Visit Washington, DC! Hotel and travel tips for visiting Washington, DC Wed, 30 Jul 2014 18:30:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Washington DC Metro Weekend Track Work Information for August 1-3, 2014 Tue, 29 Jul 2014 16:06:36 +0000 Metro Train

The following press release is from Metro in Washington DC:

“Reconstruction of the Metrorail system will continue over the weekend of August 1-3 with service adjustments on the Red Line only beginning at 12:01 a.m. Saturday and continuing through system closing on Sunday. Buses will replace Red Line trains between NoMa-Gallaudet and Fort Totten.Orange, Silver, Blue, Yellow and Green line trains will operate at regular weekend intervals.


Red Line 

Buses replace trains between NoMa-Gallaudet and Fort Totten

Red Line trains will operate as follows throughout the weekend:

  • Between Shady Grove & NoMa-Gallaudet: every 10 minutes
  • Between Glenmont & Fort Totten: every 10 minutes

Free shuttle buses will replace Red Line trains between NoMa-Gallaudet and Fort Totten making intermediate stops at Rhode Island Avenue and Brookland. Please allow an additional 10 minutes of travel time for each station stop.

Last Train Time Change:
The last Red Line train of the night from Glenmont to Fort Totten will depart 35 minutes earlier than normal to allow for shuttle bus connections. On Friday and Saturday nights, the last train will leave Glenmont at 2:02 a.m., and on Sunday the last train will leave Glenmont at 11:02 p.m.

Stations Closed:
Rhode Island Avenue & Brookland

Work Performed:
Communication cable and light pole replacement between NoMa-Gallaudet and Fort Totten

Travel Tips:

  • Customers traveling between Fort Totten and downtown DC should consider using Green or Yellow line trains between Fort Totten and Gallery Place.
  • Metrobus service may provide an alternate travel option for some riders. To check, plan your trip using Trip Planner and select the “bus only” option.
  • Before traveling, consult the trip planner at to check the special schedule and reduce your wait time. (Trip Planner is updated to reflect weekend rebuilding schedules on Fridays; please check on Friday afternoon or later.) You will experience the additional wait time on the platform. Once your train departs the station, it is not expected to encounter additional delays en route.


Orange Line 

Regular weekend service


Silver Line

Regular weekend service


Blue Line

Regular weekend service


Yellow Line

Regular weekend service between Huntington and Fort Totten


Green Line

Regular weekend service

At College Park, all trains will arrive on the Greenbelt side of the platform.


For more information:

For schedules, real-time train arrivals and station information, visit Metro riders can access Metro’s new mobile website by entering into their smartphone browser. For assistance by phone, call Metro customer information at (202) 637-7000 [TTY 202-638-3780].”

For more information on traveling by Metrobus or Metrorail, visit


 * Photo Credit: WMATA Photograph by Larry Levine


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Discount Tickets to Cirque du Soleil’s “Amaluna” at the National Harbor Tue, 15 Jul 2014 19:45:31 +0000 Amaluna Cirque du Soleil

Amaluna, Cirque du Solei’s epic love story, is at the National Harbor from July 31 to September 21, 2014, and we have discount tickets from Goldstar. If you live in, or are visiting the Washington DC area, this is the show to see!

Cirque du Solei: Amaluna

Grand Chapiteau at The Plateau
National Harbor
156 Waterfront St.
Oxon Hill, MD 20745

July 31 to September 21, 2014

Regular tickets can be purchased from Cirque du Soleil, here.
Discount tickets can be purchased from Goldstar, here.

For more show information, visit Cirque du Soleil.


For more information about the National Harbor, visit our National Harbor page.

For a list of hotels at or near the National Harbor, click here.


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19th Annual Made in Hong Kong Film Festival at the Freer Gallery of Art Wed, 09 Jul 2014 18:59:39 +0000 Arthur M. Sackler and Freer Gallery in Washington, DC

The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Smithsonian’s museums of Asian arts in Washington DC, present the 19th Annual Made in Hong Kong Film Festival. The festival runs from Friday July 18, 2014 to Sunday August 17, 2014. Free admission.

The films are as follows:

Friday, July 18, 7 pm
Elegantly balancing drama and comedy, Aberdeen is an engaging portrait of a modern Hong Kong family, infused with fantastical imagery and humor. (Dir.: Pang Ho-cheung, Hong Kong, 2014, 96 min., D-Cinema)

The White Storm
Sunday, July 20, 2 pm
When a police team’s attempt to bust a drug kingpin in Thailand goes horribly wrong, the consequences are dire, and the three friends’ bond becomes a rivalry. (Dir.: Benny Chan, Hong Kong, 2013, 134 min., D-Cinema)

Mr. Vampire
Sunday, July 27, 1 pm
This wildly popular horror-comedy virtually established the jiang shi zombie genre, spawned numerous sequels, and inspired Rigor Mortis (screening at 3:30 pm). © 2010 Fortune Star Media Limited (Dir.: Ricky Lau, Hong Kong, 1985, 96 min., Digibeta)

Rigor Mortis
Sunday, July 27, 3:30 pm
A depressed former movie star moves into a cheap apartment building with the intention of committing suicide. When another resident saves him, he discovers that the building is in thrall to supernatural forces. (Dir.: Juno Mak, Hong Kong, 2013, 105 min., Blu-ray, Cantonese with English subtitles)

Shanghai Blues
Friday, August 1, 7 pm
Full of slapstick gags and sparkling musical numbers, this charming screwball comedy features Sylvia Chang, Kenny Bee, and Sally Yeh in a love triangle spanning World War II. (Dir.: Tsui Hark, Hong Kong, 1984, 103 min., Digibeta)

The Way We Dance
Sunday, August 3, 2 pm
Get a taste of Hong Kong’s thriving street-dancing scene with this high-energy, low-budget gem that took local box offices by storm. (Dir.: Adam Wong, Hong Kong, 2013, 110 min., D-Cinema)

3D Naked Ambition
Friday, August 8, 7 pm
Presented in 3D!
A writer of cheap erotic fiction inadvertently becomes one of the porn industry’s biggest stars in this big-hearted, naughty comedy. Intended for mature audiences. (Dir.: Lee Kung-lok, Hong Kong, 2014, 110 min., D-Cinema, Cantonese and Japanese with Chinese and English subtitles)

Once Upon a Time in Shanghai
Sunday, August 10, 2 pm
Post-screening video Q&A with star Philip Ng
A stunningly gifted martial artist finds work with an ambitious crime lord in this thrilling throwback to old-school kung fu movies. (Dir.: Wong Ching Po, Hong Kong, 2014, 96 min., D-Cinema)

Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons
Friday, August 15, 7 pm
Inspired by a Chinese literary classic, Journey to the West features elaborate physical comedy, nonsense wordplay, and parodies of everything from Peking Opera to Shaw Brothers kung fu movies. (Dir.: Stephen Chow and Derek Kwok, China/Hong Kong, 2013, 110 min., D-Cinema)

A Chinese Odyssey Part One: Pandora’s Box
Sunday, August 17, 1 pm
Martial arts and slapstick comedy come together in this action-filled romp, a send-up of the classic novel Journey to the West, which recounts the introduction of Buddhism to China. (Dir.: Jeffrey Lau, Hong Kong, 1995, 87 min., 35mm)

A Chinese Odyssey Part Two: Cinderella
Sunday, August 17, 3 pm
Part two of Jeffrey Lau’s comic-action epic finds the bandit Joker traveling back in time to discover his true identity, save his immortal lover, and battle the evil King Bull and his army of giant fleas. (Dir.: Jeffrey Lau, Hong Kong, 1995, 95 min., 35mm)


Walk-ins and free admission.

Meyer Auditorium Freer Gallery of Art
1050 Independence Ave. SW
Washington, DC 20013

This festival is cosponsored by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office. All films are in Cantonese with Chinese and English subtitles unless otherwise indicated.


For more information on the film series, visit:

For more information on this museum, visit our Arthur M. Sackler and Freer Galleries of Art page.


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LEGO BrickFair Coming to the Dulles Expo Center August 2-3, 2014 Mon, 07 Jul 2014 20:34:08 +0000 LEGO BrickFair 2014

BrickFair is America’s LEGO fan festival, and is coming to the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, Virginia on August 2-3, 2014.

  • All creations are built using LEGO bricks!
  • Displays range from the cutest tiny little thing to towering cityscapes.
  • We anticipate about 900 exhibitors and 30 vendors.
  • Guests should allow 90 minutes minimum to browse the show.
  • The Stay-n-Play area offers a ton of bricks for kids to get creative.

LEGO BrickFair

Dulles Expo Center
4320 Chantilly Center
Chantilly, VA 20153

Saturday and Sunday August 2 – 3, 2014
11:00am – 4:00pm

$12 at the door
$8.50 Discount tickets from Goldstar for Sunday August 3, 2014

More information:


LEGO BrickFair Photos


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US Capitol Police Information for the Fourth of July Concert and Fireworks in Washington DC Tue, 01 Jul 2014 18:59:46 +0000 The US Capitol Police have issued the following press release to help visitors to the National Mall for the Fourth of July events in Washington D.C.:

A Capitol Fourth Concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol

Concert and Rehearsal Times

“On Friday, July 4, 2014, at 8:00 p.m., A Capitol Fourth Concert will be broadcast live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. There will be a full concert dress rehearsal for this event on Thursday, July 3, 2014 at 8:00 p.m. Both the rehearsal and the concert are free and no tickets are required. On both days, gates will open to the public at 3:00 p.m.

Public Access, Mobility Impaired Information and Traveling Tips

The general public can access the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol via Third Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. or Third Street and Maryland Avenue, S.W. Mobility impaired guests and their party may access the West Lawn at both public entry points which will be wheelchair accessible.

A limited number of parking spaces for mobility impaired guests and their party will be available on a first come, first serve basis along the south curb of Constitution Avenue between First Street and Third Street, N.W. on July 3 and 4.

Due to increased security measures, the public should expect traffic delays surrounding the Capitol Grounds. Parking in the immediate area of the U.S. Capitol is extremely limited. Please visit to help plan your trip using public transportation.

Prohibited Items and Security Measures

The U.S. Capitol Police along with event and production staff closely monitor weather conditions. Any changes to the schedule of events based on adverse weather conditions will be announced to the general public. If an evacuation occurs, please follow the directions of the U.S. Capitol Police.

Additional security measures will be in place to ensure the safety and security of those in attendance. Anyone attending events on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol must adhere to security screening procedures before entering the event site. This will include an administrative search of all bags, coolers, backpacks, and closed containers.

For this event, food items are permitted. You are encouraged to bring your own supply of water or an empty water bottle that can be filled at on-site water stations. Alcoholic beverages of any kind and glass bottles are prohibited. In addition to any other items determined to be prohibited at the discretion of the U.S. Capitol Police, the following items are prohibited:


Tour Bus Access

Tour buses will not have access to Garfield Circle and Peace Circle from Wednesday, July 2 through Friday, July 4.

Street Closures

Temporary street closures will begin on Wednesday, July 2 at 12:01 a.m. through Saturday, July 5 at 4:00 a.m.:

  • First Street between Independence Avenue, S.W. and Constitution Avenue, N.W.
  • Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. between First Street, N.W. and Third Street, N.W.
  • Maryland Avenue between First Street, S.W. and Third Street, S.W.

For additional information on “A Capitol Fourth,” please visit

If there are any questions about this event, you may contact the United States Capitol Police Public Information Office at 202-224-1677.”


For more information on the Fourth of July in Washington DC, Visit our A Capitol Fourth – 4th of July events page.

To view this press release, click here.



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July 2014 Programs at the Smithsonian American Art Museum Tue, 17 Jun 2014 19:37:17 +0000 July 2014 Programs at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington DC

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Programs are free and open to the public unless ticket information is noted.

Art Talks and Activities

Curator Tour: Ralph Fasanella: Lest We Forget
Wednesday, July 2, 2014, 5:30pm
Curator Leslie Umberger tours Ralph Fasanella: Lest We Forget and shares the stories behind the works on display. Fasanella was a self-taught painter whose monumental canvases celebrated the common man.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, G Street Lobby
Tickets: None
Event Link:

Curator Gallery Talk: Mark Lombardi’s Inner Sanctum
Wednesday, July 9, 2014, 6pm
Artist Mark Lombardi uses graphics to trace and reveal conspiracies through infinitely complex networks and intertwining webs. Join curator Joann Moser for an inside look at one of his most fascinating artworks.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Lincoln Gallery, Third floor
Event Link:

American Art: After & Before
Thursday, July 10, 2014, 1pm
Join the Smithsonian American Art Museum to discuss a featured artwork on display after it has received treatment by our conservators. Then continue on to the Lunder Conservation Center for a behind the scenes look at the way our staff applies science, art history, and skilled hands to address our artworks before they are unveiled in our exhibition spaces.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Meet in the G Street Lobby
Event Link:

ASL Gallery Talk
Thursday, July 10, 2014, 5:30pm
Art Signs programs are gallery talks in American Sign Language (ASL) for deaf visitors. Join the Smithsonian American Art Museum for a conversation presented by a volunteer ASL guide. For additional information on the program, email
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Meet in the F Street Lobby
Event Link:

1913 Armory Show Tour
Wednesday, July 16, 2014, 5:30pm
Join the Smithsonian American Art Museum for a tour of their collection, highlighting works by artists who were in the 1913 Armory Show, and explore the influence this groundbreaking exhibition had on American artists throughout the twentieth century. Stay for a screening of The Great Confusion at 6:30 p.m. to learn more about the impact of the Armory Show.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Meet in the G Street Lobby
Event Link:

The Framework of Conservation
Thursday, July 17, 2014, noon
Martin Kotler, the American Art Museum’s frame conservator, will lead a gallery tour showcasing the variety of frames in our collection. Kotler will discuss the historical background of these works and his ongoing efforts to preserve them for generations to come.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Meet in G Street Lobby
Event Link:

Baseball Family Festival
Saturday, July 19, 2014, 11:30am-3pm
Play Ball with the American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery! Tour the galleries to find some of the best names in the game, then enjoy baseball-themed crafts, a book signing of Becoming Babe Ruth by author Matt Tavares, and appearances by local team mascots.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Kogod Courtyard
Event Link:

Luce Artist Talk: Chandi Kelley
Sunday, July 20, 2014, 1:30pm
View works of art in the Luce Center with local artist Chandi Kelley. Kelley will share some examples of her own work and will discuss Project Dispatch, an artwork subscription service that she started in Washington, D.C.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Meet in F Street Lobby
Event Link:

Art-o-mat® Swap Meet
Saturday, July 26, 2014, 1-4:30pm
Check out the Luce Center’s Art-o-mat®, a retrofitted cigarette machine that sells original artworks for five dollars. Meet some of the artists behind the works, learn more about making and collecting “artpaks,” and make your own artpak to keep or swap with a friend.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Luce Foundation Center, Third floor
Event Link:

Curator Tour – Ralph Fasanella: Lest We Forget
Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 5:30pm
Curator Leslie Umberger tours Ralph Fasanella: Lest We Forget and shares the stories behind the works on display. Fasanella was a self-taught painter whose monumental canvases celebrate the common man.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, G Street Lobby
Event Link:

On Site: Restless Collective
Thursday, July 31, 2014, noon-4pm
The co-founders of Restless Collective will be sharing stories about their innovative projects, and invite you to participate in their Save Outdoor Sculpture Instagram Challenge through an Instagram Walk around the museum neighborhood directly following their talk.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Kogod Courtyard
Event Link:

Luce Design with Meg Murray
Thursday, July 31, 2014, 6:15pm
Meg Murray, the owner of Thunder Pig Confectionery and Agent Marmalade Jams, will talk about the art of cake design and will reveal some secrets of producing sweet treats. Murray will tell us about her previous experiences as both a Capitol Hill staffer and ceramics designer, and how she advocates for local products and companies.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Luce Foundation Center, Third floor
Event Link:


Steinway Series
Sunday, July 13, 2014, 3pm
Pianist Sara Daneshpour performs Franck’s Prelude, Chorale, and Fugue; Schumann’s Variations on the name ABEGG; and Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, McEvoy Auditorium
Event Link:

1913 Armory Show – Film screening: The Great Confusion
Wednesday, July 16, 2014, 6:30pm
Writer and director Michael Maglaras introduces his new documentary, which examines the New York exhibition that exposed Americans to modern art by Cézanne, Renoir, van Gogh, and Duchamp, as well works by Americans such as Hartley, Marin, and Sheeler. A question and answer session with the director follows.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, McEvoy Auditorium
Event Link:

Take 5! Four Cool Blue Maniacs- All Mingus
Thursday, July 17, 2014, 5-8pm
Relax and Take 5! with free, live jazz in the Kogod Courtyard. The Four Cool Blue Maniacs present “All Mingus”, a musical selection from Charles Mingus. Register with Artjamz at and paint a canvas to take home while enjoying the performance.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Kogod Courtyard
Event Link:

Luce Unplugged Community Showcase
Friday, July 18, 2014, 6-8pm
Explore the thousands of artworks in the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Luce Center while listening to sets by local bands, selected with the help of the Washington City Paper’s Managing Editor, Jonathan L. Fischer. Drinks and small snacks will be available for purchase from a cash bar. Presented with the Washington City Paper.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Luce Foundation Center, Third floor
Event Link:

Ongoing Programs

Sketching: Draw and Discover!
Tuesdays, 2:30pm – 4:30pm
Draw inspiration from artists’ sketches as well as the thousands of objects on display in the Luce Foundation Center of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, then spend time sketching in our workshop. Some materials provided; please bring a small sketchbook and pencils. Repeats weekly.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, meet at the Luce Foundation Center information desk

Lunder Behind the Scenes
Wednesdays, 3 p.m.
Learn how museum conservators use science, art history, and skilled hands to preserve objects from the museum collection in the Lunder Conservation Center. Group size is limited.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, meet at the Luce Foundation Center information desk


For more information on this museum, visit our Smithsonian American Art Museum page.


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July 2014 Events at the National Building Museum Tue, 17 Jun 2014 18:53:27 +0000 July 2014 Events and Exhibits at the National Building Museum in Washington DC

National Building Museum

NBM Exterior View from Police Memorial. © Maxwell MacKenzie

Family & Concerts

Tuesday, July 1, 10 am–Noon
Book of the Month: Who Stole My House by Barbara Veit and Anna Laura Cantone
Readings at 10:30 and 11:30 am
Free with admission to Building Zone
Recommended for ages 3–5
One day Little Snail finds that her house is missing! She asks everyone she meets if they have taken her beautiful house, but they all seem to have perfectly nice houses of their own. All’s well in the end when she discovers just who is responsible for her home’s disappearance.

Saturday, July 19, 1–3 pm
Ultimate MegaMAZE
Per child: $20 Member, $25 Non-member. Per adult: $5 Member, $10 Non-member. Price includes admission to the BIG Maze & exhibitions.
Adults must be accompanied by a child.
Families work together to build the Ultimate MegaMAZE in the Great Hall. Construct a cardboard maze with twisting paths, towers, and dead ends. Then have fun exploring and finding your way through the maze. Bring boxes of any size and shape or use ones provided.

Sunday, July 20, 2 pm
Summer Concerts: Reverb
Enjoy the melodic sounds of Reverb as they take you on an a cappella musical journey!

Sunday, July 27, 2 pm
Summer Concerts: Washington Performing Arts Children of the Gospel Choir
This youth choir showcases uniquely talented voices in its distinctive style of high-energy performances.

Talks & Tours

(the numbers and letters at the end of each entry indicate that attendees could earn professional continuing education credits)

Tuesday, July 1, 12:30–1:30 pm
Maze Buildout Tour
$10 Member | $12 Non-member.
Curious about the BIG Maze in the Great Hall this summer? Join us for a sneak preview during construction to find out about the structure’s unique design concept and its production process.

Thursday, July 17, 12:30–1:30 pm
Smart Growth: Reconsidering Ian McHarg: The Future of Urban Ecology
Free. Pre-registration required.
Landscape architect Ian McHarg advanced the integration of ecology into land planning and design. A principal in the firm that McHarg founded, Ignacio Bunster-Ossa discusses the precepts of a new urban ecology involving the integration of green infrastructure and public art as a way to make compact development the most appealing and sensible choice. Bunster-Ossa signs copies of his book, Reconsidering Ian McHarg: The Future of Urban Ecology, after the talk.
1.0 LU HSW-SD (AIA) / 1.0 CM (AICP) / 1.0 PDH (LA CES)

Thursday, July 24, 7–8:30 pm
Spotlight on Design: Tod Williams and Billie Tsien
$25 Member | $15 Student | $35 Non-member.
Tod Williams and Billie Tsien discuss their notable work, which includes the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, the Asia Society Hong Kong Center, and the recently demolished American Folk Art Museum in New York City. Their firm, New York-based Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects (TWBTA), won the American Institute of Architects 2013 Firm Award. For Corinthian-level members and higher, join us in the Corinthian Lounge at 6 pm to enjoy coffee and light snacks.
1.5 LU (AIA)

Friday, July 25, 8:30–10:30 pm
Ghost Tours
Tours at 8:30 and 9:30 pm. $22 Member | $25 Non-member. Recommended for ages 10 and up.
A spooky summer treat! Discover the dark side of the Museum’s historic home with scary tales and surprises.

Thursday, July 31, 5–9 pm
BIG Maze Late Night
Enjoy extended Museum hours to visit exhibitions, navigate the BIG maze, and nosh at Hill Country’s Backyard Barbecue.


The BIG Maze
July 4–September 1
Inspired by ancient labyrinths, garden and hedge mazes of 17th and 18th-century Europe, and modern American corn mazes, this contemporary maze designed by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, boasts a series of twists and turns for visitors to weave through and explore.

Designing for Disaster
Through August 2, 2015
Design can—and does—reduce our risk and increase our resiliency to the most destructive forces of nature. From seismic retrofits and safe rooms to firebreaks and floodplain management, Designing for Disaster showcases how regional, community, and individual preparedness are the best antidotes to disaster.

Cool & Collected: Recent Acquisitions
Through May 25, 2015
Dozens of objects from the Museum’s collection—from a 9-foot-tall statue to a tiny dollhouse chair—illustrate the varied ways we can learn about architecture and design. Join us as we open up our storage room and display some special objects.

Build them up…and knock them down! Create the tallest towers, the most ridiculous shapes, the truly impossible structures. Children and adults alike are encouraged to put their skills to the test and let their imaginations run wild with blocks—small, big, and virtual—in this exhibition, which also features a selection of architectural and construction toys from the Museum’s collection.

Building Zone
The Building Zone—for ages 2-6 with adult supervision—introduces children to the building arts through play.

House & Home
Exhibition Tours: Mondays and Fridays at 2:30 pm, Wednesdays at 10:30 am, and Saturdays at 10:45 am (based on docent availability).
House & Home features a kaleidoscopic array of photographs, objects, models, and films that takes visitors on a tour of houses both familiar and surprising, through past and present, exploring American domestic life and residential architecture.

For more information about this museum, see our National Building Museum page.

Register online at or by calling 202.272.2448.


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The Smithsonian’s National Zoo Invertebrate Exhibit is Closed Mon, 16 Jun 2014 20:27:18 +0000 National Zoo Invertebrate Exhibit

The following Press Release is from the National Zoo in Washington DC:

The Smithsonian’s National Zoo Invertebrate Exhibit, home to dozens of small aquatic and terrestrial species without backbones, closed to the public Sunday, June 22, 2014. The last day to visit the Invertebrate House was Saturday, June 21, 2014.

“This difficult decision is not a reflection of the importance of invertebrates or how we feel about them,” said Dennis Kelly, Zoo director. “The exhibit has been a hidden gem cared for by passionate and expert staff. But this was a necessary decision for the financial and operational health of our organization.”

Closing the Invertebrate Exhibit permits the Zoo to reallocate funding, staff and resources to other areas of the Zoo that need attention. With overall costs escalating, the Zoo must adapt its activities and programs to live within its existing budget while continuing excellent animal care and planning for the future.

Every permanent staff person will retain their job and be reassigned to other positions throughout the Zoo. The Invertebrate Exhibit, as it exists today, is not included in the Zoo’s Strategic Five-Year Plan or its 20-Year Programmatic Master Plan. The long-term vision includes a future Hall of Biodiversity, which will include some invertebrate species. The annual operating cost for the Invertebrate Exhibit is $1 million. The exhibit currently needs an estimated $5 million in upgrades to equipment, life-support systems, building infrastructure and exhibit interpretation.

In 1987, the National Zoo opened the Invertebrate Exhibit in the basement of the Reptile Discovery Center. Hailed as a ground-breaking exhibit at the time, it allowed the Zoo to showcase and educate visitors about invertebrates as nature’s unsung heroes, quietly playing vital roles in Earth’s ecosystems. Invertebrates make up about 99 percent of all known living species. Today, the Invertebrate Exhibit is home to the common cuttlefish, corals, anemones, the Chesapeake Bay blue crab, water scorpions, the giant hermit crab, leaf-cutter ants, the American spiny lobster, giant clam and butterflies, among others.

Per Smithsonian protocol, most of the animals will be de-accessioned through formal processes to new homes. Some will be moved to Association of Zoos and Aquariums-accredited facilities, and some may be moved to another location in the Zoo. Those with short life spans will likely live out their lives in the Invertebrate Exhibit. The Zoo will provide updates on the invertebrate collection via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and through National Zoo News.

For more information about the zoo, visit our National Zoo page.


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National Cherry Blossom Festival Announces 2015 Event Dates Tue, 03 Jun 2014 19:01:24 +0000 washington dc cherry blossoms

The organizers of the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC have announced the following festival dates for 2015.

The 2015 National Cherry Blossom Festival will begin the first day of spring, Friday, March 20, 2015, and continue through Sunday, April 12, 2015. The following signature events have also been scheduled:

  • Pink Tie Party fundraiser – Thursday, March 19, 2015
  • Family Days presented with the National Building Museum – Saturday & Sunday, March 21-22, 2015
  • Opening Ceremony – Saturday, March 21, 2015
  • Blossom Kite Festival – Saturday, March 28, 2015
  • Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival – Saturday, April 4, 2015
  • National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade® – Saturday, April 11, 2015
  • Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival – Saturday, April 11, 2015

For more information about the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC, visit our Cherry Blossom Festival page.


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‘Pictures of the Year’ Photo Exhibit at the Newseum Tue, 22 Apr 2014 21:09:08 +0000 Winners of the International Photojournalism Competition Go on Display in Washington, D.C.

Newseum in Washington, DC

On Friday, April 25, 2014, the Newseum opened “Pictures of the Year,” an exhibit that showcases dramatic, award-winning images of the people, events and issues that shaped the world in 2013. The photos are a selection of the best news images from Pictures of the Year International (POYi), one of the oldest and most prestigious photojournalism contests in the world.

Visitors can see images from some of 2013′s biggest news stories, including the war in Syria and the Boston Marathon bombing, along with lighter moments such as Detroit Tigers right fielder Torii Hunter flipping over the wall of Boston’s Fenway Park as he tries to catch a grand slam during the American League Championship Series.

The exhibit also features photographs taken by New York Times photographer Tyler Hicks moments after Islamist militants stormed a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, killing 67 people in a four-day siege. The photos won first place in the POYi News Picture Story/Newspaper category, and on April 14, 2014, Hicks was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography for his photos of the attack.

“The return of ‘Pictures of the Year’ is testament to our commitment to showcasing the very best of photojournalism at the Newseum,” said Cathy Trost, senior vice president of exhibits and programs at the Newseum. “These images remind us of the extraordinary power that photographs have to spark wonder, spur action and ignite change in the world.”

The “Pictures of the Year” exhibit is the result of an ongoing partnership between the Newseum and POYi, which began in 2011 when the Newseum exhibited winners of the 2010 competition.

The mission of POYi is to extend the reach of photojournalists through educational public exhibitions and to engage citizens worldwide with great documentary photography. POYi is a program of the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute. Through exhibitions and workshops, POYi serves those photojournalists who chronicle the news events, political trends and social issues facing our world. Now in its 71st year, POYi continues to recognize and promote excellence in photojournalism.

Nikon is the exclusive sponsor of the 2014 “Pictures of the Year” exhibit, which will be on display at the Newseum through Sept. 1, 2014.


For more information about this museum, visit our Newseum page.

To reserve tickets to the Newseum online, at a discount, click here.


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