The National Museum of Natural History is located at the corner of 10th Street and Constitution Ave., NW on the National Mall in downtown Washington. As part of the family of Smithsonian Institution's Museums admission is always free.
The museum is open seven days a week from 10 AM to 5:30 PM and is usually closed only on December 25th.
More than 126 million specimens and artifacts are found in the collections of the National Museum of Natural History. The Museum currently has 10 permanent exhibits and always has temporary visits on display as well.
The permanent exhibits include a n interdisciplinary look at sea life, a Hall dedicated to the evolution of living things, the Hall of Mammals, the Hall of Dinosaurs and Paleo-biology, Geology, gems and minerals, African Voices, Western Cultures, The Evolutionary Partnership between plants and butterflies. There is also an Insect Zoo, a species of live insect petting zoo with scheduled tarantula feedings, and a Discovery Room, where interaction with Museum specimens promotes inquiry skills in individual children or with a class or other organized youth group that visits.
An I-max Theater is also installed at the Museum. Admission to the theater, which shows feature films on weekend evenings, and a mix of museum films on varied themes during the day, requires purchased tickets.
While class trips are welcomed the museum also has classroom lesson plans available for teachers as well as student activities available on the internet and other resources to assist teachers with a broad spectrum of instruction topics related to natural history and sciences.
Older students have limited options for internships and in-residence fellowships for post graduate students.
Museum research takes scientific personnel to diverse corners of the world to explore, catalogue and collect knowledge and specimens for the museum and the scientific community. Immense scientific research libraries made available for student and professional research. More than 150 scientists and curators are among the museum staff.
The closest Metro Stop to the National Museum of Natural History is the Smithsonian Station on the Orange and Blue lines. However Federal Triangle Station (also on the Blue and Orange lines) has an elevator, making it the station of choice for people arriving in wheelchairs by Metrorail.
Two restaurants which principally serve sandwiches and other lunch fare and one ice cream/espresso bar can be found on the premises.
Visitors are allowed to bring cameras into the museum for taking personal photography in all exhibits unless otherwise instructed of exceptions.
The Museum strives to be accessible and wheelchairs are available free of charge for use within the facility. Not all of the restrooms in the building are wheelchair accessible. Sign and oral interpreters can be made available with a minimum of two weeks advance notice. Audio tours and scripts in large print or Braille are also available upon request. All video screens have closed captions.