Smithsonian Museums in Washington, D.C.
“If it has the Smithsonian logo, you just know that it’s good.”
Smithsonian Museums live by a standard of quality few other organizations or institutions prostrate under. A checklist of control and high perfection and genuine love for the best — that sets a high-water mark that constantly shames its peers. If museums were theme parks and rollercoasters free-for-all, then Smithsonians are nothing short of Disneyland while the rest fight tooth and nail for the blue ribbon at a carnival.
That’s an honest to God truth that you can bank on. The sort of fact that will have spinners of quotes debating whether or not to add a new addendum on a very old adage. “The only thing in life you can count on is death and taxes… And that Smithsonian museums rock!”
Let that really grab hold of your cerebral cortex, let that factoid sink in. Now, comes the wallop that will have you running for the airline ticket counter and spurring your wife to pack the bags. This magical kingdom of entertainment, this almost sorcery like mix of entertainment and education, this quality control “yes, take that China and your Universal studios”, this miasma of quite possibly the best of the best, will cost you absolutely nothing. Not a dime, not one cent, not even your dignity. Each and every one of these museums, that stand under the umbrella shade of the Smithsonian powerhouse, is mythically on the federal budget. In layman’s term, they are GRATIS, free, on the house.
Mythically I say because Uncle Sam may be fronting the bill, but it’s your tax dollars that are in essence banking his lifestyle.
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Open from 10:00am to 5:30pm, all year-round except on December 25th. On summer, it keeps its lights on and lets the visitors stay up until 7:30pm.
10th St. & Constitution Ave. NW.
If you have a kid, then there is only one thing you really need to know about the various museums. This is the one that will captivate his vision. His attention seized by the equivalent of an event horizon composed of the Avengers, Batman, Spongebob, a nuclear meltdown of Cocoa Puffs and a biohazard attack of sugar high ice cream.
“Why?” You ask. “What treasures does this building hold in its interior?”
“My fine, terminally-accosted family man, you who simply require a modicum of rest and the ever craved minute of silence…this is where the dinosaurs live. Oh, and as an added bonus, they’ve also got the bugs, the mummies and sabretooth tigers.”
The natural museum is basically the kid-friendly gallery Shangri-la. It has everything a boy or a girl could likely want. I’m talking a butterfly habitat. I’m talking about a bug emporium where the curators will come out and actually handle the Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. I’m throwing on the bonfire the amazingly-creative animal dioramas. This is, for lack of a better word, the edifice with the freaking whale and sharks.
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