Erin Gifford and 4 other parents have been here

National Museum of the American Indian, Washington, District of Columbia

Fourth St & Independence Ave SW, Washington, District of Columbia

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  • My overall rating:

    My ratings by kids age

    • Little kids (3-5)
    • Big kids (6-8)
  • Visited: May 2011
  • Submitted: Dec 26, 2013
  • Traveled with:
    Little Kids (3-5) and Big Kids (6-8)

Good for Expanding on Classroom Learning

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Tips for Families

There are very few non-food truck places to eat nearby, particularly on the Independence Avenue side of the building. Avoid the museum café. While the menu is Native American-inspired, the food is over-priced (e.g., $4.95 for a cup of buffalo chili).

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  • My overall rating:

    My ratings by kids age

    • Tots (0-2)
    • Big kids (6-8)
  • Visited: November 2010
  • Submitted: Jan 5, 2013
  • Traveled with:
    Tots (0-2) and Big Kids (6-8)

American Indian museum has the best food

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Try the food!

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Submitted by: Mikey D.

The food is very unusual and delicious.  Going to give this 3 stars due to price in the cafe. One can easily spend $100 for 2 kids and 2 adults... Everything...

Submitted by: Alyssa D.

Went here for an evening reception for my Indian tribe. The food and entertainment was great. I don't think I've been to this museum since I was a small child, so I can't really comment on th...

Submitted by: Meg G.

This museum has been open for how long? I'm just now visiting?!?! For the record, I did attend the museum's opening festival a few years ago (still dreaming of fry bread). One extra star for the architecture - otherwise, it's a solid 3 star experience. Artifacts galore! Guns, gold & moccasins... There are some ceremonial pieces and remnants of spiritual offerings... all of which is expected. Some of the artifacts were made in present-day time, which is good - the Native American is so often referred to as a people of the past (even in South America). There were times when we found ourselves walking around saying, 'where are the exhibits?' I think the balance between space used for showcasing bits of culture ...

Submitted by: Steph W.

I was dragging my feet about visiting this museum.  When my uncle came to town, I asked him what museums were on his "list" of top-visits to see.  He had a long binder paper worth of a list.  I laughed because we had one day in his visit to see his top picks.  He said that his top must-see was the National Museum of the American Indian.  When I got there, I have to say that I was very impressed and interested.   The front of the museum had breath-taking tee pee statues.  On the first floor, there is a huge open space with large canoes.  There is a 13 minute presentation, documenting the American Indian culture, and ways they attempt to preserve it.  The presentation is in 2-V--the video appears on the ceilin...

Submitted by: Will D.

We (two adults, two children, ages 9 and 11) visited this museum after a long day of stomping around Washington.  We enjoyed it, finding it both informative and interesting. Creators of this museum selected a small number of specific Indian groups to treat, rather than try to cover everything- a decision which is freely admitted in the presentation.  The exhibits are educational and avoid much of the narrowness of earlier presentations of Indian history and life.  Live demonstrations of Indian craft and technology are presented regularly and the museum houses a rich collection of items. The architecture (both inside and out) of the building is novel, and there is a beautiful water-based plaza surrounding par...

Submitted by: Michael M.

After seeing the old Native American exhibits in various other Smithsonian buildings, I approached this new museum with a bit of skepticism.  The building itself is quite nice, but it feels like a lot of space is wasted and artifacts that should be out in the open are just hidden in storage.  I don't know if the kids ruined it for everyone, but all the drawers with additional artifacts were locked.  The small niches sometimes felt like stalls at a market, and I was disappointed that some tribes were not even represented.  I am still on the fence on this recent trend of throwing a bunch of items up behind glass like some department store window, which always gets annoying when you have to consult a book at th...

Submitted by: Jason Vuong D.

"You can see their cheekbones, these are orientals." -Some random lady next to me said this her husband and kids. Hm, comments? Anyways, I don't know why but I got really into this museum- full out contemplative and "emo" the whole time I was there. The building is gorgeous, modern, and ve...

Submitted by: Athea B.

This place was disappointing and boring. Only the food and gift shops interested me. The layout is huge with lots of wasted space. At the Natural History Museum, there are things hanging from the ceiling. I could not figure out where...

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