Tag Archives: National Museum of Natural History

Enter to Win Tickets to National Parks Adventure 3D!

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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.


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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

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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!

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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qrius_collection

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.

qrius_wolf

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.

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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!).

qrius_loft

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.

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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

The Weekend Round-Up: February 11-12

Watching the chocolate making process at last year's "Power of Chocolate" festival

 

This post is going to serve a dual purpose.  Along with my regular list of weekend happenings, I want to make some blog roll shout-outs.  It’s been too long since I’ve done so, plus I’ve got good reason for making special mentions of other local bloggers: I had the lucky pleasure of meeting some of them last night.

I was invited to join a few ladies who pen some of the blogs I follow for dinner and wine (have to note the wine, as the invitation was very specific about drinking wine, which was a good sign), and talk about kids, life, and whatever else the conversation might evolve into after a couple of glasses. Long story short, it was pretty awesome meeting the people behind the blog posts, and it confirmed that my online reading is coming from good places. So, Darcy from No Monsters in My Bed, Shannon from But I Do Have a Law Degree, Rebecca from Not-So-SAHM, and Cath from Constance Reader, thanks for a fabulous night out!

Aaaand… here’s where fun of the family-friendly variety can be found around town over the next few days. Happy Weekend!

Mmm…ChocolateJust in time for the holiday that goes hand-in-hand with the gift of chocolate, the National Museum of the American Indian is hosting their annual “Power of Chocolate” festival. We attended last year and found it to be a treat for everyone, and it sounds like many of the festivities will be repeated: Live food demos, hands-on activities, dances performances, and artisans showcasing their work.  Especially for kids are opportunities to create paper molas, grind cocoa beans to make their own hot chocolate, and sample the tasty treat (while they last).  Some activities require free tickets for timed entry. For specifics, you can download the festival brochure here. This free event is happening on Saturday and Sunday 10am – 4:30pm both days.

Butterfly Birthday BashCelebrate the fourth anniversary of the Butterflies + Plants: Partners in Evolution exhibit at the National Museum of Natural History on Saturday from 1-3pm. There will be special arts and crafts activities for children of all ages, and museum educators will be on hand to talk about about metamorphosis and native butterfly species of our region. This is part of the Second Saturday Arts & Science series, the museum’s monthly program for families. Admission is free.

Super Science SaturdayThe second Saturday of each month is also calendar-marker at the Dulles arm of the Air & Space Museum. Guests are immersed in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics topics related to aviation and space exploration. This month’s theme is Scientists & Inventors.  Admission is free, but parking at the museum is $15.

African American Pioneers in AviationThe Air & Space on the National Mall is hosting it’s own program for guests of all ages on Saturday in honor of Black History Month. The museum’s annual African American Pioneers Day focuses on the accomplishments of the Tuskegee Airmen. Visitors can listen to Tuskegee Airmen and their descendents talk about the challenges and triumphs as members of the groundbreaking African American World War II fighter group.  In addition, the Black Gents of Hollywood will be presenting excerpts of Layon Gray’s off-Broadway play, Black Angels over Tuskegee.  The event also includes hands-on activities, story times, and book signings. The event is from 10am – 3pm, admission is free.

Happy Birthday, Abe! – Ford’s Theatre Society is celebrating Abraham Lincoln’s birthday on Saturday with a free open house featuring a variety of programming and activities. Visitors can attend author discussions, ranger talks and one-act play performances exploring Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War. They can also view the exhibits at the new Center for Education and Leadership, participate in workshops with the Education Department, and enjoy scavenger hunts and prize drawings. The Ford’s Theatre Museum will be open for visits on the hour beginning at 9am. Tickets to the event are free and will be available at the box office beginning at 8:30am that day.

Show Time The theatre is a good place to spend a cold day, and there are several options for live entertainment this weekend.  I highly recommend Peter and the Wolf at The Puppet Co. – read my review of it here. Last I checked there were still tickets available for the 7pm performance of The Snowy Day at Adventure Theatre (though all others are sold out). P. Nokio will be on the Imagination Stage many times throughout the weekend. This week’s Saturday Morning at the National is Theatre IV’s performance of Jack and the Beanstalk. The Wings of Ikarus is still running at The Kennedy Center. And 1st Stage Theatre’s a capella version of Three Bears just opened.  You can find more details and ticket info for all of these productions in this post about winter entertainment.

Stories in ArtThe National Gallery of Art’s drop-in program for kids is back on Sunday, and this time exploring the work of artist Georgia O’Keefe. Encouraging them to see the natural world as the artist did, guests will hear a reading of the book Through Georgia’s Eyes then create watercolor drawings inspired by plants. Sessions are at 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, and 2:30pm. Sign-in takes place in the East Building Atrium, beginning at 11am, and continues until all spaces are filled. Admission is free. Read a KFDC review of the Stories in Art program here.

Tommy’s Traveling Book ClubIn celebration of the 50th anniversary of the children’s book The Snowy Day, DC Councilmember Tommy Wells is leading a special storytime this weekend. Enjoy the free reading of the Ezra Keats classic at Deanwood Libray (1350 49th. Street NE) on Saturday at 10am.  All ages are welcome.

Making Dental Health FunIn celebration of National Children’s Dental Health Month, the National Children’s Museum wants to provide all of the information that children need to keep their teeth healthy and clean! Science experiments will demonstrate how toothpaste works and then attendees can learn how to make their own! Friends from Adventure Dental and Kids Smiles DC will present some fun interactive activities about dental health. And the Tooth Fairy will be making two very special guest appearances at 12:30pm and 2pm for “Tooth Fairy Storytime”! Drop in at the NCM’s Launch Zone for this free event on Saturday 11am – 4pm.

Design a DragonThis month’s Arts for Families program at the Textile Museum is inspired by their newest exhibition Dragons, Nagas and Creatures of the Deep. Guests are invited to make their own dragon paper mola.  Molas are the colorful appliqué panels made by the Kuna people of Panama and Coastal Columbia, two of which are on view in the exhibit. On Saturday from 2-4pm, kids can create a paper mola with scissors, glue, and their wildest imaginations. The free program is recommended for ages 5-12.  No reservations required.

And it looks like this post with even more ideas for indoor fun will prove useful this weekend as well:

Rainy Day Recreation (ie, Indoor Fun)

 

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Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Educational, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Seasonal, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend, Winter