Millions of people visit the downtown national park and its surrounding museums (think: the National Gallery of Art and the Natural Museum of American History) each year. But, as fabulous as the Mall is, there are equally awesome (and kid-friendly) museums in other parts of D.C. Want to expose the kids to a little culture or history, but not in the mood for the crush of tourists? Here are six spots to check out this winter.

Steve F. Udvar-Hazy Center (a.k.a. the Air and Space Annex)

The Air and Space Museum on the Mall is worth visiting, but if you want the real-deal air-and-space experience, head out to Chantilly in Northern Virginia where a massive hanger displays planes such as the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird and the Concorde, and the space shuttle Discovery. Don’t leave without heading up to the observation tower to get an up-close look at the planes taking off from nearby Dulles Airport.

14390 Air and Space Museum Pkwy. (Chantilly, Va)
Open: Daily 10 am-5:30 pm
Cost: Free ($15/parking)
Online: airandspace.si.edu

What is your favorite “off the Mall” museum? Tell us in the Comments section below.

—Katherine Gustafson

Photos courtesy of National Air and Space Museum via Facebook, CraigShipp.com Photos via Flickr, National Museum of Health and Medicine via Facebook, Madame Tussauds DC via Facebook, Ralph Toyama via Flickr, Aguilas2011 via Flickr