6 New Smithsonian Museum Exhibits The Kids Will Love

When you think of Smithsonian museums that cater to the entire under 10 set, we’re willing to bet a certain one (or two) come to mind. But right now—and just in time for summer break—there are a half-dozen kid-friendly exhibits where you can take your little ones (and also exercise that mommy brain!). Here are our favorites.

Photo: D Rose via flickr

No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man
Feel like you’re drowning in blocks and baby dolls? Find some relief from all those material items with an exhibit about a week-long event after which participants burn everything and leave nothing behind. The entire Renwick Gallery is currently an exhibit on Burning Man that makes the building seem like the “playa” desert of the Nevada gathering, including costumes, jewelry, vehicles, and replicas of art pieces burned after event. Even the ittiest-bitty baby is the room full of mushrooms that glow and fold (pictured above).

Renwick Gallery 
1661 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
When: Through 
Jan. 21, 2019
Online: americanart.si.edu

Black Out: Silhouettes Then and Now
Your crafty kids will have serious fun at this whole art exhibit comprised of black out silhouettes! This exhibit is a mixture of profiles from the original cut paper work of the 19th century through contemporary work that uses the idea of silhouettes for inspiration. Be sure to check out the portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama while you’re at the gallery!

National Portrait Gallery 
8th and F Streets, NW
When: Through Mar. 10, 2019
Online: npg.si.edu


Photo: Smithsonian’s Freer and Sackler Galleries via Flickr

To Dye For: Ikats from Central Asia
If your kid is old enough to see color, instead of using your Lamaze butterfly, put them in front of this beautiful exhibit, where babies will love the vibrant colors of these ikats from Central Asia. In addition to learning about the techniques used in making the fabrics, you’ll get the chance to see seven of Oscar de la Renta’s designs.

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery 
1050 Independence Ave., SW
When: Through July 29, 2018
Online: freersackler.si.edu

Art in Industry
Is your tot learning new words? Then take them to the National Museum of American History’s “Art in Industry” exhibit, where you can point out a toaster, a cash register, a camera, and more. At the same time, bigger kids (and you!) will learn about industrial design between the mid-1800s and mid-1900s.

National Museum of American History 
14th St. and Constitution Ave., NW
Online: americanhistory.si.edu

Photo: Kevin via flickr

Narwhal: Revealing an Arctic Legend
Your little one will be enthralled by the life-sized model narwhal at the National Museum of Natural History, as well as the sights and sounds of the Arctic. You’ll enjoy learning more about this mysterious animal, including Inuit knowledge and narwhal biology. 

National Museum of Natural History 
10th St. and Constitution Ave., NW
When: August 3, 2017 – 2019
Online: naturalhistory.si.edu

T is for Television
You might not be letting your little one watch a lot of television, but they can still enjoy the “T is for Television” exhibit at the National Museum of American History. Plus, objects from shows like Sesame Street and Mister Rogers will give you a nostalgic walk down memory lane.

National Museum of American History 
14th St. and Constitution Ave., NW
When: Through Sep. 4
Online: americanhistory.si.edu

—Kelly Ann Jacobson


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