Museums Exhibits

Top Washington, DC tourist attractions still open

There is still a lot to see and do in Washington, D.C., despite the partial government shutdown that has closed top federally-funded attractions.  Who needs the Smithsonian museums and National Zoo, when you can hit the Crime Museum or  be inspired by the great artists at the Corcoran Gallery of Art?  You may have to pay an entrance fee for some,  but here are some  top places  that are worth the trip and  money:

  • 1. The Newseum

    The Newseum


    Learn about the process of news gathering  at The Newseum, where each of the museum’s seven levels is packed with interactive exhibits that explore how news  is covered and impacts us.   

    Admission: $21.95 for adults

  • 2. The Crime Museum

    The Crime Museum

    The Crime Museum

    Be a crime solver at The Crime Museum that includes a crime lab, filming studios for “America's Most Wanted”, a simulated shooting range, high-speed police-chase, and hundreds of interactives and artifacts pertaining to America’s most famous criminals.  

    Admission: $18 for adults

  • 3. The International Spy Museum

    The International Spy Museum

    The International Spy Museum

    See if you have what it takes to be a spy at The International Spy Museum, where you adopt a cover identity, can see an exhibit on James Bond villains, or step into a fictional country on a top-secret mission. 

    Admission: $20.95 for adults

  • 4. Mount Vernon

    Mount Vernon

    Mount Vernon

    Time travel back to George Washington’s time at his Mount Vernon  home.  This presidential home —unlike many others -- is privately funded.  The Mt. Vernon Ladies’ Association pays the bills, so the doors are open, including access to the farm compete with animals and gardens.

    Admission: $17 for adults

  • 5. WalkingTown DC 

    WalkingTown DC 

    WalkingTown DC

    Take a free tour with WalkingTown DC  of a District of Columbia neighborhood under the auspices of Cultural Tourism DC. Check out historic markers, diverse architecture and multiple ethnic groups in the city’s varied neighborhoods

    Admission: Free

  • 6. National Geographic Museum

    National Geographic  Museum

    National Geographic  Museum

    Explore the World at the National Geographic  Museum with interactive experiences and  photography exhibitions featuring the work of National Geographic explorers, photographers, and scientists.

    Admission: $11 for adults

  • 7. Corcoran Gallery of Art

    Corcoran Gallery of Art

    Corcoran Gallery of Art

    Be inspired at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, which is chock-a-block with work by 19th and 20th century American and European artists.  You can also see contemporary art, along with photography, and decorative art.  Use the family guide when visiting with younger kids. 

    Admission: $10

  • 8. The National Building Museum

    The National Building Museum

    The National Building Museum

    Check out the Family Tool Kit at The  National Building Museum and discover what makes a house a home.  Learn about creating architectural design or practice with construction tools. 

    Admission: $8

  • 9. The Kennedy Center

    The Kennedy Center

    The Kennedy Center

    Take in a performance at The Kennedy Center.  While the government pays for the building’s upkeep, private donations pay for performances.  So shows will continue.  

    Admission: various

  • 10. Ford’s Theatre

    Ford’s Theatre

    Investigation: Detective McDevitt

    While performances have been suspended, the walking tour, Investigation: Detective McDevitt, will continue. This walking tour of downtown D.C. is led by an actor portraying Detective James McDevitt, who was on duty the night of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination and the conspiracies around his death.  

    Admission: $12