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Best DC Area Museums Worth Paying to Visit

Best DC Area Museums Worth Paying to Visit

The DC Area has some of the best museums in the country. DC may be known for many of the free Smithsonian museums, but there are some that are worth spending a little cash on. Check out our Best Of list below and add them to your bucket list for the year!

1238 Maryland Ave SW
Washington, DC 20024
Walking into the Artechouse is like entering into an underground world of art. It’s where art meets technology and the two offer a mind-blowing experience that we haven’t seen anywhere else. There are new installments every couple of months and they even have after hour time slots for adults.

College Park Aviation Museum
1985 Corporal Frank Scott Drive
College Park, MD 20740
We recently visited the College Park Aviation Museum and had a blast. There are many areas for kids to play make-believe and pretend they taking off on a true voyage. It is the world’s oldest continuously operating airport, founded in 1909 when Wilbur Wright came to give flight instruction to the first military aviators. Admission is cheap ranging from $2-5 and the gift shop is super affordable, so everyone can leave with memorabilia.

National Geographic Museum
1145 17th St NW
Washington, DC 20036
Nat Geo is known for exposing the world to history, nature and animals. Here you will find a wide range of changing exhibitions, interactive experiences, amazing photography exhibitions, you will see the works from scientist, historians and photographers. Check regularly for new exhibitions.

The National Building Museum 
401 F Street NW
Washington, DC 20001
The Building Museum presents children with a hands-on introduction to the building. In the Building Zone, little ones, ages 2–6, can build towers and brick walls, read a book in the Book Nook, drive bulldozers and other construction play trucks, get in costume and explore a life-size custom-built “green” house. Children can also visit the Play-Work-Build interactive exhibit featuring a hands on play area and a digital interactive wall that allows kids to fill the wall with virtual blocks and then knock them down. (Special Offer – Federal employees receive free admission by showing their federal badges at the admissions desk during the government shutdown.)

555 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC, 20001
Extra, extra, read all about everything at the Newseum. If there was a story in the newspaper, you can find it here! Kids will get a kick out of the interactive displays, 15 galleries and 15 theaters. Exhibits include the 9/11 Gallery Sponsored by Comcast, displaying the broadcast antennae from the top of the World Trade Center.  (Special Offer – Receive a 15% discount on all general admission tickets purchased online. Federal employees can receive FREE admission during the government shutdown by showing their badge in person at the admissions desk.)

International Spy Museum
700 L’Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington DC
If you ever wanted to know anything about the world of espionage, this is the place to be. Your family will be faced with a game challenge as soon as you get off the elevator. It will be time to put your skills to the test by finding all the clues, learn about some really cool people and gadgets and maybe even decode a bomb all in one visit.  The museum has moved from F Street to L’Enfant Plaza so we’re excited to visit the new location

Madame Tussads
1001 F Street, NW
Washington, DC 20004
Come see some of your favorite celebrities in wax at Madame Tussads from Barack Obama to Taylor Swift. Bring cameras and be picture ready! Don’t forget to get your hand waxed before you leave.  (Special Offer – Federal employees can receive FREE admission during the government shutdown by showing their badge in person at the admissions desk.)


What are some of your favorite DC area museums?

Photo Cred: Spy Museum