make sure we didn't lose any children!
 As a kid, this was my favorite of all the Smithsonians.  My little brother and I would often fight when we headed into DC for a day, because he wanted to do Air and Space and I wanted to do Natural History.  My parents made us alternate. 
 
 One thing I loved about visiting was that in the basement they had rows and rows of specimen drawers and you could pull them out to examine fossils, plants, shells and such.  We didn't have time to do that on this trip (if it is still open). 
 One new addition that wasn't there previously, were the x-ray machines to get in to all the museums.  With the crowds on the day we went, there were lines to get in all the museums.

Of course the highlight for the twins were all the dinosaurs.  They were especially impressed by the T-Rex. 
I think next time we head up to DC, we'll do so on a random Tuesday in February, so we can take our time without worrying about all the gobs of people!  The boys seemed to enjoy themselves thoroughly, though, and were fascinated to see all the different animals.

Readers, do you avoid crowds like me, or are you the 'more the merrier' type?

31 comments:

A Quiet Corner said...

And that's why I usually do everything during the week...just to avoid what I call "the weekend warriors" who through no fault of their own, work Monday through Friday. I loved that museum when I went as an adult while on assignment when working for the bank!...:)JP

Cat said...

I always had a fear of losing one of my children in those museums. A couple of years ago, your dad and I went back and went to the art museum and I felt like I got to really look at the paintings for the first time because I wasn't constantly looking for my children.

Buttons said...

Oh that looks like a wonderful museum to explore. I tend to stay on the farm with no one but cows but sometimes I LOVE to mingle in a crowd in the city. Excitement I guess. B

Sandra said...

I am not a big crowd person! Nothing as scary as losing a child. I have had a scare or two.

I do like visiting museums and other field trips. Just prefer to go when they are not as busy!

andy said...

Looks like a very cool place !!! Have a wonderful day

My Journey With Candida said...

I told my Hubs on vacation that we needed a leash for our grandson so he couldn't get away. LOL... I know it would have worked.

That musuem looks great!!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

They stay open late some nights. JDaniel and I went late to avoid the mobs. They are so not fun.

Anne Payne said...

Avoid!!! We're talking about vacationing between school semesters, when it's cold and no one wants to go camping :)

Heather said...

I can't wait to take my kids to DC. I went when I was in high school and it was an amazing trip. I love museums!

LisaS said...

Great photos! What a perfect place to take the kids on a summer expedition ;)

Jill said...

Nooooo crowds for me! I tend to get annoyed ( a part of myself I do not like).

TexWisGirl said...

oh, i bet that is a fascinating place!

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

The last time I was in DC, it was during the 4th of July holiday. Not a good idea. I hate to get on crowds.

I want to take the Amtrak to DC sometime for more sightseeing. Avoid the traffic!

Ginny said...

You did get good pictures despite the crowds. Did you notice the wooly mammoth has a chandelier hanging from his tusk? I bet the boys got a kick out of that! The skeletons are fabulous and they even have little fierce looking faces! Did you used to live in or near D.C.? Or did I know and forget? I lived there for many years, in fact I was born there. I think crowds add to the excitement, except I hate lines.

The Little Acre that Could said...

Seeing the dinosaurs remind me of the TV series Bones. :-)

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I've never been to the Smithsonian but it looks wonderful. I always love going to the Museum of Natural History in Chicago. What a great trip for the boys.

mail4rosey said...

I have been there when it's busy too, and you're right you just want to not lose a child!! It's an awesome place to visit though. :) I like your pics.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

That is a fantastic musuem. Is there a slow time to visit DC?

Arti said...

I read about this museum in The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown and was fascinated by it!! Great captures, thanks for sharing Lisa :)

Blackberry Lane said...

We avoid crowds, too. I think your boys will love to go back when it is less crowded.

Valerie said...

I loved those museums as a kid, when I was living in Arlington. Years alter, we took Amy one summer while visiting my inlaws. I was surprised and a little sad to see that we had to go through security to visit the museums. Times may have changed, but it's comforting that the elephant is still there;) It looks like you had fun!

Chatty Crone said...

I would love to go there myself. The boys are so cute. samdie

Mary said...

Yes, totally avoid the crowds if possible, but it's not always in summertime!

What a fun time to see dinosaurs! Cool!

Grandma Bonnie said...

I like to linger and enjoy studying the exhibits so I really try to avoid crowds. That sure is a great place to take the boys.

Slamdunk said...

Looks like fun--the dinosaurs would have been the highlight for our crew as well.

I am big on avoiding crowds if possible. That includes the arrival, the stay, and the departure as well as the place we want to go.

When I make to DC again, I want to visit the International Spy Museum. Older boy and I have heard good things about it.

SweetMarie said...

I've done all the amusement parks here in Orlando over and over. Now that our son is seventeen we can run from the crowds! lol

Michelle said...

I don't like crowds and try to do things like this during the week. This is my favorite museum in D.C. The International Spy Museum, in D.C., is also pretty cool.

Miss Val's Creations said...

Amazing photos! I visited the Smithsonian museums on a family vacation when I was 12 and would love to go back as an adult. I really only remember seeing Howdy Doody and Archie Bunker's chair! I am with you on avoiding crowds and plan trips around tourist seasons. So much more pleasant. :)

Abraham Lincoln said...

A lot of things have changed over the years since I was there.

Linda said...

I like to avoid the crowds if possible. We lived south of Alexandria when I was a kid and DC's museums were not far away. I loved the natural history museum too! But when I was a teen, the National Gallery was my favorite and sometimes I'd go there with a friend. Haven't been back in almost a decade but we are talking about going for a day.

Lin said...

Go to the National Cathedral if you get a chance. WOW! What a cool place for the family to visit. The gargoyles on the outside are modern and fun to spot for the kids.

I wanted to rip my eyeballs out at the air and space museum. How BORING! I think it's great for old guys and that's about it.