National Museum of Crime and Punishment, Washington, District of Columbia

575 7th St NW, Washington, District of Columbia

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Submitted by: Joellen S.

I have a teen who is a real fan of forensic psychology and criminal investigation so this museum is right up our alley. It is very text heavy and there is no real overarching narrative that ties things together but what is in here is pretty fascinating. We like the interactive parts and have done several of the CSI experiences (those are the add on sessions and not part of the regular price). To be honest those are the best part in our opinion. We did Body Decomposition today and the grad student who "taught" it/facilitated it was fantastic - she knew her stuff! Lots of questions from the group which she answered very well. We got to do some calculations to determine different things about body decomp and it...

Submitted by: Stephanie K.

Favorite. Museum. EVER! I'm a true crime buff so this place was right up my alley. The exhibits are great and very well organized; definitely worth the steep admission fee. If...

Submitted by: LaTanya…

I purchased 4 living social vouchers for this museum and man it was a fantastic bargain. This museum is pretty pricey if you are taking a family of 4 easily $80 and I paid half price needless to say. Not good for children really under 6 maybe even 7 or 8. I took my 6 and 11 yr old. It's a lot of reading. A few interactive quizzes. For a $1 you can pl...

Submitted by: Daniel A.

If you go for "free museum weekend" be sure to get there early.  You print your tickets beforehand, but the line was out the door when I went around 1 in the afternoon.  Otherwise, you can spend the $20 per ticket and walk straight in. I think the exhibits inside are pretty hit or miss.  I tend to enjoy the more historical aspects (pirates, wild west, serial killers, mafia) but quickly lose interest in the process exhibits (booking, fingerprints, incarceration).  The shooting simulations would be fun if it wasn't so short lived.  My girlfriend got to enjoy it for longer as she basically drew a bullet outline of the assailant, but if you put your first shot through his chest (yeah, that just happened), then y...

Submitted by: Julia Vipsania A.

A more useless museum in the city does not exist. "National" title aside, this is a private museum. I like private collections, as they tend to have more focus and better oversight than their public counterparts, but these people seem to have opted for no oversight at all. There are no real exhibit areas, just one tunnel after another opening up in spots like an ant colony. Whatever narrative you can find in the displays is lost when you turn the corner and walk into something else entirely. As others have pointed out, there's an appalling number of spelling errors on the placards. It screams of carelessness. If the people who run the place don't give a damn, why should you? (I see the owner has responded th...

Submitted by: Abby C.

Fun/Cost: (3.25/5)  Two hours of fun. That's what my 3 friends and I got for our admission price ($20 regular price; we pre-purchased $10 TravelZoo discounted tickets). The multi-storied museum is well-designed such that you just naturally follow a single route through while looking at the displays on each side of you. You start with medieval torture, then proceed through colonial punishments, pirates, gangsters, serial killers (very disturbing), kidnappings, modern day incarceration, forensics, and then ending with the America's Most Wanted set. Some of my favorite interactive activities was the police lineup, the fingerprint record machine (fraud was my crime), and the safe-cracking puzzle (success!). Ther...

Submitted by: Lorena B.

I really liked this place! Yeah it's a little campy but I'm a goofball so I climbed on the prison bunk beds and "escaped" from the cell. The medieval torture devices were cool, as were Al Capone's cell (which is better than my room at  home) and Bonnie and Clyde's (movie) death car. I'm also proud to inform you that I cracked the safe on the top floor and set off the alarm and everyone looked at me all crazy :) There are three floors and it took us almost three hours to see everything, even though it was a Thursday afternoon and the museum was practically empty. There are plenty of interactive stations for adults and Scruff McGruff stations for kids. America's Most Wanted is filmed here and the bottom floor ...

Submitted by: Fenny L.

I blame Tara L for throwing the awesome "Yelp's Most Wanted" party here...I've been obsessed with coming back every since!  Unfortunately on that night, I was too busy snagging delicious scallops and slurping down yummy Barefoot wines to really pay attention to all the exhibits, so a second visit was quickly added to my "must do" list. For a museum that looks positively tiny on the outside (for those of us used to the crazy colossal structures of the Smithsonian), it was pretty packed with a myriad of twists and turns and stairs!  It took us nearly 2 full hours to go through this museum, and my husband and I can tear through a museum pretty quickly if we put our minds to it. The concept of the museum is grea...

Submitted by: Trace D.

A really enjoyable museum! The content is prescient and fascinating, it's like walking through every Hollywood crime film all in one place. Many of the exhibits are a heavy, but they do help with educating children about some of the real...

Submitted by: Stephanie G.

Overall: 3.5 Stars This is a decently large museum with lots of interesting facts for those CSI/Law and Order lovers out there. My dad LOVES CSI and NCIS, and he spent hours in there looking at everything. There is a lot to read as you go through, so I wouldn't recommend it for small children that may have short attention spans. There are some real artifacts like the VW bug used by Ted Bundy, but a lot of them are replicas. The museum covers a wide breadth of topics, and interestingly enough, has on display some artwork created by criminals while in prison. The main reason I came up with the idea to go with because of a LivingSocial deal... it's probably one of those things that the average person would be i...

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