When the weather makes a visit to the park or zoo difficult, it can be a struggle to find ways to get out of the house — especially with young kids. For a fun, indoor family excursion that’s both entertaining and educational, check out these family-friendly museums in NoVA and Washington, DC.
Instead of art or science, language is on display at this fun museum in Washington, DC. It describes itself as the world’s first-ever voice-activated museum, and it’s full of interactive exhibits that show off how words can be fun. Start at the top floor and work your way down as you take in views like a speaking willow tree and a 22-foot wall of words. The museum is open to all ages but is best for ages 10 and up. Plus, it has a Little Free Library where you can donate a book. 925 13th St. NW, Washington, DC, free with suggested $15 donation
Visitors of all ages will be blown away by the sight of planes, helicopters, and spacecraft in this Chantilly museum, a partner museum to the National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall. The hangar is full of aircraft of all kinds, from relics of the first forays into flight to a modern commercial plane and even a real space shuttle. Plan your visit around one of the family-friendly events like story times on Tuesdays and Thursdays and stargazing sessions. 14390 Air and Space Museum Pkwy., Chantilly, free
Little ones are encouraged to learn and play through interactive exhibits that explore science, technology, engineering, art, and math. Kids can climb up into the three-story climber and slide called the Dream Machine, head to the Data Science Alley to learn about data points, and play with lightning, rain, and clouds in the Innovation Sandbox digital experience. The experience is best for children 12 and younger. 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC, $18.95, free for children under 1 year old
At this museum, it’s all about espionage. Visitors can learn all about the art of secrecy with exhibits that dive into how real spies operate today, some of the ways that spies shaped history, and even test their own skills of deception with 17 digital and physical interactive stations. The museum is recommended for ages 9 and up, but younger kids can still enjoy the experience with tips from the website. 700 L’Enfant Plz. SW, Washington, DC, prices vary, starting around $26.45 for adults, $16.91 for kids 7–12, kids 6 and under free
Learn how some of the items we use every day came to be. This Alexandria museum shows off hundreds of U.S. patentholders with dynamic exhibits. Visitors can learn about the innovators who helped drive development of things like smartphones and automobiles. 600 Dulany St., Alexandria, free
Feature image courtesy Plant Word Museum
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