The world’s largest museum dedicated to the world’s most inspirational book just opened its doors in Washington D.C. As tourists flock to this impressive 430,000 square foot building in the heart of our nations’s capital- many will bring children. Having just gotten a little sneak peak, I’m excited to share some tips for families visiting Museum of The Bible!
First, let me say, this is absolutely a family-friendly museum! Each of us took something different away from our day at Museum of The Bible- but all of our experiences were positive and memorable. In fact, we’re already starting to plan our next trip back!
Right off the bat you’ll notice the huge space designed just for kids. Honestly, as I mentioned in yesterday’s post, my husband and I enjoyed this area as much as our children. But in addition to that space, almost all of the exhibits in the building appealed to my children (ages 5 and 10.) Also, the Museum staff went out of their way to accommodate our family and make it an enjoyable experience for all. And finally, the visual effects at the Museum can truly be appreciated by someone of any age- even an infant.
That being said, as a mom, I love to know what to expect. Preparing my children ahead of time for what they’ll experience ALWAYS helps our day go more smoothly. Plus, I’m a total planner and I love being able to anticipate our schedule when we visit new places.
So, for those moms like me who want to maximize the experience- here are my tips for families visiting Museum of The Bible:
- Half A Day +: According to the Museum, if a person wants to read every piece of information in the building it would take 9 8-hour days. Said person must not have kids! I’m an accomplished speed reader and can keep one eye on a wayward child in the process (my husband does not possess this talent!) But in all seriousness- you’ll want to spend a good amount of time in the building. If you try to do it in anything less than half a day, you will absolutely feel rushed.
- Security: It’s top notch. Similar to an airport, you will walk through a detector to be cleared (but you keep your shoes on!) However, they have an intricate double door locker screening system for your bags. It’s VERY cool, and though I have no idea how it works- I felt incredibly safe when stepping through the doors. The security guards were also very friendly to my children and made them feel comfortable with the process.
- Children’s Area: The space designed for kids is on the entry level floor. As soon as my children spotted it, they insisted we go there. If you can avoid making this your first stop- it will save you A LOT of drama. My kiddos absolutely didn’t want to leave and would have easily spent the entire day in this one area. And, although they enjoyed many other aspects of the Museum, they constantly asked when/if we could go back down to the Children’s exhibit.
- Impact On America: If you have children studying American history, there is no greater education than in this room! You will see how the Bible influenced all aspects of our nation’s founding. Additionally, you’ll get the chance to walk through an impressive collection of the Bible’s influence on our culture- both past and present. This space is ideal for children who can read- but entertaining enough for younger kids too. There are several visual demonstrations and interactive educational tools.
- Impact NOW: Adjacent to the Impact on America room is the area dedicated to the Bible’s impact on global social networking. This is another great space for kids because they truly understand the usage of technology and the internet.
- Washington Revelations: This exhibit gives guests the experience of “flying” through D.C. Because of the simulation effects, guests must be at least 42 inches tall to participate. If your children meet the minimum requirement, you don’t want to miss this one!
- Movies: There are several opportunities to view short videos. They range from informational, to story narratives. My oldest child found the one about John The Baptist to be particularly difficult to watch. I think it brought out a combination of emotions- from sadness to terror as she anticipated the end to his life. We ended up leaving the theatre. I only mention this to elicit good discernment for your own children. All the videos (that we saw) were child-appropriate, but they might be a bit intense depending on your child’s personality.
- Food: On the top level of the Museum is the restaurant Manna. The award winning chef created a menu inspired by Mediterranean cuisine. Although my kids prefer to order pizza and cheeseburgers, they were pleasantly surprised by how much they enjoyed the new-to-them foods. Even my 5-year old, who is among the pickiest eaters ever, enjoyed his lunch. I highly recommend you break up your visit with a meal at Manna!
- Lodging: Museum of The Bible is located in a very accessible part of the city- just blocks from many major attractions. We personally found the Residence Inn to be PERFECT for our family. Not only were the accommodations ideal (extra space for kids and a breakfast included with our room rate!), but the location was just around the corner from Museum of The Bible.
I am confident families will really enjoy being at Museum of The Bible! Though depending on the ages of your children, you may not be able to see every inch of the Museum. My kids did not appreciate the artifacts nearly as much as I did- but they did tolerate a few minutes here and there.
The Museum is absolutely free to visit; However, they do suggest making a donation. Museum of The Bible also recommends reserving your tickets online. Non-members can request up to 6 and time slots are definitely filling up. Visit their official website for more information.
Read more about Museum of The Bible, HERE.
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