National Museum of Natural History

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Located at 10th St. & Constitution Ave. NW, in Washington, D.C. 20560

The Nitty Gritty

Good Neighborhood X
Kind Employee’s X
Accessible Parking
Sensible way finding X
Accessible Public Transportation X
Kid Friendly X
Gift Shop worth visiting X
Clean Bathrooms! X
Labels you can find X
Reasonable Pricing X
Ample Sitting Room
Memorable
Spacious
Whiteness
Cool visitor materials
Student discount X

Mission
We increase knowledge and inspire learning about nature and culture, through outstanding research, collections, exhibitions, and education, in support of a sustainable future.

Free admission. No tickets are required for entrance. For more call 202-633-1000.

Open every day except Dec. 25 from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM.

We are open until 7:30 PM for certain holidays. Please check our hours calendar for these late closings.

A Day or Night at the Museum

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Sadly this museum did not come to life-like the popular movie with Ben Stiller but there are so many exhibits that are interesting and fun for kids. Topics such as wild life, sea life, rocks , egypt and so much more can be explored.

Near far wherever you are . . .

For Titanic fans this is the place where the Hope Diamond can be found! Contrary to cinematic belief it is not at the bottom of the ocean. . . I know I am sad to report this news I know all of my hopes and dreams were crushed when I realized that the story of Jack and Rose poetically told by Kate Winslet and Leo Di Caprio was fiction.

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The employees are helpful and the museum is kid friendly and price appropriate. Take the trip and enjoy the trip with your family. This is a museum where kids are welcome to enjoy themselves, walks around and have fun. You can travel the museum as you please because the content is light and the visuals are fun. There are so many displays that are larger than life you will be intrigued to explore more and more. Take your time bring the kids learn and enjoy.

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Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Nitty Gritty

Good Neighborhood X
Kind Employee’s X
Accessible Parking X
Sensible way finding X
Accessible Public Transportation X
Kid Friendly X
Gift Shop worth visiting X
Clean Bathrooms! X
Labels you can find X
Reasonable Pricing X
Ample Sitting Room X
Memorable X
Spacious X
Whiteness
Cool visitor materials X
Student discount X

Mission Statement

The Philadelphia Museum of Art, in partnership with the city, the region, and art museums around the globe, seeks to preserve, enhance, interpret, and extend the reach of its great collections in particular, and the visual arts in general, to an increasing and increasingly diverse audience as a source of delight, illumination and lifelong learning.

Admission

Access for two consecutive days to main Museum building, Perelman Building, Rodin Museum, and Historic House Mount Pleasant.
Adults: $20
Seniors (65 & over): $18
Students (with valid ID): $14
Youth (13–18): $14
Children (12 & under): Free
Members (Join): Free

*Holiday Hours

Closed: Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and the 4th of July
Open normal hours on the following holidays:
New Year’s Day
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Presidents’ Day
Memorial Day
Labor Day
Columbus Day
** Select galleries are open Friday evenings.

Main Building
Mondays: Closed *
Tuesday through Sunday: 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Wednesday and Friday** evenings: open until 8:45 p.m.

Perelman Building

Mondays: Closed *
Tuesday through Sunday: 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Wednesday and Friday evenings: Closed

Rodin Museum
Tuesdays: Closed *
Wednesday-Monday, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
For more information visit http://www.rodinmuseum.org >>

Historic Houses
April through December Guided Public Tours
Learn more about the Historic Houses >>

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is the place where my love and passion for the arts began. My parents would take us to the museum to walk around and look at the work. My brother always insisting on stopping at the armory and My favorite stops would always be seeing the bronze Degas dancer. In high school I had the opportunity to have an Artist come to our school and teach us the art of Stain Glass. We hand carfted our own Stain Glass which was displayed at the Museum and enterered into a contest in which my class recieved 2nd place.

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College gave me the opportunity to be a neighbor of a museum I have always loved. As a Westphal student I am given the opporrunity to have a student membership which gives me the opportunity to enter the museum free of charge. This opportunity has given me the chance to incorporate the museum into my daily life. The Philadelphia Museum of Art has grown with me. I owe so much of my knowledge and life experience to the Museum and I hope that you will be able to see some aspects of the museums that you enjoy as well.

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The Philadelphia museum of art is a wonderful experience! The museum is surrounded by water and a beautiful trail that leads you past boat house row. If you are a pop culture fan this is also where you will find the infamous steps that Rocky used as part of athletic routine. His statue will be found out front of the museum.

Sylvester Stallone Rocky

The employees are wonderful. The security guards will talk to you about the art which is a refreshing experience. Their passion fills the halls and it makes the experience noteworthy. The maps are helpful but take your time, walk to exhibits that interest you because there are so many topics within the museum you really get to dictate how you spend your time and what type of experience you have. There are signs throughout the museum but a lot of the halls look very similar so if you do in fact get lost the guards are very helpful. If you are traveling with kids there are a few things you must see. There is a tea house that is life size which really gives you the ability to feel surrounded by the art. There is also a few more exhibits that give you the same feeling. These exhibits give you the ability to travel the world without ever leaving Philadelphia. As an adult the impressionist collection really is worth visiting. I also recommend viewing the modern art. Enjoy your visit. Feel free to comment or ask questions.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

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Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
1071 Fifth Avenue
(at 89th Street)
New York, NY 10128-0173

Hours:
Sun 10 am–5:45 pm
Mon 10 am–5:45 pm
Tue 10 am–5:45 pm
Wed 10 am–5:45 pm
Thu CLOSED
Fri 10 am–5:45 pm
Sat 10 am–7:45 pm

Admission
Adults $22
Students and Seniors (65 years +) with valid ID $18
Children 12 and under Free
Members Free

This blog is about the first impression of the museum. I want to know what strikes the common visitor and ways to fix those issues. I love problem solving and figuring out ways to make a museum experience as positive as possible. This post will include an interview from my friend Maggie Howley. We attended the museum together but I am always curious to see how certain aspects of the museum impact others. I have a fear my education and course work comes at a disadvantage because at times I over think how certain things will effect a visitor experience and I feel hearing other peoples opinions always helps me clear my head.

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What aspects of this visitor experience make it a memorable trip?
The actual architecture of the Guggenheim was whatfirst caught my attention. The unique shape and its
prominence on Museum Mile made me, as a visitor,instantly intrigued. We did utilize public transportation, which entails a 10-15minute walk through the beautiful Central Park, and it’s adjoining reservoir. Those traveling from Penn Station needonly one subway and the brief walk to get to the museum.

• Atmosphere?


Because we attended the museum on a Sunday, it
was fairly crowded. All of the visitors, however, were
welcoming and friendly. The daunting line moved
swiftly and the staff was sure to include our student
discount and welcome us.

• Guided Tour?

o We chose to forego the guided tour and take the
museum at our own pace. As an art amateur, to say
the least, this was a much more attractive route. It
allowed me to spend more time on the pieces and
exhibits I found interesting, and less time on the
“over artsy” pieces that didn’t catch my eye.

• Lack of Appeal?

o The layout of the museum allows for the pieces to
function separately but also as a part of the exhibit
as a whole, which was very appealing. I would
recommend comfortable shoes, because the stair-
free incline gets a little challenging toward the top
floor.


• Art itself?

o Some pieces were absolutely wonderful, while
others were more intimidating and confusing. Any
show titled “Splendid Playground” is right up my
alley, and the pieces did not disappoint. Some were
less “artsy” and more fun, under the watchful eye
of the museum staff, so that the visitors didn’t have
too much fun. A particular free-floating red box that
visitors were allowed to enter stood out to me.

• Is message being articulated well?

o Very well. The whole “play” theme was consistent
throughout each exhibit and made for an interesting
and insightful experience
.

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1. How are prices?

With our student discount, the $18 admission fee is more than
reasonable for a top-notch museum like the Guggenheim.

2. Are employees personable / helpful?

Though some were friendlier than others, many of the staff
were taking their post seriously and making sure that no
visitors touch the pieces.

• Do you feel they have a passion for their place
of employment?

None that particularly stood out.

• Do they have knowledge of galleries and tours?

We didn’t really utilize the staff as much, and
instead went at our own pace and read the placards
for further information


3. Are provided maps and information helpful?

There was plenty of literature available upon entering the
museum that would help with the layout and specific rooms of
each exhibit.


Are content over worded or under described?

I didn’t really reference the literature, but the
placards were well written but understandable

4. Is there a proper way to travel the museum, if so is
there a lot of traffic?


Because of the architecture there is really only one way to travel the museum. You can walk all the way up and then you walk all the way down. Elevators are provided but the levels basically flow into each other. There are single hallways in which the entire museum can walk therefor at times there was some congestion.

5. Are signs within the museum helpful? ie. Exhibition,
cafeteria and bathroom location?

a. Definitely. Every level had a unisex bathroom that was easy
to find and accessible
.

6. Is the art the main focus?


a. Yes. Though the museum layout itself is so interesting and
unique, the art is the main focus throughout. Each piece is
separate but equal and very well described.


7. What visual’s really work or fail within the museum?

a. The hanging plastic tubes from the ceiling were fascinating
and mesmerizing. I think their inclusion in the exhibit added a
great deal of visual pleasure.

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8. Is there any interactive media?

a. Yes. Which I liked and disliked. Some pieces utilized
projectors and interactive descriptions, which I thought took
away from the art itself. However, some pieces necessitated
technology and it created a better understanding. The museum has also created an application on the Iphone to enhance your visit the flaw being that this is only accessible to Iphone users.


9. What types of people are attending the museum?


a. We saw people from all walks of life; ages, races, apparent
art knowledge and tourists. Very welcoming and accessible.

10. Is there any thing that stands out about the trip to this
location?

a. Besides my wonderful tour guide, the accessibility and
content of the exhibit were wonderful. I know so little about
art, but really understood the exhibit and my interest was
piqued. There was nothing pretentious about the museum,
its staff and the exhibit. I’m glad that I ventured in, and I left a
more cultured and excited art appreciator.

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National Museum of American History

National Museum of American History

14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C., 20001

The Nitty Gritty

Good Neighborhood X
Kind Employee’s X
Accessible Parking
Sensible way finding
Accessible Public Transportation X
Kid Friendly X
Gift Shop worth visiting
Clean Bathrooms! X
Labels you can find X
Reasonable Pricing X
Ample Sitting Room
Memorable X
Spacious
Whiteness
Cool visitor materials X
Student discount

Mission
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History dedicates its collections and scholarship to inspiring a broader understanding of our nation and its many people. We create opportunities for learning, stimulate imaginations, and present challenging ideas about our country’s past.

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Hours and Admission

The Museum is open 10:00am to 5:30pm every day except December 25. Admission is always free and no tickets are required. The schedule is subject to change so please check our website for the latest information.

Walk through Our History

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The National Museum of American History is fairly large so be sure to keep that in mind when planning your trip. The building has beautiful ceilings so LOOK UP! The museum provides maps but the beauty of this museum is that the exhibits do not connect so travel through the museum as you please. Don’t worry the signage is well placed within the museum so if you need a bathroom or an exit it will be easy to find. Be aware at certain points the paths did become over crowded so take that into account if you are planning to bring strollers and wheel chairs during your visit. The National Museum of American History is perfect for all age groups. The museum covers topics that run the gamut such as pop culture, transportation and women’s suffrage. The museum incorporates many visual aids and interactive pieces that will interest all ages!

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Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

I had a few exhibits that I really loved. America on the move was an exhibit that walked you through the transportation of America’s time. The exhibit was so interactive and large. It was so much fun to walk through and see these modes of transportation. There was a “Bus Stop”. Upon entering the bus you are spoken to by the driver and you feel as if the bus is on the move. There also is an exhibits that holds everything from costumes from Wicked to the Ruby Slippers used in The Wizard of Oz. These wonderful pieces give you the opportunity to see so many different items that have impacted America over time in so many different ways.

Learning to cook with Julia Child

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I loved this ! Julia Child’s Kitchen was recreated within this museum. There are specific details of the filming of her cooking show and in-depth descriptions of how certain aspects of her kitchen were altered in order to fit into Julia’s preferences. I absolutely recommend visiting this exhibit.

There are more pictures within the Gallery if you are interested. I would love to hear your feedback if you are looking for more information or have a question please feel free to let me know !

Grounds for Sculpture

Grounds For Sculpture

Admission Prices

Adults $12
Senior (65+) $10
Children (6-17) $8
Members and Children (5 and under) free

Accessibility

The Museum Building is fully accessible on the ground floor. A “Patron’s Guide” illustrating artworks installed on the small mezzanine is available at the Museum’s reception desk. The Visitor Center and the Domestic Arts Building are fully accessible. Accessible walkways allow for access to the 42-acre, landscaped sculpture park.

Mission

Grounds For Sculpture was established in 1992 to promote an understanding of and appreciation for contemporary sculpture for all people by:
•maintaining a 42-acre sculpture park composed of works by well-known and emerging American and international artists in Hamilton, NJ;
•organizing accessible exhibitions; and
•interpreting these exhibitions through publications, lectures, workshops and other educational programs.
In accordance with its mission, Grounds For Sculpture presents visitors with an evolving permanent outdoor collection, seasonal exhibitions, and educational programs designed to facilitate the understanding of and appreciation for contemporary sculpture.

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The Nitty Gritty

Good Neighborhood
Kind Employee’s X
Accessible Parking X
Sensible way finding
Accessible Public Transportation
Kid Friendly X
Gift Shop worth visiting X
Clean Bathrooms! X
Labels you can find X
Reasonable Pricing X
Ample Sitting Room
Memorable X
Spacious X
Whiteness
Cool visitor materials
Student discount

The Secret Garden

Grounds for Sculpture is in an odd location. It is important that you travel there on a nice day because the entirety of your trip will be spent outside. The prices are listed above. At first,I had felt that they seemed high but after seeing the property and how well-kept the grounds and sculptors are it becomes more apparent where the money has been spent. The ground for Sculpture is an interesting museum experience. There is very little employee interaction. You will not find security guards at your right and left ensuring you are keeping your distance from a specific piece, you have the ability to roam free and create your own path at the grounds for sculpture.

Walk on the wild side

There are paths and seats located around the grounds which give you the option to take a break and enjoy the beauty you are surrounded by. Although there is a good chance that you will see others traveling, there is plenty of room so that at no point you will be overwhelmed by crowds. Unfortunately ,in my travels I was unable to find a bathroom therefore I would recommend a bathroom trip before you begin your walk through the grounds. There is also a Steven Starr property at this museum so if you are interested it may be a good place to stop and get something to eat. These sculptures are the main focus of the property. The weather and the grounds only high light each piece you are surrounded by. This is a perfect place to take kids or even attend with someone special. You have the ability to set your own pace and really enjoy the art.

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These are a few of my favorite things

There is a sculpture surrounded by trees that is every person’s child hood dream as a tree house. As you stand up there and look around at all the sculptures I would say it’s a view definitely worth the climb. I would also recommend looking for the recreating of Monet’s Water lilies it’s a great opportunity to see yourself in a famous piece of artwork.

Fallingwater

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Fallingwater

1491 Mill Run Road
Mill Run, PA 15464

Their Mission

The purpose of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy’s operation of Fallingwater is:
•to preserve, maintain and make available for public education and appreciation Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece, Fallingwater.
•to demonstrate by the example of Fallingwater the powerful result that can be achieved through the harmonious union of man’s work with nature
•to maintain in Fallingwater its character as a weekend home of the period it was occupied by its owners, Edgar and Liliane Kaufmann (occupied 1937 to 1955) and their son, Edgar Kaufmann, jr. (occupied 1937 to 1963)
•to preserve its original furnishings, art and household objects, exhibiting them as naturally as possible in what is now a public museum
•to conserve the land and watershed into which Fallingwater was designed to fit, as a continuing source of inspiration through a 5000 acre nature reserve intended for both recreation and study

Prices

Guided House Tour – Adult $20.00 with advance purchase
$23.00 when purchased on site
Guided House Tour – Youth (ages 6-12) $14.00 with advance purchase
$17.00 when purchased on site
In-depth Tour $65.00
Grounds Pass $8.00
Sunset Tour $110.00
Brunch $115.00

For the safety and comfort of all visitors, children must be six-years-old to accompany adults on a Guided House Tour and nine years old to accompany adults on any special tours. Children younger than six-years-old, including infants and toddlers, are not permitted on any tours. Additional information about visiting with infants and children at Fallingwater can be found under Tips for Families.

The Nitty Gritty

Good Neighborhood X
Kind Employee’s X
Accessible Parking X
Sensible way finding X
Accessible Public Transportation
Kid Friendly X
Gift Shop worth visiting X
Clean Bathrooms! X
Labels you can find X
Reasonable Pricing X
Ample Sitting Room
Memorable X
Spacious X
Whiteness
Cool visitor materials X
Student discount

** I would also like to clear something up. I have recently had some question as to my definition of whiteness. When I refer to whiteness within a museum I am referring to a typical gallery setting of light wood floors, white walls, and plain wall tiles that describe the piece.

Not your run of the mill neighborhood

Fallingwater is in Mill Run, Pennsylvania. The Kaufmanns’ enjoyed weekends and summers in Mill Run. Believe me when I say Mill Run,Pennsylvania is not near anything, but with that said Fallingwater is worth the trip. The area is surrounded with trees and the sound of silence. Fallingwater was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. This particular house was designed for a wealthy family named the Kaufmann. The Kaufmanns’ son studied under Wright and recommended him for the project. The family loved the outdoors and ultimately were interested in a view of the water fall. Wright took this a step further and recommended incorporating the waterfall into the design of the house.

My name is Lauren Kelly I will be your tour guide

If you plan to make the trip I will let you know there is a significant amount of walking involved. Ticket purchase is separated from the actual location of the house. The employees are the backbone of Fallingwater. This home and location contains so much history and the employees make it their priority to educate you as much as they can as they travel with you throughout the property. Fallingwater contains so many important details and the employees give you an opportunity to have someone guide you through the house and point out so many fascinating details.

So Long Frank Lloyd Wright

There are numerous parts of this experience that I loved. The attention to detail that Wright has provided through all aspects of the house is unbelievable. A shallow pool and spout were placed outside the entrance of the home to clean your feet before entering because Wright knew how much the Kaufmann family enjoyed the outdoors. Nature and the outdoors was the main focus of this property and with that in mind Wright created a hatch within their living room in order to walk right out to the water.

hatch one

hatch 2

He also provided the family with countless balconies’ to walk directly outside. In order to make each bedroom personalized the ceiling heights were alters to provided and optimal view to the outdoors. Theses personalization’s and more are what make the experience at Fallingwater so amazing. It is apparent as you walk through this house that no detail was too small for Wright and that each project was created with the absolute most attention to detail.

Note from the Author

Fallingwater has a personal meaning to me. In the fourth grade I remember learning about Fallingwater. I was completely enthralled by the detail and effort made to create this house. I fell in love with this house and the other places that Frank Lloyd Wright created. I had made it one of my goals that I would visit this property and many others. Fallingwater exceeded every expectation. Articles and books can not capture the location of the property. The calming sounds of running water, trees blowing and birds chirping only compliment the timeless design that is present in Mill Run Pennsylvania.

Time to start chasing water falls

The National Portrait Gallery

TIME:
As my time at Drexel quickly comes to a close I have found myself contemplating the effects of time. Time is something of which one can never have enough. We live our lives planning and calculating time so that we have the ability to fit everything into our tight schedules. I cannot stress enough that the most important time spent is the time spent on ourselves. Museums are spaces where I find time stops and I give my mind a second to slow down to take in the world around me. As you are reading this post, I ask you to take a few seconds, minutes or hours to let yourself unwind. Think about your own personal space that gives you that same feeling. In the future begin to use time to your advantage. Create a schedule where you are a priority and make places such as the Kogod Courtyard at the National Portrait Gallery part of your daily life not just a pipe dream in the future.

The National Portrait Gallery

11:30 a.m.-7:00 p.m. daily
Closed December 25
Eighth and F Streets NW, Washington, D.C. 20001

The Nitty Gritty: Those marked with an X are present at The National Portrait Gallery
Good Neighborhood X
Kind Employee’s X
Accessible Parking X
Sensible way finding X
Accessible Public Transportation X
Kid Friendly X
Gift Shop worth visiting
Clean Bathrooms! X
Labels you can find X
Reasonable Pricing X
Ample Sitting Room X
Memorable X
Spacious X
Whiteness X
Cool visitor materials X
Student discount

Price:
Free every day the museum is open!

Tips for your trip
Directories throughout the museum are needed because this particular museum was very broken up. To one side of the museum, there is a portrait gallery which contains many familiar as well as unfamiliar faces. The opposite side contains American art as well as a portrait gallery of the American Presidents. I would say there is no specific way to travel through museums but I would highly recommend looking into what is at the museum and picking a few pieces you would like to see because I felt somewhat overwhelmed.
Sometimes when I am in a museum I hope to find just one piece that I feel I was meant to see. On the way out of museum there was a piece that represented of the Preamble of the Constitution. I remember being in fourth grade learning the preamble and thinking this is exactly what makes me American. I still have the preamble memorized and I thought that this was such a beautiful way to represent something that has guided Americans for such a long time. Using license plates from the fifty states, the Preamble was presented. It was such a nostalgic piece not only because of these old license plates together but also reminiscing about School House Rock and the first time you truly had to memorize something so long.

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This museum will not be on an up and coming list for technology but it was a great way to see so much American history depicted through art. There seems to be a lot of families and older adults visiting the museum. The thing that I absolutely LOVED about the museum was the Kogod Courtyard. This indoor space makes you feel like you are outside thanks to the glass, canopied ceilings that are above you. This is a perfect space to grab lunch and take some time to relax. The space offers free wifi and really gives you an opportunity to incorporate a museum into your everyday life as opposed to a space that needs to be mapped out and planned.

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The International Spy Museum

My Mission:

The International Spy Museum
800 F Street, NW
Washington, DC
20004

spy


Their Mission:

The mission of the International Spy Museum is to educate the public about espionage in an engaging way and to provide a context that fosters an understanding of its important role in and impact on current and historic events.

*****Due to the secrecy of this mission very little photo evidence will be provided.

The Nitty Gritty: Those marked with an X are present at The International Spy Museum

Good Neighborhood X
Kind Employee’s
Accessible Parking X
Sensible way finding X
Accessible Public Transportation X
Kid Friendly X
Gift Shop worth visiting X
Clean Bathrooms! X
Labels you can find X
Reasonable Pricing X
Ample Sitting Room
Memorable X
Spacious X
Whiteness
Cool visitor materials X
Student discount

Financial Impact?

Adults (ages 12-64) $19.95
Senior (ages 65+), Military, Law Enforcement $15.95
Youths (ages 7-11) $14.95
Children age 6 & under Free
Members Free

****Timed tickets do not guarantee immediate entry. Holidays are a popular time at Spy. Guests may expect outside lines and a wait of up to an hour to enter the exhibit space with timed tickets. We recommend visitors take advantage of the Museum’s extended hours and visit early/late. Please note discount blackout dates apply January 19-20, 2013.

Coordinates:

DC is a very walk-able city as long as the weather permits. I would recommend the walk if you are able to, so you can see the city and enjoy the famous landmarks. The walk is absolutely worth the trip. I will mention that unlike other cities, there seems to be a very inconsistent presence of shops and people. This leads me to believe some areas may be more popular during the work week. Fortunately, the Spy Museum is surrounded by many shops and restaurants which make it pretty convenient if you are traveling with kids. On my trip, I made good use of the local CVS, because like many of you I have been battling the ever-present colds and flu that have been trying to bring us all down.

Receiving Your Cover:

The Spy Museum is a busy place. I highly recommend setting aside some time to visit. Everything is organized once you enter therefore it’s not the type of place that you will come and go as you please, unless there is an emergency. My best description of the museum is a Disney type experience without the cheerfulness. The layout and decoration of this place is something to be seen. Visitors young and old will enjoy the experience. I would strongly recommend wearing less and carrying less. This museum is tight. There is no room for relaxing or even holding a coat. I cannot be positive, but I think that the day I decided to go was the coldest day in history. Carrying a camera bag, a puffy coat, scarves, ear muffs, gloves, and wearing a very warm sweater I was beyond exhausted before I had even paid for my ticket in the cattle line that they have set up in a space that should be double the size.

Completing your Mission:

Everything is laid out for you at the international spy museum. Truthfully there is no map needed and frankly with all of the people, I was unable to see if any reading materials were provided. After purchase of your tickets you are lead to another line which takes you to an elevator. The anticipation begins to build and once in the elevator your journey begins. Due to the secrecy of this operation I will do my best not to divulge too much sensitive information. The exhibits are great because due to the secrecy of spies you instantly feel like you are a kid who is hearing secrets that you may not be suppose to hear. Overall, the experience is truly interesting. Spies have been present throughout history and learning about the methods and inventions that have been created in order to help their process was something to be seen. Although you do need to purchase tickets I do believe a trip to see this museum is highly recommended.


I Spy with My Golden Eye:

The interactive aspects of The International Spy Museum are wonderful. I really felt like I was invested in everything I took part in while traveling through the museum. I love to see museums taking history of a subject and making it so current. The James Bond Exhibit is a perfect example of taking spies who have been present throughout time and making them so relatable through media and props. Kid will love this place. You have the ability to touch and understand every exhibit. There are models and visuals everywhere. Kids will feel like they are truly involved in the experience while also learning a lot about the history of spies and seeing the interactions of foreign affairs. Enjoy the experiences; it is a museum that you will not see every day.

The National Postal Museum

Where to?
The National Postal Museum
National Postal Museum
2 Massachusetts Ave., N.E.
Washington, DC 20002

Their Mission
The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum is dedicated to the preservation, study and presentation of postal history and philately*. The museum uses exhibits, educational public programs and research to make this rich history available to scholars, philatelists*, collectors and visitors from around the world.
*philatelists mean stamp collector

The Nitty Gritty: Those marked with an X are present at The National Postal Museum
Good Neighborhood X
Kind Employee’s X
Accessible Parking
Sensible way finding X
Accessible Public Transportation X
Kid Friendly X
Gift Shop worth visiting X
Clean Bathrooms! X
Labels you can find X
Reasonable Pricing FREE
Ample Sitting Room
Memorable X
Spacious X
Whiteness
Cool visitor materials X
Student discount FREE

What’s the Damage?
All of the Smithsonian Museums have free admission which makes planning a trip to Washington, DC a good option.

Neighborhood Vibe

The Postal Museum is located next to Union Station. It’s a large building with tons of signage; simply put it’s hard to miss.

view from union station

This location makes it very easy to take a few modes of transportation such as a train or a bus. The cabs in DC are reasonably priced and take credit cards for your convenience. There are stores or restaurants located within Union Station if you are looking for a place to grab a bite to eat.

Please remove all electronics and open your bags
In all of the Smithsonian museums you will be required to open your bags and go through a metal detector for safety, although this can be a taxing process there is plenty of room to take your time to get situated. The security guards were very clear on what you needed to do and guide you through the process. ***Word to the wise if you pack light the less you need to worry about.***


Walk this Way

The postal museum in located on the lower level of the building you enter therefore once you are through security head towards the information desk and down the escalators. Be sure to look up on your way down the escalator the ceilings are unexpectedly beautiful.

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The employees at the front desk have maps and information for your trip through the museum. If you are traveling with kids this a great place for you. The entire museum is so interactive and they also provide a kids map to really involve kids.

I would recommend the easiest way to travel the museum is start towards the right and work your way around the exhibits then finish at the postal gift shot. Some of the descriptions get wordy through the exhibits but depending on how much time you allotted to visit the museum I would say that reading all of the information thoroughly is not necessary to get something out the exhibits. There are not many locations to sit within the museum but there are plenty of places to stop because it is a very interactive museum. I would say something that was done very well was a mass appeal. Everyone from age 2 to 100 would find something enjoyable about the museum. Depending on your age your favorite parts may vary but there is absolutely a mass appeal to this museum.

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Oh yeah wait a minute Mr. Postman
The Postal Museum has really unique interactive. You are able to see actual mail trucks and mail boxes from different years and locations to really mentally illustrate the changes that have progressed over time. Seeing our mail system at work reminds us the importance and dedication that goes into the mail system not only today but throughout history. If you are interested in seeing more picture please visit the gallery provided in the gallery section which will include some more images to help illustrate the experience.

The New Museum

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Where to ?

The New Museum
235 Bowery Street
New York, NY 10002

Their Mission

stated mission is to be a catalyst for a broad dialogue between artists and the public by establishing “an exhibition, information, and documentation center for contemporary art made within a period of approximately ten years prior to the present.”

The Nitty Gritty : those marked with an X are present at the New Museum

Good Neighborhood X
Kind Employee’s
Accessible Parking X
Sensible way finding X
Accessible Public Transportation X
Kid Friendly X
Gift Shop worth visiting X
Clean Bathrooms! X
Labels you can find
Reasonable Pricing X
Ample Sitting Room
Memorable X
Spacious X
Whiteness X
Cool visitor materials
Student discount X

What’s the Damage?
•General $14
•Seniors $12
•Students $10
The good news:
****Free to members and those less than 18 years old
****Free Admission on Thursday Evening from 7pm to 9pm

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Neighborhood Vibe:

The New Museum is in an area that does not give off the typical New York vibe. The hustle and bustle of New York remains elsewhere. If you are in New York you can take the subway within a short distance of the museum, but if you are not from the area and decide to take a train into Penn station for a day trip, a cab ride should cost you are 14 dollars give or take. For those choosing to drive, the parking seemed pretty accessible throughout the neighborhood. The museum is one of the largest buildings on the block, it is an asymmetrical gray building with a large rose on the front, but there is very little signage which makes it hard to initially tell if you have arrived.

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The Area is worth traveling to. The opportunities for a day trip are endless. Galleries, coffee, shopping and more are all within walking distance. Street vendors are close by with the opportunity to purchase handmade jewelry and t-shirts. If you are hungry after finishing at The New Museum I highly recommend the Diner right on the same block. The Bowery offers an atmosphere of a hip diner and delivers delicious food as well. The prices are reasonable for the quality and amount of food you receive. Any questions feel free to ask; the service was great there.

Walk my Walk

In the museum I started at the top and worked my way down because the top is a sky room that offers a panoramic view of the Manhattan skyline. The navigation of the museum is pretty self-explanatory the beginning and ends of each exhibit lead you to the stairs as well as the elevator which makes the ease of the direction apparent. I will say that although travel throughout the exhibits was pretty easy there was little signage and I did have a difficult time finding the opportunity to go to the bathroom without causing a scene. The employees were not overly friendly.  In general, I would say they seem pretty much removed and disinterested with their jobs.

Art is in the eye of the Beholder

The art really works well within the space because it is visually appealing without taking away from the work. The gallery descriptions and placement of identifications were confusing. At times I found myself searching for these materials throughout the exhibits which can get frustrating. Overall the museum seemed to be filled with young academics and families; the population seemed to be a good mix.

Thanks for the Memories

The most memorable aspects of my trip would include the sky room and the overall experience of spending the day around the museum. The area really gave me a new appreciation of New York. When traveling there you begin to think every location is just like times square, but really there are many neighborhoods that give you a much more laid back feel, which allows you to appreciate the city a lot more.

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Chatter from the Gallery Floor

While standing near a piece that looked like a large lobster, I heard a little girl say to her mom that it looked exactly like what they had for dinner that summer.  The mother agreed and they walked away. Shortly after that pair left an elderly gentlemen was looking at the same piece and was talking to his wife about how this piece represents the circle of life and we are all involved no matter our size. I had to laugh that the girl must not have been too far off. I hope her mom recognized that her daughter may have a future in the art world.

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