Places to Go - Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum (Washington DC)


Lately, F's become fascinated/obsessed with outer space, so we planned a family trip to the Air and Space Museum (National Mall location). We started off in the How Things Fly exhibit, where the girls watched a demonstration on the principles of flight while T stood in line to "fly" an airplane (it's moments like this that having Dan come with us with me makes all the difference) and press random buttons. While the whole exhibit is designed for older kids (who can read), the prevalence of knobs and levers makes it fun for toddlers as well.

After learning How Things Fly we headed up to the planetarium, to watch "Cosmic Collisions", which I highly suggest, though it's pricey (we spent over $40 on tickets for the whole family to view it). I had no idea the magnetic forces on earth repel solar flares from the sun. Fascinating. T's review is slightly more basic "the ceiling lights up mommy. look!"

After the show, we spent a lot of time in the planets exhibition, where we learned that Jupiter is 2.5x as massive as all the other planets in the solar system combined, which means basically every solar system diagram I've ever seen is drastically wrong - just like we make Africa look unrealistically small on world maps, we make the other planets look ridiculously small on maps of the solar system.

After our planetary explorations, we went downstairs and let the kids loose to explore various spacecraft. On the way, we passed the gift store and we couldn't possibly say no to NASA Barbies (another $45 spent). Finally, we returned to our $22 for the day parking garage. Over $100 poorer, but so much more knowledgable, we returned from the "free museum."

I haven't been to the Air and Space museum much since we've lived in DC, but now that the kids are older I could see us going here quite a bit. All three kids loved it and seemed fascinated by everything they came across. Regarding food, there's a McDonalds on site and the American Indian Museum's wonderful Mitsitam cafe resides next door.



I wish more Barbies like this existed. Rather than "fashionista" Barbies and "math is dumb" Barbies. Though I find it interesting that Barbie must still wear heels during space travel.

1 comment:

  1. My mom works for NASA, so growing up, I was fascinated with space, too. I never quite grew out of it, so Air and Space is one of my all-time faves.

    I love Astronaut Barbie's hipster topknot. Even in space, one must be fabulous.



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