to do if you have more than one day in Washington D.C.
The National Zoological Park is one of the world's premiere zoos. A leader in the field
of captive breeding, the National Zoo has rare animals like Hsing-Hsing, the only giant
panda in America. Exhibits like Amazonia, where an entire rainforest ecosystem has been
created, attempt to show animals in their natural setting. The grounds themselves,
designed by Frederick Law Olmstead (who also designed NY's Central Park) are pretty and
well maintained. If you've never been to a major zoo, this is a golden opportunity.
Only a fifteen minute walk from the White House, the headquarters of the
National Geographic Society is filled with interactive displays and presentations that
will bring out your spirit for discovery. Visit Earth Station One, the 72-seat
amphitheater that simulates an orbital flight 23,000 miles above the surface of the
planet, or check out the temporary exhibits in the Explorers Hall.
The Bureau of Engraving and Printing tour is one of the more popular attractions in
Washington. All of the paper currency in America originated in this building, so visitors
can see the presses that print over $450 million a day. Security is tight and there are no
interactive displays, but he tour is still fun. Where else can you see a $1 million stack
of $10 bills, or see how much your height is worth in $100 bills.
National Archives is where visitors to Washington can see some of the original
documents that formed a nation. Some of the documents on display are the Declaration of
Independence, the Constitution, the Louisiana Purchase and the Bill of Rights. The
National Archives also has some historically significant items on display like the rifle
Lee Harvey Oswald used to assassinate President Kennedy. Visitors can trace their family
history in the Archive's genealogy department.
Capital Children's Museum is a hands-on museum filled with activities for children aged 2
- 12. Younger kids can romp around in the City Scenes room, or blow bubbles of every size
and shape in the Bubble room. Older kids will enjoy some of the Capital Children's
Museum's more technical facilities like the computer lab or the animation center,
where kids can create their own cartoon complete with sound effects and
Gallery of Art is Washington's oldest art collection. The main focus is on American Art,
but some European masterpieces by artists like Renoir and Monet are included. The American
collection has examples of 18th century portraiture and The Hudson River School all the
way to the 20th century masters like Stella and Lichtenstein. With over 11,000 works in
it's collection, art enthusiasts will love the Corcoran.