The inner child is instantly released once you walk into the atrium of the National Museum of Natural History. You are greeted by a huge bull elephant in 3D. The big draw used to be the Hope Diamond but I think the kids are more interested in bugs and butterflies. There is a room for just about every type of living history from the earliest life to fossils, dinosaur skeletons, to live butterflies that you can walk among. Tickets to the butterfly room are free on Tuesday but get there early as they go quickly.
There is no fee to enter the Smithsonian's many museums. After walking around the various rooms we headed outside and enjoyed the butterfly garden and outdoor sculptures.
Washington is such a magnificent destination. Being a small-town kinda guy, I am a bit overwhelmed when I don't have total control of where I am and how do I get to "point B". It's either a guy thing or a Michael thing, I guess. I had just been thinking to myself that it's getting easier to get around when my wife said, "now that we understand how to get around, we are leaving". How true.
There has been a huge amount of Washington bashing lately but let's separate the good from the "not so good". Washington as a tourist destination is great. Washington, the political side, is well, hard to say in polite words.
So, you pay for it. I say go and enjoy the spectacle that is our nation's capitol. It will be memorable. I gar..un..tee..it!