10 ways to cure cabin fever; be a tourist in your own city


Summer is quickly approaching, and for those who are stuck at home with little to do, cabin fever can set in at an alarming pace. Luckily, with access to the Metro and other public transportation, Washington D.C. boasts museums of every variety. Here are the best 10.
#10- The Renwick Gallery features odd often-Instagram-ed American artwork. While it’s off the beaten path due to its location off of the Mall, the Renwick Gallery is on Pennsylvania Avenue so it’s not in the middle of nowhere. The Renwick Gallery is currently featuring an exhibit on the art of Burning Man, when a temporary city is built in Nevada featuring experimental art. “It has really pretty artwork,” sophomore Julia Herman said.
#9- The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is a must-see for everyone. It is not an easy museum to go through, and there are horrifying exhibits, but it’s a truly powerful experience that you won’t forget. The museum will take most of the day, but don’t try to see everything; it can be too overwhelming. If anything, visit Daniel’s Story, the children’s exhibit on the first floor. The museum is free, but you must reserve tickets from March through August.
#8- The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden stands out in between the Air and Space Museum and the Smithsonian Castle on the Mall. It’s a round building with a large fountain in the center. The Hirshhorn features art that is pretty exciting even to the non-artistic eye. Past exhibits include the Infinity Mirrors exhibit that was everywhere online in early 2017. The sculpture garden is also a must visit. “It’s kind of off the beaten path and has amazing exhibits,” junior Janel Berlinger said.
#7- The U.S. Botanic Gardens may seem like a strange addition, but Botanic Gardens are living museums. The U.S. Botanic Garden features inside and outside exhibitions, including a collection of Mid-Atlantic plants and an elaborate rose garden. The Botanic Gardens house about 65,000 plants, according to their website, so if you have a pollen allergy this might not be the museum for you. The rare flowers, especially the three corpse flowers, which drew national attention when all three bloomed in 2017, are an interesting feature.
#6- The National Air and Space Museum is one of the best known D.C. museums. It showcases a collection that includes WWII planes, rockets, missiles, and even the original 1903 Wright Flyer. The highlight of the museum is the interactive, family-oriented “How Things Fly” exhibit on the first floor, that focuses on the basic physics of space flight. “I really like how you can see how we’ve escalated the way we fly,” sophomore Reuben Levine said.
#5- National Museum of American History is best known for its exhibit on the First Ladies. Other exciting parts include “The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden” and the bank-themed “Value of Money,” which has visitors walk through a bank vault door to enter the exhibit. “You can learn about different parts of history through the exhibits. It’s really fun to go with friends,” sophomore Rebecca Hartman said.
#4- The International Spy Museum is the most expensive museum on this list, with tickets costing $22.95, but makes up for it in a fascinating, interactive experience. It features a main exhibit on spy craft through history and today, and a second exhibit on the villains of James Bond. “You can find an art museum anywhere but there’s only one Spy Museum,” junior Lily Foster said.
#3- The Newseum follows the history and current state of news in the U.S. It has a large exhibit on 9/11, one on Civil Rights 50 years later, and an actual piece of the Berlin Wall. The museum integrates technology into almost every exhibit, creating a interactive and fun experience. “My favorite part is the Pulitzer prize photos that are all lined up with all the history. It’s really powerful. Everything at the Newseum is really relevant,” English teacher Michelle Hanson said.
#2- The National Museum of Natural History is the second best museum for one reason, it has dinosaurs. The dinosaur exhibit won’t be reopening until 2019, but the rest of the museum is awesome too. Something about the gigantic whale and stuffed woolly mammoth makes the Natural History Museum a unique experience. Make sure to check out the insect zoo and the mineral exhibit on the second floor first since they get crowded extremely quickly. “It’s really great because there’s a lot of interactive things for kids and adults and there’s also live bugs,” sophomore Hannah Mikowski said.
#1- The National Zoo is the best museum in D.C. It has everything you could want. Don’t want to be out in the heat? There’s the air conditioned Reptile Discovery Center, Small Mammal House, and Think Tank. There’s convenient food throughout the park, including vending machine with Dippin’ Dots. The pandas may be a tourist trap, but the real hidden gem of the zoo is Amazonia. Hidden just past the American Trail, Amazonia is the perfect melding of zoo and aquarium: it has a good educational center with frogs, salamanders and toads, and a walk-through Amazon rain forest with three-foot-long fish, birds that fly around you, piranhas and monkeys. Other highlights of the zoo include the sea lions and the elephants.