Places to Go - Madame Tussauds (Washington DC)


The problem with Groupon is that though I'm always SO EXCITED when one comes up for something I've wanted to try, after I purchase it weeks pass and what seemed like a fantastic adventure becomes just another obligation. Two weeks ago we realized that our half-price deal for Madame Tussauds was about to expire, so, despite having tired children and feeling somewhat exhausted ourselves from hosting a neighborhood solstice party the night before, we rallied.

On the upside, Madame Tussauds was a pretty cool place for learning about US History. Each and every one of the US Presidents has been recreated in wax, and next to each statue a wall plaque lists highlights from each administration (several touch screen computers also help you learn more about them). Odd to see how tall/short some of these famous men were, also somewhat overwhelming to realize HOW MANY presidents have come and gone. Interspersed with our nation's leaders are certain key historical figures and a few interactive displays (T, in particular, loved wearing a helmet and practicing trench warfare). I found the whole thing somewhat impressive, but the children mostly ran from room to room (in order to get your money's worth, I'd suggest going with children 8 or older).

While I found the life-like-ness of the statues both creepy and amazing (seriously, I kept touching them to see if they'd move), P complained that she "thought we were going to a wax museum." So I replied, "but this is a wax museum, honey, that's what is so impressive, all these people are actually made of wax." To which P replied, "I know but that's SO BORING, I thought they'd be all white and ghost-like, like candles. These statues look like real people. And real people are boring." Um, apparently my children are hard to impress.

The museum is pretty small, so it didn't take long to reach the celebrity section. I thought my kids would find this awesome, but, unfortunately they didn't recognize a single celebrity (how is this possible? I subscribe to US Weekly). Brad Pitt, Britney Spears, Tom Cruise, THE BEATLES, Rihanna - Nada. Massive failure. But fortunately, just when I realized that my kids have no pop culture knowledge (where was Katie Perry? I NEEDED Katie Perry), T found Stephen Colbert. All of a sudden they started yelling, "daddy, daddy, he's here!! That guy you love! He's HERE!!". As you can tell, Stephen is sort of a BIG DEAL in our house.

The museum ends in a candy store, which made me cranky. Admission was pricey enough (even at 50% off), I didn't feel up to a battle over sugary souvenirs. And when I say candy store, I don't just mean a few chocolate bars, I mean a decently-sized bulk-candy store. Ugh.

All in all, a fun (though small) place to learn about history (though probably best for older kids), so if you're looking for a unique way to celebrate the 4th, this might be it. Admission costs vary, click here for the info (apparently, if you're local to the DC area, online admission is always 50% off, WTF Groupon??).

Whatever your plans are for the 4th, I hope you have a wonderful holiday!!


T became a soldier, P became president, and F bonded with the founder of the girl scouts (despite not being a girl scout herself).


T and I landed on the moon for awhile. We're cool like that.


T had no interest in Lincoln, but Stephen Colbert was quite a big deal.


  1. aren't they awesome? the kids were cracking me up.

  2. OH YES!!!!!!!!! Stephen Colbert!!! That's who I would be exited about too :)



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