Off the Mall
There’s always something new to do in Washington, D.C. Beyond the National Mall you’ll find even more attractions and activities to explore while you’re in the area.
Museum of the Bible
Among the newest museums in Washington, the Museum of the Bible brings the Bible to life. Enjoy temporary events like the Broadway musical Amazing Grace and permanent exhibits like the one from the Vatican Museum and Library. Try some Mediterranean delights at the Manna restaurant on the sixth floor while enjoying a Washington skyline view. Open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (may change seasonally), fee. The museum is located at 400 4th Street, SW.
National Building Museum
Learn about our built environment in an entertaining way at the National Building Museum. Current exhibits include Animals, Collected, an amazing selection of architectural objects depicting animals — real and mythological — as decorative elements on municipal buildings and monuments, churches and warehouses (through spring 2020); The Lawn, an immersive installation for all ages that takes up the complete Great Hall (through August 2019); and Hoops, a collection of 75 large-format photographs of basketball courts, old and new, private and community, from across the globe (through Jan. 5, 2020). Open daily. Fee. You’ll find the museum at 401 F. Street, NW.
African-American Civil War Museum and Memorial
The African-American Civil War Museum and Memorial was created to tell the story and pay tribute to men from African, European and Hispanic descent who fought in the Civil War and in other conflicts. It explores the history of the 209,145 members of the United States Colored Troops and how they helped end the war and helped free the country’s 4 million slaves. The museum will be moving to the historic Grimke School in the fall of 2020 where the museum’s vast expansion will include a state-of-the-art media theater. Open daily. The memorial, a sculpture and wall of servicemen’s names, is across the street at 11th and U streets. Admission is free. The museum is located at 1925 Vermont Avenue, NW.
National Children’s Museum
Due to open Nov. 1, 2019, the newest incarnation of the National Children’s Museum is a unique hybrid institution, marrying a science center with modern children’s museum content. (Yes, you can have fun while learning!) The target audience reflects this merger, and is aimed at children up to 12 years old, with a concentration on full-family engagement. The 33,000-square-foot play space emphasizes hands-on STEAM learning (science, technology, engineering, art and math). Fee. Find the museum at 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.
A real “wow” in the D.C. area is Glenstone. This privately owned modern art museum is set on 230 acres of suburban rolling meadows, woodlands, and streams, with a 204,000-square-foot building and more, all filled with wonderful post-World War II art. You’re invited to stroll the grounds, join an outdoor sculpture tour, talk about art with the guides, appreciate the architecture and relax by the lushly planted Water Court. Oh, and make sure to enjoy the cafes. Glenstone is free, but you should make reservations. It’s open Thursday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is located at 12100 Glen Road, Potomac, Maryland.
When you feel like flying without the hassle of an airport or plane, head to the Trapeze School New York, where they say, “Forget Fear. Worry About the Addiction.” You can learn to fly with silks, ropes, on a trampoline or on a flying trapeze. You’ll learn body awareness, timing, trust, relaxation and acquire a belief that you can do more than you imagined. Don’t want to leave the ground? You can also learn to juggle! This school is suitable for people ages 6 and up, with special classes for children 6-14. Yes, you may wear a tutu and glitter, but it’s not essential. Visit their location at 1299 New Jersey Avenue, SE (between Nationals Stadium and the U.S. Department of Transportation).
Baseball is certainly a national pastime in Washington D.C. At Nationals Park you can catch a game or, perhaps more interesting , take a 90-minute behind-the-scenes tour (available from April through November). The tour includes the PNC Diamond Club and Delta Sky360 Club, a luxury suite, the press box and the Nationals dugout. You also can throw a pitch in the bullpen, and other activities. The tours start at the Media and Suites entrance on South Capitol Street, S.E., Monday through Friday and from the Right Field Gate on 1st Street on weekends. Tours take place rain or shine. The tour requires a lot of walking, but it’s accessible to those in wheelchairs and visitors with strollers. Fee. The park is located at 1500 S. Capitol Street, SE.
A summer road trip to D.C. is just a phone call away! Your AAA Travel Agent can assist you with hotel reservations, trip planning and more. Find a Travel branch or call 800-374-2865 today!
(Go Magazine July/August 2019)