Not to brag, but D.C. legit has some of the best museums in the world. Summer is a great time to pack up the kids and some post-museum snacks, and go explore some of the new and exciting exhibitions our local museums have to offer. Here are five to add to your summer break bucket list. 

“XYZT: Abstract Landscapes”
The installation (on view through Sept. 3) was designed by celebrated French contemporary digital artists and multimedia choreographers Adrien M & Claire B. The exhibit is made up of ten different apparatuses defined by their coordinates: X (horizontal) Y (vertical) Z (depth) and T (time). The installations are high tech sensory experiences and totally hands-on! Kids will love to see an image of themselves projected on a large screen and can inspect as the exhibit reacts to their movements. This is an experience where kids are encouraged to dance, watch trees disintegrate from screens, and even blow into a digital aquarium. There’s also a fun landscape where the floor reacts to your footsteps.

Artechouse
1238 Maryland Ave., SW
Online: artechouse.com

“Hive” 
Opening July 4th, The National Building Museum and Studio Gang present Hive, the newest summer installation in the NBM’s Great Hall. Hive is built of more than 2,700 wound paper tubes, a construction material that is recyclable, lightweight, and renewable. The different sized tubes will be connected to create three vaulted chambers. The tubes feature a reflective silver exterior and vibrant magenta interior. The tall, wide tubes allow visitors to enter the installation from the ground level all the way to the museum’s upper-floor balconiesVisitors will be able to explore how structures reflect sound and light. Each cavity has a distinctive acoustic property that will affect tone, reverberation, and reflection.

National Building Museum
401 F St., NW
Online: nbm.org

“Earth Explorers”
This unique hands-on exhibition at the National Geographic Museum allows visitors to let their imaginations go crazy as they become world explorers. Your little ones will go on a larger-than-life adventure where they will discover new species, analyze animal behavior and learn about the importance of documenting these discoveries through technology. Explorers discover six regions of the world. Visit a base camp in an explorer’s jeep; take a simulated hot-air-balloon ride, document the migration of herds across Africa; or check out coral reefs on board a deep-sea sub! Exhibit on display through September 10.

National Geographic Museum
1145 17th St., NW
Online: nationalgeographic.org

The Last American Dinosaurs: Discovering a Lost World
Got a dinosaur lover?! The Last American Dinosaurs: Discovering a Lost World at the National Museum of Natural History is an exhibition that tells the story of non-bird like dinosaurs and their final years in the western part of North America. The dinosaur stories are told thru fossil displays, murals, and videos showing behind-the-scenes collaborations between scientists and paleo-artists. Make sure to check out the FossiLab where you can watch staff and volunteers prepare and conserve fossils.

National Museum of Natural History
10th St. and Constitution Ave. NW
Online: naturalhistory.si.edu

“Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall”
The Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall is a must see when visiting the National Air & Space Museum! This awesome exhibition combines celebrated icons with historic relics that illustrate how flight completely altered the world. Linking these together is a novel digital experience, the cornerstone of which is a spectacular and enormous touchscreen interactive wall. 

National Air and Space Museum
Independence Ave. at 6th St. SW
Online: airandspace.si.edu

Have you seen any of these exhibits? Share your thoughts in the comments below. 

—Guiomar Ochoa

featured photo: Smithsonian Air & Space Museum