Your tour begins next to Henry the Elephant, the museum’s much loved mascot. After a brief introduction to the museum by your local guide, we will make our way to the Mammals Hall. Some might find this exhibit a bit creepy as it is filled with the bodies of animals that have been stuffed. Yet, it is important to understand the context behind it; while the animals are real, the majority died from old age before being donated to the museum.
Next up, we’ll check out the White Rhino (this is misleading, he’s actually gray!) who was shot by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1909, then we’ll move on to the Morganucadon Oehler, one of the earliest of the known mammals who lived during the age of the dinosaurs.
In the Ocean Hall we’ll meet Jason Statham’s nemesis, the giant megalodon, and we’ll see the Right Whale and the Giant Squid (the only one of its kind in the world).
The newest exhibit in the museum, the Hall of Human Origins, is next on the agenda, where we’ll marvel at the story of human evolution and the many achievements of man. In this gallery there is a booth where visitors can ‘neanderthal themselves’ and also compare themselves to the different average heights of early humans. We will give you some time to explore this fascinating space on your own before re-grouping to move on to the next room.
We’ll continue with the evolutionary theme by spending some time with Lucy, a famous early human relative from Africa and the famous Neanderthal Skeleton.
Space is next in the World At Night, a composite image taken by NASA in 2003, taken from thousands of satellite images showing the world at night with no clouds.
After checking out the museum’s oldest exhibit, the creepily monikered ‘Bone Hall,’ we’ll explore the mummies… One of the coffins here is 3,000 years old, pre-dating the Bible!
At the (temporary) Dino Hall, we’ll check out t-rex and triceratops fossils and learn a little about paleontology.
Geology and gems are next. Grab your opportunity to swoon at the cursed Hope Diamond (which inspired Rose’s Heart of the Ocean necklace in Titanic!), the world’s largest aquamarine and a beautiful Inquisition-era necklace with a fascinating backstory.
Our final stop will be the Q?rius Gallery, the 21st-century part of the museum, where you are encouraged to explore, examine and touch historical objects to find out more about them. You can scan the objects and learn more about them at computer stations. If you scan the card that was given to you at the beginning of the exhibit, a digital version of what you looked up on the computer is created so you can have a digital souvenir version of the exhibit, personalised to your own historical interest! Great, huh?
Your tour ends here, close to the museum’s restaurant should you wish to indulge in some refreshments. Before you go, don’t forget to ask your local guide what else there is to see, do and eat in Washington, DC.
Please note: The tour itinerary is very flexible, depending on the needs and interests of the group. This itinerary also doesn’t consider temporary exhibits, although the route we take around the museum will take in the temporary exhibit space, so rest assured we will stop here too! This itinerary will be slightly updated when the renovations are completed to the permanent Dinosaur Hall, which is a full wing of the museums that is closed at the time of this tour’s creation.
Inclusions: Local, English-speaking guide.
Exclusions: Additional food and drinks, souvenirs and personal shopping, tips/gratuities for your guide.
Dress standard: Casual Dress and wear comfortable walking shoes.
Your Trip: For your Urban Adventure you will be in a small group of a maximum of 12 people.
Confirmation of booking: If you have your voucher, your booking is confirmed. We'll see you at the start point. Get in touch if you have any concerns or require more information via the email address or phone number (business hours only) on your voucher.
Closure of sites: If there is a government shutdown, or if the government closes due to inclement weather the museum may be closed.
Child Policy: This is a child-friendly tour. Children between the ages of 6 and 11 inclusively are permitted on this tour at the rate listed above. Please select ‘child’ above when booking. Children under the age of 6 are permitted to join this tour free of charge. Please inform us at the time of booking if you’ll be bringing a child under the age of 6. You can do so in the special request box on the checkout page.