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Washington, D.C - Around Town : The Mall and Federal Triangle (part 3) - Children's Attractions, Lunch Spots

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Children’s Attractions

  1. Johnson IMAX Theater

    The movie screen at the Museum of Natural History is 66 ft high and 90 ft wide (20 m x 28 m), and some of the films shown are 3-D using polarized glasses. Most film subjects are hits with children (see National Museum of Natural History).

  2. Smithsonian Carousel

    This lovely carousel with its fancifully carved steeds is a treat even for quite young visitors. The sounds of the band organ are very cheering.

    • 1000 Jefferson Dr, SW

    • Open 10am–5:30pm daily weather permitting

    • Adm

  3. O. Orkin Insect Zoo

    Live arthropods scamper and creep in this section of the Museum of Natural History – some can also be held.

    Insect Zoo
  4. ”How Things Fly”

    Highly interactive exhibits and scheduled demonstrations at the National Air and Space Museum explain the principles that make flight possible. Kids can understand natural animal flight and human flight in contraptions from balloons to the space shuttle .

    “How Things Fly”
  5. Children’s Film Program at the National Gallery of Art

    Animations, environmental and nature films, and child’s-eye views of life are compiled into lively shows the right length for children’s attention spans .

  6. Skylab Orbital Workshop

    Kids love Skylab in the National Air and Space Museum because visitors can walk inside and see the tools, instruments, and living facilities of the actual 1973 spacecraft, although this is the backup module that never flew in space.

  7. Ice Skating

    The fountain in the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden  is frozen for ice skating in the winter, and visitors can rent skates on site.

  8. Dinosaur Hall

    Many kids make their first contact with the study of the natural world through their fascination with dinosaurs. The displays at the National Museum of Natural History should wow them – and there is a stunning new mammal exhibit.

    Dinosaur Hall
  9. National Postal Museum

    Kids can learn how a stamp is created as well as how mail traveled before modern airmail through delightful exhibits, which include a stagecoach and a postal rail car .

  10. View from top of the Washington Monument

    The view from the 555 ft high (170 m) monument  is spectacular. The ride in the elevator is interesting because high-tech windows become transparent or opaque in a wink.

Lunch Spots

  1. Cascade Café & Gelato Bar

    Behind a glass wall in the National Gallery of Art concourse is a man-made waterfall spilling over a stepped cascade. Facing this view is an attractive café with a wide range of hot and cold food.

    • 4th St between Madison Drive & Pennsylvania Ave, NW

    • 202 842 6190

    • Dis. access

  2. Old Post Office Food Court

    Pizza, sushi, bagels, ice cream, and cookies are sold in this interesting food court.

    • 12th St & Pennsylvania Ave, NW

    • 202 289 4224

    • No credit cards

    • Dis. access

    Old Post Office Food Court
  3. Mitsitam Café

    Meaning “Let’s eat” in Piscataway. The menu is inspired by Native Americans.

    National Museum of American Indian

    • 4th St & Independence Ave, SW

    • 202 633 1000

    • Dis. access

  4. Garden Café

    This little restaurant in the National Gallery of Art has the choice of a good buffet or a traditional à la carte menu. Surroundings of greenery combine with lofty ceilings.

    • 6th St and Constitution Ave, NW

    • 202 216 2482

    • Dis. access

  5. National Air and Space Museum

    Chain restaurants such as Boston Market and Donato’s Pizzeria have taken over the greenhouse-like food service area .

  6. Pavilion Café

    Sandwiches and salads, pizzas, and a variety of desserts are served in a lively setting.

    • 7th St and Madison Dr, NW

    • 202 289 3360

    • Dis. access

  7. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

    The Museum Café serves traditional, kosher, and contemporary American favorites (see United States Holocaust Memorial Museum).

  8. Reagan International Trade Center Food Court

    This large food court has Texas grill, sushi, and dim sum as specialities. Photo ID is required for adults to enter the building.

    • 1300 Pennsylvania Ave, NW

    • 202 312 1300

    • Dis. access

  9. Michel Richard Central

    Celebrity chef Michel Richard serves up French flavors and American concoctions like lobster burgers and faux foie gras.

    • 1001 Pennsylvania Ave, NW

    • 202 626 0015

  10. Atrium Café

    The atrium café of the Museum of Natural History serves good food with live jazz on Friday nights.

Note: Unless otherwise stated, all restaurants accept credit cards and serve vegetarian meals

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