Science & Nature Programs
Telling Fact from Falsehood: Skills to Expose Pseudoscience

How do we know what we know? It’s hard enough parsing fact from fiction in today’s so-called post-truth environment, but how can we recognize science fact from pseudoscience? Paleontologist Thomas Holtz shares questions we need to ask to get to the truth.

Date
Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.
Spring at the National Arboretum
Morning Tour

The National Arboretum, one of DC’s best-kept secrets, is home to 9 miles of winding parkland roads covering more than 450 acres. Enjoy a spring tour at what is usually the peak blooming time for azaleas, dogwoods, and seasonal wildflowers.

Date
Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Spring at the National Arboretum
Afternoon Tour

The National Arboretum, one of DC’s best-kept secrets, is home to 9 miles of winding parkland roads covering more than 450 acres. Enjoy a spring tour at what is usually the peak blooming time for azaleas, dogwoods, and seasonal wildflowers.

Date
Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Shedding Light on Dark Matter

During the past century, advances in technology have allowed for the introduction of radical ideas about the nature of the cosmos and our place in it. Theoretical astrophysicist Priya Natarajan traces the arc of the acceptance of two such ideas: that of dark matter and black holes. She also discusses her intriguing work in mapping dark matter and modeling supermassive black holes.

Date
Tuesday, May 2, 2017 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.
DC Goes Green: New Growth, New Approaches
All-Day Tour

Visit local commercial, health care, academic, and residential settings that reflect the city’s most eco-friendly trends in urban architecture and landscape design. Even lunch goes green at a restaurant with its own rooftop gardening program.

Date
Friday, May 12, 2017 - 9:30 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.
The Manhattan Project: Visions of a Nuclear Future

The clandestine Manhattan Project was a futuristic enterprise embedded in a wartime environment—and both the war and the future influenced its evolution. Historian Martin J. Sherwin explores the history and legacy of this world-changing mission.

Date
Wednesday, May 17, 2017 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.
Epidemics Past and Present: Causes, Responses, and the Human Impact

David Morens of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at NIH offers a survey of the most significant epidemics in human history, as well as an examination of global efforts to eradicate their contemporary counterparts.

Date
Wednesday, May 17, 2017 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.
City of Trees

Washington’s rich botanic diversity and arboreal history is a living legacy built on the horticultural expertise and passion for trees of founders such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Local natural historian Melanie Choukas-Bradley offers an illustrated overview of many of the city’s notable green spaces and landscaped landmarks.

Date
Tuesday, May 23, 2017 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.
City of Trees with May 25 Tour

Washington’s rich botanic diversity and arboreal history is a living legacy built on the horticultural expertise and passion for trees of founders such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Local natural historian Melanie Choukas-Bradley offers an illustrated overview of many of the city’s notable green spaces and landscaped landmarks. A tour of the Capitol grounds complements the program.

Date
Tuesday, May 23, 2017 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. and Thursday, May 25, 2017 - 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
City of Trees with May 26 Tour

Washington’s rich botanic diversity and arboreal history is a living legacy built on the horticultural expertise and passion for trees of founders such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Local natural historian Melanie Choukas-Bradley offers an illustrated overview of many of the city’s notable green spaces and landscaped landmarks. A tour of the Capitol grounds complements the program.

Date
Tuesday, May 23, 2017 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. and Friday, May 26, 2017 - 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Smithsonian Sleepover at the Natural History Museum

Family Program: (Ages 8 to 12) Go on an interactive exploration of the Natural History Museum, participate in hands-on crafts projects, and view an IMAX film. Then roll out your sleeping bag and dream away in the darkened halls of one of the world’s most famous museums!

Date
Friday, May 26, 2017 - 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m.
Mallows Bay by Kayak: Ghost Ships and Bald Eagles

Mallows Bay on the lower Potomac is the site of a “ghost fleet” of nearly 200 wrecked vessels dating from the Revolutionary War through World War I. There’s no better vantage point than a two-person kayak from which to experience this dramatic collection, as well as to explore the bay’s marshy tributaries filled with abundant wildlife.

Date
Saturday, June 3, 2017 - 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Mallows Bay by Kayak: Ghost Ships and Bald Eagles

Mallows Bay on the lower Potomac is the site of a “ghost fleet” of nearly 200 wrecked vessels dating from the Revolutionary War through World War I. There’s no better vantage point than a two-person kayak from which to experience this dramatic collection, as well as to explore the bay’s marshy tributaries filled with abundant wildlife.

Date
Saturday, June 3, 2017 - 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Working Dogs: Saviors in the Post-9/11 World

The Penn Vet Working Dog Center in Philadelphia transforms qualified pups into highly trained bomb-sniffing, drug-interdiction, search-and-rescue, and cancer-detecting professionals. Learn about the puppies’ rigorous training, and then watch as several of the center’s graduates demonstrate their special skills.

Date
Sunday, June 4, 2017 - 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
American Eclipse: Scientific Rivals in the 19th-Century West

A rare total eclipse drew scientists from all over the country to Wyoming and Colorado in the summer of 1878. Three of them became professional competitors: astronomers James Craig Watson and Maria Mitchell, and a young Thomas Edison. Author (and eclipse chaser) David Barton tells their story.

Date
Tuesday, June 6, 2017 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.
Washington’s Distinctive Gardens
All-Day Tour

The gardens of Washington, D.C, offer a beautiful abundance of widely varying cultural influences and design traditions, and a spring day spent visiting seven unique locations offers the perfect way to experience that range. The destinations reflect inspirations from Asia and Spain, the Victorian and Elizabethan periods, and monastic contemplative gardens.

Date
Friday, June 9, 2017 - 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Mallows Bay by Kayak: Ghost Ships and Bald Eagles

Mallows Bay on the lower Potomac is the site of a “ghost fleet” of nearly 200 wrecked vessels dating from the Revolutionary War through World War I. There’s no better vantage point than a two-person kayak from which to experience this dramatic collection, as well as to explore the bay’s marshy tributaries filled with abundant wildlife.

Date
Saturday, June 10, 2017 - 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Mallows Bay by Kayak: Ghost Ships and Bald Eagles

Mallows Bay on the lower Potomac is the site of a “ghost fleet” of nearly 200 wrecked vessels dating from the Revolutionary War through World War I. There’s no better vantage point than a two-person kayak from which to experience this dramatic collection, as well as to explore the bay’s marshy tributaries filled with abundant wildlife.

Date
Saturday, June 10, 2017 - 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
A Day at Winterthur
All-Day Tour

Join decorative arts specialist Erin Kuykendall for an in-depth exploration of the exceptional collection of American decorative arts and antiques on view at the Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library. The tour to the historic du Pont estate includes a special visit to Winterthur’s conservation lab for a look at ongoing projects, and a chance to stroll through its famed gardens in all their spring beauty.

Date
Wednesday, June 14, 2017 - 8:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Captain America’s Super-Soldier Serum: 1940s Fantasy Meets Modern Biotechnology

In the original Marvel Comics story, puny Steve Rodgers morphed into a shield-slinging avenger thanks to Professor Erskine’s mysterious chemical compound and a dose of “vita rays.” Eric Spana of Duke University explains how the mighty powers of biotechnology might make such a transformation possible today.

Date
Friday, June 16, 2017 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.
Mammals on Camera: A New Approach to Wildlife Observation

Think it as wildlife selfies: Camera traps that capture images of animals in their natural habitats are offering scientists a tool to gather crucial information about their behavior. Bill McShea, a wildlife ecologist at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, examines how these candid creature photos can influence discussions and decisions about ecosystems, conservation, and preservation.

Date
Tuesday, June 20, 2017 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.
Smithsonian Sleepover at the Natural History Museum

Family Program: (Ages 8 to 12) Go on an interactive exploration of the Natural History Museum, participate in hands-on crafts projects, and view an IMAX film. Then roll out your sleeping bag and dream away in the darkened halls of one of the world’s most famous museums!

Date
Friday, June 23, 2017 - 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m.
Mallows Bay by Kayak: Ghost Ships and Bald Eagles

Mallows Bay on the lower Potomac is the site of a “ghost fleet” of nearly 200 wrecked vessels dating from the Revolutionary War through World War I. There’s no better vantage point than a two-person kayak from which to experience this dramatic collection, as well as to explore the bay’s marshy tributaries filled with abundant wildlife.

Date
Saturday, June 24, 2017 - 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Mallows Bay by Kayak: Ghost Ships and Bald Eagles

Mallows Bay on the lower Potomac is the site of a “ghost fleet” of nearly 200 wrecked vessels dating from the Revolutionary War through World War I. There’s no better vantage point than a two-person kayak from which to experience this dramatic collection, as well as to explore the bay’s marshy tributaries filled with abundant wildlife.

Date
Saturday, June 24, 2017 - 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Doctor’s Orders: The Growth of the Public Health Movement

The 1920s stimulated many new discoveries and initiatives in medicine, as well as a growing public confidence that the field could conquer and control modern problems. Alexandra Lord of the American History Museum explores the medical and public health advances of the decade and places them in a cultural context.

Date
Monday, June 26, 2017 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.
Undercover with the FBI

Mike German shares the hard lessons he learned as an undercover agent with a clear-eyed assessment of the threats we may or may not face, how to fight them, and how to preserve our core values in the process.

Date
Tuesday, June 27, 2017 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.
All the Presidents' Gardens

From plant-obsessed George Washington to Michelle Obama's kitchen garden, the White House grounds have mirrored American garden history and changing fashions in horticulture and design. Author Marta McDowell offers a survey of their transformations and traditions, featuring the presidents, first ladies, and their gardeners.    

Date
Thursday, June 29, 2017 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.
Smithsonian Sleepover at the Natural History Museum

Family Program: (Ages 8 to 12) Go on an interactive exploration of the Natural History Museum, participate in hands-on crafts projects, and view an IMAX film. Then roll out your sleeping bag and dream away in the darkened halls of one of the world’s most famous museums!

Date
Friday, June 30, 2017 - 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m.
Mallows Bay by Kayak: Ghost Ships and Bald Eagles

Mallows Bay on the lower Potomac is the site of a “ghost fleet” of nearly 200 wrecked vessels dating from the Revolutionary War through World War I. There’s no better vantage point than a two-person kayak from which to experience this dramatic collection, as well as to explore the bay’s marshy tributaries filled with abundant wildlife.

Date
Saturday, July 8, 2017 - 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Mallows Bay by Kayak: Ghost Ships and Bald Eagles

Mallows Bay on the lower Potomac is the site of a “ghost fleet” of nearly 200 wrecked vessels dating from the Revolutionary War through World War I. There’s no better vantage point than a two-person kayak from which to experience this dramatic collection, as well as to explore the bay’s marshy tributaries filled with abundant wildlife.

Date
Saturday, July 8, 2017 - 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Smithsonian Sleepover at the Udvar-Hazy Center

Family Program: (Ages 8 to 12) Go on an interactive exploration of the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia. Then roll out your sleeping bag and dream away in the halls of one of the world’s most famous museums!

Date
Saturday, July 15, 2017 - 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m.
Niagara Falls: A Summer Spectacular
3-Day Tour

One of North America’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders is the perfect destination for a visit that includes all the don’t-miss attractions of Niagara Falls—and a memorable dinner in one of Ontario’s most historic and charming towns.

Date
Depart: Thursday, July 20, 2017, 7:00 a.m.
Return: Saturday, July 22, 2017, 8:30 p.m.
Smithsonian Sleepover at the Natural History Museum

Family Program: (Ages 8 to 12) Go on an interactive exploration of the Natural History Museum, participate in hands-on crafts projects, and view an IMAX film. Then roll out your sleeping bag and dream away in the darkened halls of one of the world’s most famous museums!

Date
Friday, July 21, 2017 - 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m.
Mallows Bay by Kayak: Ghost Ships and Bald Eagles

Mallows Bay on the lower Potomac is the site of a “ghost fleet” of nearly 200 wrecked vessels dating from the Revolutionary War through World War I. There’s no better vantage point than a two-person kayak from which to experience this dramatic collection, as well as to explore the bay’s marshy tributaries filled with abundant wildlife.

Date
Saturday, July 22, 2017 - 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Mallows Bay by Kayak: Ghost Ships and Bald Eagles

Mallows Bay on the lower Potomac is the site of a “ghost fleet” of nearly 200 wrecked vessels dating from the Revolutionary War through World War I. There’s no better vantage point than a two-person kayak from which to experience this dramatic collection, as well as to explore the bay’s marshy tributaries filled with abundant wildlife.

Date
Saturday, July 22, 2017 - 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Smithsonian Sleepover at the Udvar-Hazy Center

Family Program: (Ages 8 to 12) Go on an interactive exploration of the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia. Then roll out your sleeping bag and dream away in the halls of one of the world’s most famous museums!

Date
Saturday, July 29, 2017 - 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m.
Smithsonian Sleepover at the Natural History Museum

Family Program: (Ages 8 to 12) Go on an interactive exploration of the Natural History Museum, participate in hands-on crafts projects, and view an IMAX film. Then roll out your sleeping bag and dream away in the darkened halls of one of the world’s most famous museums!

Date
Friday, August 4, 2017 - 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m.
Smithsonian Sleepover at the Udvar-Hazy Center

Family Program: (Ages 8 to 12) Go on an interactive exploration of the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia. Then roll out your sleeping bag and dream away in the halls of one of the world’s most famous museums!

Date
Saturday, August 12, 2017 - 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m.
Smithsonian Sleepover at the Natural History Museum

Family Program: (Ages 8 to 12) Go on an interactive exploration of the Natural History Museum, participate in hands-on crafts projects, and view an IMAX film. Then roll out your sleeping bag and dream away in the darkened halls of one of the world’s most famous museums!

Date
Friday, August 18, 2017 - 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m.