Let me start by saying that this is my favorite Smithsonian, which says a lot because I love all of the Smithsonian National Museums! But there is something really special about the American History Museum. First of all, the artifacts are incredible, like Lincoln’s top hat, General Washington’s actual uniform and the original Star Spangled Banner. More than that is that the exhibits and artifacts are about things that make us who we are – they are part of us as Americans.
If you visit this museum, make sure you have plenty of time, or if you don’t have a lot of time, plan to take your time at one exhibit rather than rush through. My favorite exhibit is the Price of Freedom, which shows all the American wars beginning with the Revolutionary War and taking you right through the war in Iraq. You can spend hours in this exhibit alone.
Another one of my favorite areas is the transportation exhibit called American on the Move. My husband asked me why I like this one so much. I think it’s because of the vastness of this exhibit and the nostalgia that it brings up in me.
Another cool new exhibit that includes Julia Child’s kitchen is the Food exhibit. It’s a new exhibit that talks about the history of food in America including trends, farming and manufacturing of food.
The pop-culture exhibit, American Stories, is really neat. Everything from Kermit the Frog, to the first Apple Computer to a pair of ruby slippers from the Wizard of Oz are all in this exhibit. Lots of fun memories here!
The kids love visiting this museum and it’s been a wonderful hands-on learning tool- especially for my younger son. The 39 Clues series also just had a book centering around some of the artifacts at this museum, and it was fun to see those too!
What’s your favorite museum and why? Let us know in the comments.