Museum For Kids
National Air and Space Museum
This spring, the reliably child-pleasing NASM added a fancy new long-term exhibit, “Time and Navigation.” In this interactive history of how people get around, you can learn to navigate by sextant (who knows, it could come in handy) and how GPS and driverless cars work. Kids who can read and tell time will likely get the most out of it; for younger visitors, there’s always astronaut ice cream in the gift shop and numerous airplanes and spacecraft hanging from the ceiling. H.J.M.
Independence Avenue at Sixth Street SW; 202-633-2214, nasm.si.edu. (L’Enfant Plaza)
2nd: National Museum of Natural History, 10th Street and Constitution Avenue NW; 202-633-1000, mnh.si.edu. (Smithsonian)
3rd: National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW; 202-272-2448, nbm.org. (Judiciary Sq)
National Portrait Gallery
Here, when you stare at history, history stares back. Every U.S. president has a spot in the National Portrait Gallery, even Z-listers like Andrew Johnson. The museum delves into individual histories in its “One Life” series, now highlighting Martin Luther King Jr. (through June 1). Not every piece depicts a VIP: The Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition exhibit (through Feb. 23) collects the work of figurative artists who portray everyday folks. H.J.M.
Eighth and F streets NW; 202-633-8300, npg.si.edu. (Gallery Place)
2nd: National Museum of American History, 1400 Constitution Ave. NW; 202-633-1000, americanhistory.si.edu. (Smithsonian)
3rd: National Museum of Natural History, 10th Street and Constitution Avenue NW; 202-633-1000, mnh.si.edu. (Smithsonian)
Museum (Not a Smithsonian)
Flashy headliners — the Unabomber’s cabin, Tim Russert’s office, a big old hunk of the Berlin Wall — will get you in the door of this seven-story behemoth. The depth to which you can drill down into journalism history could keep you inside for a week. On the top floor, drawer after drawer of historic newspapers await; look for an 1863 copy of the Daily Citizen, which responded to shortages during the Union siege of Vicksburg, Miss., by printing on wallpaper. H.J.M.
555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW; 888-639-7386, newseum.com. (Archives)
2nd: Phillips Collection, 1600 21st St. NW; 202-387-2151, phillipscollection.org. (Dupont Circle)
3rd: Corcoran Gallery of Art, 500 17th St. NW; 202-639-1700, corcoran.org. (Farragut West)
Landmark E Street Cinema
D.C.’s best underground theater — like, it’s actually subterranean — continues to have, and fulfill, great expectations. “E Street wants to be the heart of the film community in D.C.,” says house manager Paul Klein of the eight-screen movie house, which offers indies and classics (cult included), sells beer and wine, and has zero cellphone reception. (No light pollution from rogue texters!) K.P.K.
555 11th St. NW; 202-783-9494, landmarktheatres.com. (Metro Center)
2nd: Regal Gallery Place Stadium 14, 701 Seventh St. NW; 202-393-2121, regmovies.com. (Gallery Place)
3rd: AMC Courthouse Plaza 8, 2150 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington; 703-243-4950, amctheatres.com. (Court House)
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is one of D.C.’s classiest establishments, what with its sleek, geometric architecture and panoramic views of the Potomac. Though it has its share of black-tie-and-evening-gown events, the 42-year-old theater complex (which doesn’t look a day over 39) aims for variety. That means free shows every day on the Millennium Stage, big-name performers and touring Broadway hits; 2013 brought both Louis CK and “The Book of Mormon.” E.M.M.
2700 F St. NW, 202-467-4600, kennedy-center.org. (Foggy Bottom)
2nd: Shakespeare Theatre, Lansburgh Theatre, 450 Seventh St. NW (Archives) and Sidney Harman Hall, 610 F St. NW (Gallery Place); 202-547-1122, shakespearetheatre.org.
3rd: Arena Stage, 1101 Sixth St. SW; 202-488-3300, arenastage.org. (Waterfront)
D.C. loves 9:30. It can hold 1,200 people while still feeling intimate. It serves dense, ganache-filled chocolate cupcakes and has helped launch a who’s-who of local acts. And 9:30 loves D.C. right back. “D.C. has always been a very musically sophisticated crowd,” co-owner Seth Hurwitz says. “We wouldn’t be who we are without our audience.” S.D.
9:30 Club 815 V St. NW; 202-265-0930, 930.com. (U Street)
2nd: Wolf Trap, Filene Center, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna, and The Barns at Wolf Trap, 1635 Trap Road, Vienna; 703-255-1868, wolftrap.org.
3rd: Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW; 202-667-4490, blackcatdc.com. (U Street)
Studio 4, Old Town
When Gina Cochran, John Gascot and MG Stout founded Studio 4 this spring, they wanted a space where art could be a vehicle for social change. For example, in January’s “Transcend,” Gascot will present his paintings of transgender people; in August, Stout exhibited his depictions of returning veterans. September brought works by autistic children who collaborated with professional artists. “We’re just very community-conscious,” Stout says. E.B.
218 N. Lee St., Suite 101, Alexandria; 540-840-6619, studio4oldtown.com.
2nd: Hillyer Art Space, 9 Hillyer Court NW; 202-338-0680, artsandartists.org. (Dupont Circle)
3rd: Long View Gallery, 1234 Ninth St. NW; 202-232-4788, longviewgallerydc.com. (Mt Vernon Sq)
Written by Holly J. Morris, Kristen Page-Kirby, Beth Marlowe, Sadie Dingfelder (Express) and Erin Bylander (For Express)