Mind Tricks & More Fun at the Museum of Illusions


When the Museum of Illusions opened at CityCenter DC back in December, I thought it was just a quick pop-up, a temporary experience that would only be here through the holiday season, so I didn’t make it a huge priority to go.  I’ve since learned that it’s here indefinitely, so when my friend Jen from Kid Up and Go asked me to join her on a visit recently, I was excited to check it out.

Who’s big, who’s little?

The museum calls itself an “edutainment destination” and fittingly so.  The many installations and exhibits throughout the multi-room space trick and test the mind in ways that are fun and illuminating.  Not only are the illusions cool to see and interact with, they play with perspective, sometimes require problem solving, and spark curiosity about how they work. And you can learn all about them from signs with explanations and staff who are on hand to answer any questions.

Moving pictures?

Everything in the museum is interactive in some way, whether you’re staring at pictures to watch them “move,” standing within an exhibit to feel its effects, solving some kind of puzzle, or placing yourself just so to create an illusional scene.  There are purely visual exhibits, elements that require hands-on activity, whole immersive rooms, and fun optical illusion photo ops.  The images in this post offer a glimpse, but there are so many more!

Just hangin’ in the Metro

It’s completely engaging, and you can explore it all as slowly or quickly as you like, though the museum’s website says visits last about 45-60 minutes.  We spent about an hour in the museum, and that was enough time to check out everything there.

A kaleidoscope of… me 😃

Unlike many DC museums, there is an admission fee for ages 5 and up to visit the Museum of Illusions.  But if you’re looking for something unique and fun to do, this mind-bending experience is a good bet.

Wonder what they’re holding 😉


Museum of Illusions
Where: 927 H Street NW | CityCenter DC
When: Sun–Thurs, 10am – 8pm | Fri & Sat, 10am – 9pm
Admission: $23.50/13+, $18.95/age 5-12, free/4 & under


Puzzles…to try and to buy



Filed under 2023, DC, Museums

7 Responses to Mind Tricks & More Fun at the Museum of Illusions

  1. Kelly

    Would this be a good exhibit for kids? Thanks!

  2. Jeannie

    How long does it take to go through the museum? Trying to plan a Girl Scout Trip from NY to DC and would love to stop in before we go to our hotel to settle in for the night. Thank you!

  3. Do you think a 5.8 year old and a 7.6 year old would have fun there? We are only in D.C. between Christmas Day and New Year Day and don’t know if this would be a good place to visit. It seems like the big museums (Natural History, Air and Space, etc) might be super crowded. Any advice would be appreciated.

    • Linda @ KidFriendly DC

      Hi! I think it could be fun for those ages, but I’d recommend a few others first: They will love Planet Word (and it’s free), and for a Smithsonian off the beaten path, the Postal Museum is great for kids. Natural History and Air & Space are worth a try… if you find them crowded, it’s still nice to walk around the Mall and pop into other museums that may be less crowded. Have fun!

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