Tag Archives: National Museum of Natural History

Giveaway! See Amazon Adventure 3D at the National Museum of Natural History


Amazon Adventure 3D tells the epic, true story of explorer Henry Bates’ fascinating 11-year journey through the visually stunning and biodiverse Amazon rainforest as a young man who risks his life for science in the 1850’s.

As in any great detective story, audiences will experience, in immersive IMAX®, the compelling clues Bates unearths in his major discovery of the phenomenon of mimicry, whereby certain animals adopt the look of others that helps them deceive predators and gain an advantage to survive.

Little known to the public, Bates made other crucial contributions to biology: identifying 8,000 species new to science and, most importantly, putting the first ever case for the creation of a new species, which Charles Darwin called the “beautiful proof” for Natural Selection.

Audiences will be wowed by the mind-boggling examples of camouflage and mimicry and inspired by Bates’ endless curiosity and determination to explore the wilds of nature from the time he was a young boy.

Amazon Adventures 3D is playing at the Johnson IMAX Theater in the National Museum of Natural History. Running time is 45 minutes. Tickets are available online or at the Box Office located on the main floor of the museum.

Giveaway: For a chance to win a Family 4-Pack of tickets to see Amazon Adventures 3D at the Johnson IMAX Theatre (tickets must be used by June 1, 2017), simply leave a comment below or on the KidFriendly DC Facebook (enter on both for two shots at winning) page naming your child’s favorite Amazonian creature. This giveaway will run through April 28, then a winner will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!

This post is sponsored by Smithsonian Enterprises, however, I only promote programs, places, and services that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.


Filed under 2017, DC, Educational, Giveaway, Movies, Museums, Nature, Sponsored Post, Ticket Giveaway, Weekdays, Weekend

Enter to Win Tickets to National Parks Adventure 3D!


National Parks Adventure 3D is the latest film to hit the big screen at the National History Museum’s Johnson IMAX Theater. And I have two 4-Packs of tickets to see it up for grabs.

Explore the wilds of America and celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service in this giant screen film as big as the outdoors. National Parks Adventure, narrated by Robert Redford, is an adventure for the whole family. Join world-class mountaineer Conrad Anker, adventure photographer Max Lowe, and artist Rachel Pohl as they hike, climb, and explore their way across America’s most pristine parks in an action-packed expedition that will inspire the adventurer in us all.

National Parks Adventure is an awe-inspiring visual and musical journey that reminds us of America’s great natural heritage. Immersive IMAX® 3D cinematography takes viewers soaring over red rock canyons, hurtling up craggy mountain peaks and into other-worldly realms found within America’s most legendary outdoor playgrounds, including Yellowstone, Glacier National Park, Yosemite, and Arches.

I caught a screening of the film a few weeks ago, and for the full 45 minutes, was completely immersed in the spectacular scenery and thrilling adventure. We soared through Yosemite, walked among the giant redwoods of Muir Woods, scaled rock faces in Arches, and climbed ice walls in Glacier as we explored the beauty and history of the nation’s protected lands. It’s a magnificent journey sure to captivate viewers of all ages.

National Parks Adventure 3D is playing at the Samuel C. Johnson IMAX Theater at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Tickets are $9/adult and $7.50/ages 2-12, and can be purchased online at or at the IMAX box office located in the Museum. View showtimes here.

Giveaway: For a chance to win a 4-Pack of tickets to see National Parks Adventure 3D, simply leave a comment below telling me your favorite National Park or one you’d most like to visit. To be eligible, you must follow KidFriendly DC on Facebook and subscribe to the blog (sign up on the left). There will be two 4-Pack giveaways, the first will run through March 3, and the second through March 10. After the end of each, a winner will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Smithsonian Entertprises, however, I only promote programs, products, and services that I truly believe in and/or think would appeal to KFDC readers.


Filed under All ages, DC, Educational, Giveaway, Movies, Museums, Nature, Sponsored Post, Spring, Weekdays, Weekend, Winter

Giveaway: Discover “Mysteries of the Unseen World” at the Natural History Museum


A brand new IMAX movie is opening at the National Museum of Natural History this Friday, September 26, and after catching a sneak preview of it last week, and I vouch that it’s quite a fascinating film. Even better, I have four tickets to see it ready to give away to one lucky winner.

A microscopic look at pond bubbles

A microscopic look at pond bubbles

Mysteries of the Unseen World is an extraordinary visual journey into dimensions not perceptible to the naked eye. Through the film’s innovative use of high-speed and time-lapse photography, electron microscopy, and nanotechnology, viewers finally get a close-up look at some of the most minute particles of our universe and existence. Here’s more about the film from National Geographic:

Scientists are on the threshold of extraordinary advances born of our drive to see all that is hidden in the world around us. Each day, trail-blazing researchers are pushing the envelope with new technologies to peer with increasing clarity into these once-invisible dimensions. A new 3D/2D giant screen film takes audiences on an extraordinary journey into these unseen worlds beyond our normal vision to uncover the mysteries of things that are too fast, too slow, too small or simply invisible.

Audiences peer into unseen dimensions once reserved only for scientists to see a whole new universe of wondrous nature, daily events that escape the naked eye, and secrets crucial to our survival. The discoveries portrayed in the film are culled from those happening today in laboratories around the world, where existing and emerging technologies are yielding exciting new images of long-hidden worlds.

Clovermite gets a close-up

Clovermite gets a close-up

Mysteries of the Unseen World will be playing at the National Museum of Natural History’s Johnson IMAX Threatre through March 10, 2015. Showtimes vary, and tickets are $9.

GIVEAWAY: For a chance to win 4 tickets to see Mysteries of the Unseen World, simply leave a comment below telling me your child’s or your favorite IMAX film that you’ve seen at one of the Smithsonian theatres. To be eligible, you must also like KidFriendly DC on Facebook. This is a quick giveaway that will only run through tomorrow, Thursday, September 25, so get your entries in soon! Good luck!


Filed under DC, Educational, Giveaway, Museums, Weekdays, Weekend

Get Q?rius at the Natural History Museum

So much to discover at Q?rius

So much to discover at Q?rius

As if the National Museum of Natural History wasn’t fascinating enough for kids (and adults) already, a new addition to its amazing spectrum of offerings brings a whole new level of intrigue and exploration.

Q?rius is an interactive and experimental learning space that just opened in December. I’d heard about, but because it was promoted as a place for teens, the kids (ages 5 and almost 8) and I took our time getting over there to check it out. But if I’d had known just how awesome it was — and just how much younger children would think so, too — we’d have gone much sooner.


Q?rius is like lab for visitors, letting young guests feel like real scientists. They can view up close – and in many cases handle – artifacts and specimens from the museum’s collections as they “make sense of the connections between nature, the planet, the universe, and their lives.”


Guess the insect scent!

Guess the insect scent!

Microscopes offer a detailed look at different materials from the natural world. There’s a station that has you guess the scents of various insects and another that lets you listen to their sounds. You can test your knowledge of the exhibits on computers and keep track of your progress with “passports” provided by the museum.



But the area that kept the kids busiest was the “Collections Zone.” The first thing you notice are all kinds of specimens — everything from insects to birds to marine life to fossils — on display both behind glass and right on the counter tops for touching. However, it’s the drawers below them that are the big, well, draw. Full of everything from animals species to cultural relics, many of the objects cataloged in them are accessible for examination. On top of that, there is a special process for handling them that further adds to the lab-like experience.


Real (but not alive) animals are part of the collection

Real (but not alive) animals are part of the collection

Happy to discover where the dolls live

Happy to discover where the dolls live

It works like this: Each object is packaged in a box with a clear, plastic lid, so you can see it. They are all tagged with a green, yellow, or red label. Green means you can take out the item from both the drawer and the box for a full examination. Yellow means you need to ask a volunteer for help with the item. Red means you can look, but not touch, not even with the help of a volunteer. Every tag has a QR code that can be scanned at any of the computers for details and general background information about the object — it will all appear in a window on the screen. Every object is cataloged with a number that correlates to a drawer, and a space in the drawer, so you know exactly where it goes. In some, outlines of the boxes even help you fit them in correctly.



She could have examined her fingers for hours

She could have examined her fingers for hours

The process itself is very appealing for all ages. The kids really liked mastering the steps and feeling like they could navigate the lab on their own. And I personally found the precise organization of it all extremely satisfying, kind of an OCD soother (if only someone could come set up my house like that!).


There’s even more beyond — and above — that area. A room with glass walls houses a geology area where you can view demos of how rock formations evolve over millions of years and other interesting exhibits about earth science. Upstairs, overlooking the space below, is a loft with seating, tables, and thick columns that you can write and draw on with dry erase markers.


Finally, I have to mention the volunteers. You can’t miss them all around the exhibit wearing beige vests, greeting guests, answering questions, demonstrating how to use the interactives and investigate the collections. All friendly and extremely helpful.

Something to note are the hours: Q?rius is only open 2-5pm on weekdays, but 10am – 5pm on weekends. It’s located on the first floor of the museum, just past the Constitution Ave entrance to the right. We went for an after school outing, and on a weekend to explore even more — all within a span of three days.

And while it’s promoted as a place for teens and tweens, younger children definitely can enjoy it, too. Owen, Sasha, and their friends are proof of that. But if it turns out your kids aren’t quite into it, there’s always the rest of the Natural History Museum.

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Filed under DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Gradeschoolers, Museums, Nature, Ongoing, Preteens, Teens, Weekdays, Weekend

Become a Butterfly Spotter at the National Museum of Natural History

A peek inside the Butterfly Pavilion


I know all about the butterfly obsession.  I blogged about Sasha’s love of them this past summer and can vouch that her passion for the pretty insects is still going strong.  In fact, I sent her off to school today in one of her many butterfly shirts, jeans embroidered with a butterflies, and boots adorned with brilliant butterfly designs on the front.

When we visit the National Museum of Natural History, she always begs to visit the Butterfly Pavilion — sometimes we do, sometimes we don’t. After all, it’s one of the few among the Smithsonian offerings that requires an entrance fee ($5/person), and there are a lot of other great exhibits to view for free.

So, I am really excited to learn about the Museum’s new Butterfly Spotter Membership Program.  For $20, members get unlimited admission to the Butterfly Pavilion, a ticket to see “Flight of the Butterflies 3D” at the Johnson IMAX Theater (regularly $9), and 10% off purchases at any Natural History Museum store. If you do the math, this is a fantastic deal, especially for museum-goers who adore butterflies like my little girl.  It should be noted that the membership is valid through March 2013, plenty of time to take advantage of the great indoor activity this winter.  Not to mention you can buy them just in time to give as holiday presents!


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Filed under All ages, DC, Deal, Educational, Exhibit, Holidays, Museums, Winter