AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY AND CULTURE MUSEUM New LEED edifice of glass wrapped in bronze-toned metal panels evoking a Yoruban crown and ironwork crafted in U. S. by “invisible” slaves. Artifacts tracing the African-American experience (slave cabin, Emmett Till’s casket, Chuck Berry’s red Cadillac). Oprah Winfrey Theater, Contemplative Court. “More Than a Picture,” 150 photos highlighting the Civil Rights Movement, Civil War and African-American women and children, ongoing. Cafe,
gift shop. Timed- entry passes required. Same- day passes available online at 6:30 a.m. daily and from Visitor Services at 1 p.m. weekdays (Madison Drive entrance). Advanced passes released monthly, three months out (check website for September passes.). Daily 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. 1400 Constitution Ave. NW, 844.750.3012 Metro: Smithsonian
AIR AND SPACE MUSEUM
World’s largest collection of aircraft and space vehicles (Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis, Bell X-1, 1903 Wright Flyer). Renovated Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall with Apollo Lunar Module and Enterprise Federation studio model from “Star Trek” television series. Interactive kiosks. At Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater and Albert Einstein Planetarium, aviation and space-related shows daily from 10:30 a.m. New Pulseworks VR Transporter ride with visitors playing astronaut in a virtual reality adventure on the International Space Station, complete with motion effects. Daily 10 a.m.5:30 p.m. Tours 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. IMAX and planetarium shows: $9, seniors $8, children $7.50. Pulseworks VR Transporter: $12. Gift shop, food court. 6th St. & Independence Ave. SW, 202.633.2214 Metro: L’Enfant Plaza
AIR AND SPACE MUSEUM UDVAR- HAZY CENTER
Hangar-like facility near Dulles International Airport displaying 160-plus aircraft. The Enola Gay (first to drop an atomic bomb), F- 4 Phantom, space shuttle Discovery and Sky Baby, at one time, the world’s smallest aircraft.
Ongoing: “Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye!,” iconic toys and props from the Paramount/Dreamworks film “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.” Daily 10 a.m.5:30 p.m. IMAX theater, flight simulations. IMAX tickets: $9, seniors $8, children (212) $7.50. Theater info: 866.868.7774. Parking ($15) or frequent shuttle between Dulles Airport and museum. 14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway, Chantilly, Va., 202.633.1000
AMERICAN HISTORY MUSEUM
National repository of cultural, scientific and technological heritage. Thomas Jefferson’s desk, Woolworth lunch counter where the “Greensboro Four” began the 1960 protest, a piece of Plymouth Rock. The Star-Spangled Banner gallery holds the restored flag.
Ongoing: “The First Ladies,” gowns, memorabilia from presidencies past. “Within These Walls...,” a Georgianstyle two-story home telling the stories of five families who lived there over 200 years. Daily 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Gift shops, ice cream parlor, cafeteria. 14th St. & Constitution, 202.633.1000 Metro: Smithsonian
AMERICAN INDIAN MUSEUM
Curvilinear building of golden-hued limestone faces the rising sun, in keeping with Native American traditions. Tribal exhibitions. “Patriot Nations: Native Americans in Our Nation’s Armed Forces,” highlighting contributions of American Indians from the Revolutionary War to today’s conflicts, ongoing. Daily 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Gift shops, two theaters, cafe. 4th St. & Independence Ave. SW, 202.633.1000 Metro: L’Enfant Plaza
The first Smithsonian building with info center, James Smithson’s crypt, samples from the collection.
Ongoing: “Welcome to Your Smithsonian,” an overview of the institution’s history, research, role in American culture; “The Earliest Known Photograph of the Castle,” an 1850 shot of the building under construction; “Views
from the Tall Tower,” how Washington’s skyline has changed since 1863. Cafe. Daily 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Haupt Garden (south side) daily 6:30 a.m.- dusk. 1000 Jefferson Drive SW, 202.633.1000 Metro: Smithsonian
NATIONAL POSTAL MUSEUM
Former main post office, now museum of postal artifacts, stamps, multimedia stations, exhibits. “PostSecret: The Power of a Postcard,” secrets confessed in more than 500 artfully designed cards from around the world; “1856 British Guiana One- Cent Magenta,” the world’s rarest stamp, now owned by shoe designer Stuart Weitzman,
both ongoing. Daily 10 a.m.5:30 p.m. Workshops, welcome center, gift shop, post office. 2 Massachusetts Ave. NE, 202.633.1000 Metro: Union Station
Founded in 1889, a 163-acre zoo with more than 2,000 animals like giant pandas Tian Tian and Mei Xiang plus male cub Bei Bei. Elephant Trails exhibit with wooded exercise trek. Asia Trail with giant sloths, clouded leopards. American Trail with sea otters, seals. Solar-powered carousel ($3). Exhibit buildings daily 9 a.m.- 6 p.m., grounds 8 a.m.7 p.m., visitor center 9 a.m.6 p.m., shops/dining 9 a.m.5 p.m. Last admittance 6 p.m. Free entry, parking $22. 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW, 202.673.4888 Metro: Cleveland Park (downhill to zoo) or Woodley Park-Zoo (uphill to zoo)
NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM
Exhibits track the natural world since prehistoric time (anthropology to zoology). In the Rotunda, taxidermic African elephant Henry stars in a replica Angolan habitat. Hall of Geology, Gems and Minerals for Hope Diamond. Butterfly Pavilion ($6, $5.50 seniors, $5 children; Tues. free, timed- entry tickets required). “Q?rius,” 10,000-square-foot learning center for teens. “The REX Room,” where conservationists work out of sight on “Nation’s T. Rex,” the real specimen to star in a renovated National Fossil Hall, opening 2019. Daily 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. IMAX theater ($8, seniors/ children $6.50). Cafe and gift shop. Constitution Ave. at 10th St. NW, 202.633.1000 Metro: Federal Triangle or Smithsonian