Like many kids in the DC-metro area, mine are regulars at several Smithsonian museums. When it’s just an easy metro ride or scenic stroll away, it’s hard not to take advantage of opportunities to explore the permanent collections, traveling exhibits, and special events that perpetually fascinate and entertain. Of course, the free admission is also a huge part of the appeal, too; even if we can only pop in for hour, it’s worth it.
However, as much time as we spend on the Mall, we always seem to visit the same few museums, and if you’ve read any previous posts about my kids, you can probably guess which. But one that we don’t really visit beyond the cool fountains outside is the National Museum of the American Indian. We’ve been, but I found many exhibits involved quite a bit of reading (which my kids don’t do yet), and let’s face it: most little ones really like the big in-your-face displays like dino skeletons and towering rockets.
That said, the kids do get into the more “subtle” exhibits when there are hands-on activities and live entertainment to help bring the displays to life. And that’s just will be happening at the Museum of the American Indian this weekend. On Saturday and Sunday, November 6 & 7, the Harvest Festival is the featured event of the Smithsonian’s celebration of American Indian Heritage Month. From 10:30am – 4:30pm both days, the event will explore the ways that Native communities throughout the Americas celebrate the harvest. Guests can enjoy harvest-related dance and theater performances, hands-on activities, and cooking and craft demonstrations. Even with all the extras, admission is still free. So, if you can only pop in for an hour, it’ still worth it.
The National Museum of the American Indian is located at 4th and Independence Avenue SW on the National Mall. L’Enfant Plaza, on the Blue/Orange/Green/Yellow lines, is the closest Metro stop.