What’s in the neighborhood: Keep the inquisitive mind-set going by signing up for a cooking class at Zola Wine & Kitchen (505 Ninth St. NW).
Info: 800 F St. NW. 202-393-7798. www.spymuseum.org. Hours vary, particularly on holidays.
Cost: $19.95 adults, $14.95 seniors, $13.95 ages 7 to 17, free for age 6 and younger.
Transit: Gallery Place Metro station.
National Air and Space Museum
Come for the big attractions; stick around to explore the lesser-known ones.
Have a plan: If you’re visiting during peak tourist season (April-September, November-December), buy tickets online up to two weeks in advance to see shows at the museum’s Lockheed Martin Imax Theater and Einstein Planetarium (www.nasm.si.edu/visit/concessions/tickets.cfm). And if you’d like extra insight into the exhibits, 90-minute tours start daily at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the welcome desk (groups of 20 or more should make reservations).
Insider tip: It’s easy to get caught up in the big attractions such as the 1903 Wright Flyer, but museum associate director Peter Jakab is quick to point out a rare find nearby. “There are only five existing Wright brothers-built bicycles in the world, and one of them is on display right next to the airplane,” he says. And don’t overlook the item in the Milestones of Flight gallery that looks like a waffle iron — it’s the Stardust Capsule, which flew through a comet. “What makes it special is it’s the first time a spacecraft was returned to the Earth with comet material for scientists to analyze,” Jakab says.
What’s in the neighborhood:
Iron Horse Tap Room (507 Seventh St. NW) boasts skee-ball, big-screen TVs and 20 beers on tap; need we say more?
Info: Independence Avenue and Sixth Street SW. 202-633-2214. www.nasm.si.edu. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Christmas).
Transit: Smithsonian or L’Enfant Plaza Metro stations.
National Gallery of Art
Count on seeing a bit of everything in this grand museum, which consists of two buildings (the East and West buildings) and a sculpture garden. The West Building features more traditional art (the Old Masters and the newly renovated 19th-century French Galleries, etc.), while the East Building focuses on more modern and contemporary art (Calder, Dubuffet, etc.).