I run into people all the time who say they’ve seen all of the Smithsonian museums in DC and don’t ever need to go back. This is me telling those people, they NEED to give them a second look.
Exhibits are changing all the time. Nineteen exhibits have opened since January 1. A list of new exhibits is kept up by the Smithsonian here.
I’m no museum expert. But I love getting out of the house, people watching at the museums (it’s tourist season y’all) and every once in awhile I run across something previously unseen. There are literally hundreds of thousands of square feet of Smithsonian museums in DC– and no way to see it all on one or two casual visits.
If you plan to head to a museum with a toddler, let me offer a few pieces of advice. First, plan for temper tantrums. For some reason they won’t ever want to leave. Or go. Or walk around without Cheerios in hand. Secondly, bring the snacks (they’ll let you through security with them, you just can’t eat them on the museum floor). Thirdly, one or two museums max. Then it will be time to head to the park for a picnic and to run off some energy.
New Smithsonian Exhibits
African Art Museum
- Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa; Through January 5, 2014
American History Museum
- I want the Wide American Earth: An Asian Pacific American Story; Through June 15
- The National Woman Suffrage Parade, 1913; Through October 2013
- Gymnast Gabrielle Douglas; Indefinitely
American Indian Museum
- Grand Procession: Dollas from the Charles and Valerie Diker Collection; Through January 5, 2014
- Ceramica de los Ancestros: Central America’s Past Revealed; Through February 1, 2015
American Art Gallery
- Pictures in the Parlor; Through June 30, 2013
Freer Gallery of Art
Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden
- Over, Under, Next: Experiments in Mixed Media, 1913 to the Present; Through September 8, 2013
- Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition 2013; Through February 23, 2014
- Bound for Freedom’s Light: African Americans and the Civil War; Through March 2, 2014
- Thomas Day: Master Craftsman and Free Man of Color; Through July 28, 2013
- Nine Deaths, Two Births: Xu Bing’s Phoenix Project; Through September 2, 2013
- Hand-held: Gerhard Pulverer’s Japanese Illustrated Books; Through August 11, 2013
Like Going to a Smithsonian, but Would Rather Be Outdoors?
- Yorktown Battlefield; Where the Revolutionary War was Won
- Historic Jamestowne: A Step Back in Time to the First Permanent European Settlement in the New World
- Fort McHenry: Star-Spangled Inspiration in Baltimore
- Mount Vernon: Tips for Visiting With Toddlers