You may think “been there, done that” when a grown-up mentions local museums. Sometimes there isn’t much that’s new, but that’s not true this summer. We already shared images from the just-reopened Fossil Hall at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. But there’s a lot more going on. So take a look at these new or soon-to-open exhibits at Washington and Baltimore museums. You may have been there, but we’re pretty sure you haven’t done that.
A new four-story climbing structure at the Baltimore children’s museum is an opportunity to reach for the clouds. Problem-solving and team-building help kids (and grown-ups) climb way up to the top — or only partway. After you reach the clouds, the spiral Storm Slide takes visitors back to where they started. Stop by the museum’s other new exhibit, the S.S. Friend Ship, for a climb aboard a cargo vessel.
Where: 35 Market Plaza,
When: Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
How much? Tickets for ages
1 and older are $17.95.
For more information: Visit portdiscovery.org or call
The new International Spy Museum is larger than its original home, with updated technologies and never-publicly-seen artifacts. One of them is a piece of tunnel from Berlin, Germany, that U.S. and British spies used to listen in on the East Germans during the Cold War. The museum also houses new interactive code-breaking games. And visitors can learn how to be a CIA analyst in a game that explains how to poke holes in theories to find the truth. Radio-frequency ID badges provide visitors with a secret identity and the ability to test their spy skills throughout the museum.
Where: 700 L’Enfant Plaza in Southwest Washington.
When: Daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
How much? Adults $22.95. Ages 7 to 12 $14.95. Ages 5 and younger are free.
For information: Call 202-393-7798 or visit spymuseum.org.
The National Building Museum brings the outdoors inside with a summer installation called “Lawn.” The entire Great Hall is transformed into a green space. On one wall, there’s a large mural of the sky. Hammocks contain hidden speakers playing stories by popular American authors. Outdoor games are set up on the grass. And visitors who download the Lawn app can collect fireflies in an augmented-reality experience. Throughout the summer, the museum will host movie nights, yoga and other activities on the Lawn. (A ticket gets you access to the entire museum.)
Where: 401 F Street in Northwest Washington.
How much? Adults $16. Ages 3 to 17 and seniors, $13. Tickets can be purchased online beginning June 25.
For information: Visit nbm.org or call 202-272-2448.