Discover why Washington D.C. is  a great place for a family vacation.


Washington, DC really does have some amazing places to visit with kids. My daughter and I were reminded of that this week when we visited the Butterfly Pavilion at the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History.

On the second floor of the museum is a butterfly exhibit and for a small fee (adults $6 and kids $5) you can walk through a butterfly pavilion. The pavilion looks like a giant bubble and is about 10 yards long. In it is a tropical garden filled with dozens of varieties of butterflies. You will see them flying everywhere, but you are also able to get a good look at them as they stop to taste a flower or fruit that has been left out for them.

I was lucky and made a friend who I carried around on my shoulder the entire time I was in the pavilion. As you leave there are huge mirrors so you can check to make sure no butterflies are hitching a ride and trying to make a break for it.

After walking through the butterfly exhibit we explored the insect exhibit. Butterflies or insects, one will surely interest your child. We were “lucky” enough to run into a Smithsonian scientist who had some bugs you could hold. Now I am from South Carolina and I’m used to large cockroaches, but I had never seen a cockroach this big. Yuck!

It was a really fun afternoon. We had visited the museum before, but these exhibits were new for both of us. That’s the great thing about the Smithsonian museums, they are free so you don’t feel as if you have to conquer the entire museum in one visit.

  • Location: 10th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW
  • Metro: Smithsonian Stop on the Blue/Orange Line
  • Hours: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Tickets: Timed tickets (every 15 minutes) are sold in advance on the website or can be purchased outside of the exhibit on the 2nd floor of the museum. Adults – $6.00 Children (2-12) – $5.00. **On Tuesdays the exhibit is FREE**

1 Comment

  • Comment by Dana Harris — January 31, 2013 @ 3:13 pm

    This is such a great post! A DC resident for over 14 years and the parent of two daughters, I am always discovering—or re-discovering–new ideas on this site. I am consistently forwarding the link to this site to other parents both here and afar, so keep these great posts coming!

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