Taking a Toddler to a Museum

After a brunch with old friends at the surprisingly kid-friendly yet fancy Chef Geoff’s downtown, where our son’s blueberry parfait from the children’s menu was eagerly eyed by all the adults, we all went our various ways.

MBH was off to his second Dodgers game of the weekend with another rabid fan, our friends were off to the botanical gardens with an out-of-town relative, and my son & I were off for an adventure: meeting a dear friend and her toddler-aged daughter to take on the lofty-sounding Smithsonian Institution Museum of Natural History.

I’d done my due diligence and Googled countless versions of “best museum in D.C. to take a toddler.” Unfortunately, the Children’s Museum is indefinitely closed, so I based my pick on this:

Main Lobby
Image courtesy the Smithsonian

Any place with an enormous elephant in the middle has to be great for kids, right?

I wasn’t wrong. Although sadly the elephant was surrounded by construction on our weekend, and looked more like this:

But for our son, it was awesome, especially thanks to the hands-on exhibits, and those made for children, the Q?rius and Q?rius Jr. sections. There were rocks.


So many different types of rocks.


HUGE rocks.


Small rocks.


Did I mention my son adores rocks right now?


There were enormous skeletons.


Buttons to push.


There were even bugs to hold… although this grasshopper had a close call. Tiny 17-month-old hands don’t always understand that closing around a bug tightly might squash it. Luckily, the volunteer came to the rescue and the grasshopper lived to be handled another day.


There were also big scary dinosaurs, which were not at all the thing close to nap time.


But we made it through!

To plan your visit to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, visit here


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