The Mall is home to many adventures, including these that you and your children might enjoy. One major attraction--the Washington Monument--is not open to the public this millennial weekend. Admission to the Smithsonian museums is free. For more information, call 202/357-2700 (TDD: 202/357-1729) or the numbers listed below.
NATIONAL AIR AND SPACE MUSEUM--Sixth Street and Independence Avenue SW (Metro: L'Enfant Plaza). This museum tells the story of flight and space exploration through exhibits, interactive displays, computer kiosks, multimedia shows and movies. On exhibit are more than 360 important aircraft, about 300 rockets and space vehicles and hundreds of other aeronautical items. Movies in the Samuel P. Langley IMAX Theater are: "To Fly!" daily at 10:10, 12:20, 2:30 and 4:40. "Cosmic Voyage," daily at 10:45, 12:55, 3:05 and 5:15. "Mission to Mir," daily at 11:30, 1:40 and 3:50. "Wolves," daily at 6. "Thrill Ride: The Science of Fun," Friday-Sunday at 6:45. Admission is $5.50, $4.25 seniors and children 2 through 17. Call 202/357-1686. In the Albert Einstein Planetarium, multimedia programs on astronomy and space are offered every 40 minutes from 11 to 5. Admission is $3.75. The museum also has a restaurant and cafeteria. Call 202/357-1686.
NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM--10th Street and Constitution Avenue NW (Metro: Federal Triangle). This may have it all for children: dinosaurs, jewels and bugs. Start in the Rotunda, where an African bush elephant dominates the area. Dinosaurs, including a life-size model of a pterosaur with a 40-foot wingspan and an 80-foot diplodocus, are featured in the first floor Dinosaurs Hall. The Hope Diamond, said to be cursed, is the star of the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems and Minerals. And tarantulas, live giant cockroaches and othercrawling things can be found in the O. Orkin Insect Zoo. The museum has a restaurant.
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AMERICAN HISTORY--14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW (Metro: Federal Triangle, Smithsonian). The museum explores the rich diversity of American history, offering interactive exhibits that will draw children in. In the Hands-On History Room, visitors can send a telegraph message and pedal a highwheel bicycle. In the Hands-On Science Center, experimenters can measure radioactive hot spots, explore magnetism and measure distances with a laser. Major exhibits include the Star-Spangled Banner, steam locomotives, military history and dresses worn by first ladies. The museum has a restaurant.
THE CAROUSEL--On the Mall just north of the Arts and Industries Building, 900 Jefferson Dr. SW (Metro: Smithsonian). The carousel runs from 11 to 5 weekdays, 10 to 6 weekends, weather permitting. Rides are $1.25.
OLD POST OFFICE PAVILION--12th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW (Metro: Federal Triangle). Take the elevator to the tower for a grand view of the capital city. Closed Saturday and open noon to 6 Sunday.
WHITE HOUSE--1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW (Metro: McPherson Square). The White House will be open to visitors on Saturday, New Year's Day, from noon to 2. No tickets are required. The line will begin at the southeast gate of the White House, East Executive Avenue and E Street NW. All in line by 2 will be admitted. 202/208-1631.