We are so fortunate to live close to the Smithsonian Museums in Washington, DC. If you haven’t been, they are totally free and totally awesome. In the Museum of Natural History, one of the main exhibits is the “Ocean Hall” where you can learn all about the ocean and the creatures who live there.
For this particular field trip, we didn’t have a lot of time to spend, but because the museum is free, I stop by anytime we are in the area, and can find parking. (pro-tip: there is almost always a spot on the street right on the back of the building. It’s a 2-hour limit, coin operated meter, but if you live close, you can’t beat the location or price!).
The ocean hall is huge, and it has the coolest whale skeleton hanging from the roof. The kids LOVE walking into the room and looking up to see how large they are.
I think my favorite part is the giant Jellyfish (I do love me some Jellys!). The kids though had their own favorites. Mr. Man was fascinated by the Sea Shells, and Bug loved the aquarium. I want to tell you that we did a ton of super awesome educational stuff, and I built on our adventure with awesome, creative lessons, but nope. Sometimes you just go to the Smithsonian without ANY prep and rely on the kids to read and learn without any guidance. Mama needs an off day every now and then, and the museum is PERFECT for that!
What you really need to know about the Smithsonian is that they have AMAZING educational resources for free that you can use at home (even if you never make it out to the museum). Check out the free resources for educators here.
Next time we go back, I am determined to make more time (probably by metro-ing in instead so we don’t have to rush in and out!) and we’re going to bring the family guide to make the most out of the experience.
Other things for you to check out from the Smithsonian: