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need tips on tackling the Smithsonian and Halocaust museum

need tips on tackling the Smithsonian and Halocaust museum

Old Feb 27th, 2003, 07:55 AM
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need tips on tackling the Smithsonian and Halocaust museum

My daughter and I are taking a last minute trip to DC this weekend and have never been to either. Would appreciate words of advice on how to make the best of about 4 hours at each.
THanks
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Old Feb 27th, 2003, 08:00 AM
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You do realize that the Smithsonian is NOT one museum?

If you really only have 4 hours, you'll have to choose what is most interesting to you, from their Web site.

One hint: they do bag checks at the entrances, if you can manage to do without carrying anything, you won't have to waste time in a line to get in.
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Old Feb 27th, 2003, 08:01 AM
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The Smithsonian is many different museums. I would pick the one that interests me most. You can cover one of them in 4 hours. My favorites are the Air & Space and the American History Museum. The holocaust museum is amazing. I have been there twice and never spent less than 7 hours. However, if you must do it in 4--get there early. Buy tickets on line in advance for the first entrance in the morning. The museum is a one way spiral starting at the top (4th) floor. Just try to keep moving and don't try to read every single thing.
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Old Feb 27th, 2003, 08:02 AM
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Forgot to add that you could also do 1/2 of 2 museums instead of 4hours in one. The Old Glory Flag in the American History Museum is a must see. Also the basement level is terrific.
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Old Feb 27th, 2003, 08:35 AM
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I would guess the Holocaust museum might be closed on Saturday. You get your tickets in front of the museum and then enterat the side. You will need 4 hours at least is my guess. It is a powerfully moving place to visit and I found it hard to do much else after being in the museum that day. I think it is very worth going ..I actually think everyone should make a point of going. When you enter you are given a "passport" bearing the name and photo
of someone who lived during that time. As you make your way through the museum you will also come to understand what happened to that person. There is some wonderful and I found very hopeful information on the resistance and on people who hid others or aided them in some way while laying their lives on the line. Make certain you visit the memorial room as well. The Smithsonian is within walking distance of the Holocaust Museum(lengthy but a good walk). I would say it depends on which museum interests you. As others have suggested, check out the website to see what might interest you. I would also recommend a trip to the Phillips Exhibit in Dupont Circle. This is a relatively small collection of art including many impressionists' paintings. It is worth the trip. Have a great time. I love DC!
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Old Feb 27th, 2003, 09:15 AM
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The Holocaust Museum is open on Saturdays. You can also get tickets for the permanent exhibition on line (see their website). I agree with the others that this is an incredibly moving experience and it takes over 4 hours to see it all. I was emotionally exhausted after visiting and needed a couple of hours of quiet time just to assimilate what I'd seen. The museum also has temporary exhibits which do not require tickets so you might consider that option since you have so little time.

And don't forget the National Gallery (east and west wings) next to the Smithsonian on the Mall.

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Old Feb 27th, 2003, 09:33 AM
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Depending on your daughter's age and preferences, she might prefer the Air & Space Museum, or even the Natural History Museum (with its dinosaur skeletons). I remember seeing the Hope Diamond there when I was a kid and I was amazed!
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Old Feb 27th, 2003, 11:19 AM
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Thanks for so many great pointers--I'm glad I asked. It sounds like we should be prepared for the same type of emotional experience we had at the Anne Frank House. It too, has a starting point and you walk through from bottom to top. It was packed and you could have heard a pin drop.

I had heard that Old Glory had gotten so fragile it had been moved to the archives. I hope it is still on display.

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Old Feb 27th, 2003, 11:31 AM
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Re: the Holocaust Museum
Timed passes are required for the permanent exhibit. The passes are free but there are a limited number available at the museum for same day use.
You can order passes from the web site http://purchase.tickets.com/buy/TicketPurchase
these passes are also free but there is a small service charge. You can arrange to have the passes held for you at the museum.
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Old Feb 27th, 2003, 11:37 AM
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BostonLucy-
The flag you refer to has been moved to a room to be mended. The good news is one side of the room is glass and you can see the flag and watch the painstaking repair work in progress.
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Old Feb 27th, 2003, 11:42 AM
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I would agree that the Halocaust museum is (finding this hard to put into words)...necessary to see.

I'd love to have the UN make it a requirement for each new government or president taking office worldwide.

I found it devistating, hopeful, frightening, enlightening all at the same time. There are exhibits, like the shoes, hundreds of pairs of shoes, from victims, men, women and children, and it stopped me from moving from the spot for at least an hour.

I took a group there (of singers) and after we had lunch and talked about the impact the museum had on each of us.

Some of the exhibit may be too graphic for me, but intotal it had a had a profound impact.

Enjoy your trip and the time with your daughter.

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Old Feb 27th, 2003, 12:13 PM
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BostonLucy:
One more thought , even in the best of circumstances trying to find parking around any of the museums is a challenge.
The area received a big dump of snow yesterday and today and more is predicted for tomorrow, so all the snow emergency bans are in force.
Cabs may be scarce , too.
Here is the URL of the Metro map, depending on where you are staying, the Metro may be the easiest way for you and your daughter to get around this weekend.
http://www.wmata.com/metrorail/systemmap.cfm
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Old Feb 27th, 2003, 12:40 PM
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Check out the Smithsoinian website, www.si.edu
before you leave home. You'll be much better prepared to make the most of your limited time if you know what's on exhibit at the many museums.
There's snow falling right now, but it should pose no threat to visitors from Boston. Enjoy you stay.
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Old Feb 27th, 2003, 02:03 PM
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Thanks again everyone. Esp. for the metro map sight. We are staying at the L'Enfant(sp?) and understand it's not a bad walk to either Museum from that location.
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Old Feb 28th, 2003, 07:25 AM
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L'Enfant will be great for all the Smithsonian locations & Holocaust. I'll suggest the Postal Museum, next door to Union Station as well - and do visit Union Station if you can.

If you do NOT get tickets online for the Holocaust Museum ... walk up Independence Ave PAST 14th St to the next left (Raoul Wallenberg Place). The line forms at the front of the museum on 14th, but winds up an "alleyway" on the north side of the building. You will be having to squeeze past those already in line, so it's faster just to approach from the back end of the line. The Museum has a nice snack bar in a separate building back on Raoul Wallenberg Place, should you have not much time between getting your tickets and the admittance time. We got in at 10:45 and were still there at closing - I did read everything, and don't regret the time spent there at all.

There's not much to do around L'Enfant at night. Take the Metro to Dupont Circle, Woodley Park, or even Union Station. If you wish to do some nightime shopping, try the mall at Pentagon City stop. Enjoy your trip.
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