It’s certainly not news that Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the new installment of one of cinema’s truly legendary franchises, is in theaters and breaking records at the box office. Thirty years after defeating the Galactic Empire, Han Solo and his allies have returned to the big screen, facing a new threat from the evil Kylo Ren and his army of Stormtroopers. Make that the really big screen at the National Air and Space Museum’s Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater and the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center’s Airbus IMAX Theater.
If you haven’t seen the film yet — or if you have and are ready for a repeat — Smithsonian’s IMAX theaters are easily among the best places in the area to view them. Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams shot key sequences of the movie using IMAX cameras, the highest-resolution cameras in the world. Only in IMAX theaters will these sequences expand vertically to fill the entire screen with breathtaking image quality for a truly immersive experience. (Plus, Star Wars in the museums that showcase space!)
Both Smithsonian IMAX theaters offer several showtimes daily. Tickets are $15/adult, $13.50/youth and can be purchased online (a service fee applies) or at the Box Office.
National Air and Space Museum
6th and Independence Ave, Washington, DC
Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater
Playing in 15/70 mm IMAX 2D Film
Last show January 10th, 2016
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center*
14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway, Chantilly, VA
Airbus IMAX Theater
Playing in IMAX 3D with Laser
Last show January 28th, 2016
*Free parking free after 4pm
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Smithsonian Enterprises, however, I only promote programs, products, and services that I truly believe in and/or think would appeal to KFDC readers.
Creating American Indian-inspired art at imagiNATIONS
Tuesday – See an amazing collection of model ships, peer into a real periscope, sit in the gun seats of old fighter planes, view naval artifacts hundreds of years old, and much more at the U.S. Navy Museum. Located on the Navy base in southeast DC, it’s a treasure trove of fascinating exhibits. Hours are 9am – 5pm. Admission is free. (I recommend calling ahead to make sure it’s open in the case of inclement weather: 202.433.6826.)
Wednesday – See a show especially for little ones – midweek Tiny Tots are back at The Puppet Co. The lights stay on, and doors remain open during these performances for the youngest audiences. Old McDonald’s Farm is this week’s production. Showtime is 10am. Tickets are $5 for everyone, including babies.
Studying an interesting work at the American Art Museum
Monday – Celebrate New Year’s Eve at one of several events around town that not only welcome kids, but in most cases, center around them. See this post for a list of family-friendly options to ring in 2013.
Wednesday – As the temps dip, stay warm and entertained at an IMAX movie. You’ve got your choice of several playing right now: Dinosaurs 3D, Flight of the Butterflies 3D, Coral Reef Adventure, Flying Monsters 3D, and To the Artic 3D are all playing at Natural History Museum’s Johnson IMAX Theatre (we’ve seen the last three and enjoyed them all!). And the Air & Space Museum’s Lockheed Martin IMAX Theatre presents Air Racer 3D, Hubble 3D, Space Junk 3D, and To Fly! Both are also showing The Hobbit. Be sure to check schedules for showtimes.
Thursday – Take the kids to shop at the market, bake in the kitchen, visit the pet store, and do some art projects — all possibilities in the Playseum’s various themed rooms and crafts areas. Locations are in Bethesda and Capitol Hill. Admission is $6/person (siblings under 10 months are free) and is good for the whole day. And lest you think it’s too young for older kids home on winter break, the Bethesda location has opened the Playseum Upstairs, which caters to tweens and teens, and also has special activities for 8-12 year-olds during the holiday season. Admission is $10/person or bring a friend for $7 each.
Friday – Explore a Smithsonian Museum off the National Mall. The American Art Museum, located in Penn Quarter, showcases works that all ages can appreciate. The contemporary collection on the third floor includes many unique pieces that will intrigue even the youngest art buffs. Hours are 11:30am – 7pm. Admission is free.
Last week I posted about a couple of the wonderful exhibits currently on display at the National Geographic Museum. What I didn’t mention is that the experiences there go beyond the rooms full of fascinating installations, fun interactives, and stunning imagery.
One of those experiences in “Sea Monsters 3D,” Nat Geo’s giant-screen film that takes audiences on a remarkable journey into the relatively unexplored world of the “other dinosaurs” — those reptiles that lived beneath the water.
The film plays in the Grosvenor Auditorium every Sunday at 1pm and 3pm, as well as on Saturdays during holiday weekends (that includes this coming weekend!). Tickets are $5 for just the film or $10 for the film and admission to the exhibits.
Giveaway: I have a couple of sets of vouchers to see the film — a pair and a three-pack — up for grabs that must be redeemed THIS WEEKEND. To enter for a chance to win them, simply leave a comment below. To be eligible, you must like KidFriendly DC on Facebook and follow on Twitter (let me know you did). A winner will be drawn at random TONIGHT, so I can get the tickets out in time to use this Saturday or Sunday.