One of the biggest attractions in Washington D.C., the National Museum of Natural
History is one of the nine Smithsonian Museums and Galleries on the National Mall. Housing
over 120 million objects in its collection, it is considered one of the finest Natural
History Museums in the world. Visitors of all ages will enjoy the exhibits, but those
looking for a quiet, sedate stroll around the displays will be disappointed. Throngs of
people are milling around the Museum, so silence and places to sit are at a premium.
However, as one of the "must see" attractions in D.C., the exhibits are worth
the slight aggravation.
Your tour of the Museum will begin with the mammoth 8-ton, 13-foot African Bull
elephant that fills the entrance. Children will dart into the Dinosaur Hall on the first
floor to see the impressive collection of dinosaur fossils and displays. In the Discovery
Room visitors get to touch objects like petrified wood, rocks, seashells and elephant
The main interactive exhibit is the O. Orkin Insect Zoo. Visitors learn how to handle
over 60 species of insects including tarantulas and dung beetles. Children love to touch
the living exhibits, so plan to spend lots of time there.
The Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems and Minerals is home to some of the
most impressive examples of precious stones in the world. The infamous 45.5 carat Hope
Diamond is on display as well as the Logan Sapphire the largest publicly displayed
sapphire in the country (423 carats).