As the winter weather thaws, many families are planning their spring break getaways and summer vacations. With free admission and experiences for all ages, the Museum is the perfect destination for anyone looking to occupy, inspire, and educate kids. Here are a few tips for ensuring the whole family gets the most out of their visit.
When you arrive at the Museum’s main entrance, spend a moment reading about the Soldiers on the pylons standing outside the Museum’s front doors. The stories on these pylons are a great opportunity to remind young visitors that the history told inside the Museum was made by individual Soldiers who have accomplished the extraordinary, together.
Once inside, explore the Experiential Learning Center, which challenges participants to complete tasks inspired by real-life Army missions in the fields of geography, science, technology, engineering, and math. Make sure you stop by the “Growing Up Army” display in the Experiential Learning Center. This exhibit tells the story of Army families, who are an essential part of our Soldiers’ support system. If you are travelling with Army brats, this is a great way to remind them that they, too, are part of the Army’s history.
Heading back through the Lobby, find your way to the Army and Society Gallery. Unique among military museums, this gallery offers great lessons about the Army’s role in America’s democracy and the many ways the Army has contributed to society through fields such as aviation, engineering, and medicine.
Young minds might not be ready to soak up all the history told in the Fighting for the Nation Galleries, which stretch the length of the Museum. Instead, children might benefit from selecting a specific gallery to focus on, perhaps one telling the history of a time period during which a family member served. Another option is for your family to find the highlights of each gallery and reflect on how the Army’s history makes up the nation’s history. Docents can guide you to the “must see” exhibits.
If your young visitors are interested in something that brings the Army’s history to life, save time for a screening of the Museum’s signature film, “Of Noble Deeds,” shown in the multi-sensory Army Theater. Families can also purchase tickets for the Army Action Center to take a turn in the thrilling flight and tank simulators.
We know that keeping children happy often means keeping their stomachs full, so extend your stay by enjoying plenty of kid-friendly options at the Museum Café. Also, don’t forget to pick up a souvenir at the Museum Store. Our shelves are stocked with affordable toys and activities, from classic green toy Soldiers, wood Humvee paint kits, plush toys, and Army-themed jigsaw puzzles and board games.
Finally, don’t forget to keep an eye on the Museum’s online calendar for Family Activities that might make your kids’ visit even more special. You can find it at theNMUSA.org.
The Army Action Center, the Museum’s Virtual Reality and Motion Theater Experience, are temporarily closed due to building maintenance starting in May.
The excitement and action will return this July! Visit theNMUSA.org for the latest updates.