Exploring the National Zoo in Washington D.C.

Disclosure: This is a leftover post from our adventures in 2019. I fact checked; all information should be up to date or linked to up to date resources.

The only zoo in the Smithsonian’s collection of 19 museums in Washington DC and New York City, the National Zoo is home to almost 400 species and 2,700 animals in a 163 acre park in the northwest section of Washington DC. The zoo was founded in 1889 and is free to visitors all year.

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10 Behinds the Scenes Tours Kids Will Love

I’m “back” from all of our virtual tours from the past month- we figured it was safer to stay home and explore places online than in person. If you missed them, here are the links to our curated lists of virtual tours for National Parks; art museums; children’s museums, zoos, and aquariums; and Disney related activities.

While my family is still staying home as the country slowly starts to reopen, we’ve been reminiscing about past trips and many themes have emerged. We’re written themed posts before, like our posts on Indoor Fun in New England, East Coast Cities with Nearby Neighbors, Private Homes We’ve Toured, Sports Halls of Fame, and Free Things to Do in New England. Some new themes have recently emerged and today we’re sharing a post on “inside scoops” of famous locations and companies. We love learning about how a place works and seeing the behind the scenes stuff that most people don’t get a chance to see. It has recently become more popular for places to share behind the scenes access, even if guests cannot physically go inside the manufacturing plant or production studio.

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10 Art Museums With Virtual Activities for Kids

You might be surprised to learn that my family, children included, like visiting art museums. Art museums have come a long way from just “silently standing and looking at paintings some old guy or girl made a million years ago.” Today, so many art museums are finding new ways to engage children and welcome families into their galleries. We wrote about the many benefits of taking children to art museums last year in this post featuring the Guggenheim in New York City. A huge bonus? Most of these museums, and other art museums, offer FREE admission for children, usually ages 16 and under.

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10 National Park Sites to Go on a Virtual Tour While Staying Home

have been toying with the idea of posting content related to the current climate of staying home during the COVID 19 pandemic since the crisis started last month. My focus of this blog has always been family focused, education fun and traveling throughout the United States. I thought about posts regarding things to keep kids busy, new skills kids can learn, favorite family board games and books (I might still share that post), and how to avoid boredom. But those posts didn’t seem that original or enlightening. So we’re sticking with what we know best: family travel.

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Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.

Disclaimer: I have chosen to continue my weekly blog posts sharing our recent adventures exploring America. Our family has been safely quarantined for over a month and we will continue to do so until it safe to head out on our next adventure. The travel tips and recommendations we share were current at the time of visitation in 2019-2020. We recommend helping our country (and world) by staying home and planning for future adventures. We hope these posts bring you inspiration and motivation to plan your next trip!

One of the oldest buildings in Washington DC and now a National Historic Landmark building, The Donald W. Reynold Center for American Art and Portraiture is home to both the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery. The complex first opened to the public in 1968 and completed renovations in the early 2000s. Both institutions, overseen by the Smithsonian Institute, are housed in the same complex. The Portrait Gallery has over 23,000 pieces of art in its collection and began officially commissioning portraits of presidents, beginning with George H.W. Bush. The American Art Museum is home to one of the largest collection of American art in the world and includes The Luce Foundation Center for American Art, housed on the 3rd floor. The Luce collection has more than 3,000 pieces of art in mediums from paintings to sculptures to medals to jewelry.

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2019 Year in Review: 65 Highlights

2019 was a year for the record books. We travelled over 25,000 miles from TopSail, North Carolina to Gloucester, Massachusetts and a ton of places in between those spots. We had a few common themes (you’ll notice them below) and no matter where we travelled, we found friendly locals, rich history, and tons of fun. We’re keeping it short and sweet here with the highlights, but feel free to click on the links for the full scoop and tons of travel tips!

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