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Science & Nature Programs

Adventures on the C&O Canal

Explore the man-made wonders of the C&O Canal, as well as natural beauty of spring along the Potomac River, guided by writer and local historian Garrett Peck. Highlights include the Monocacy Aqueduct, the canal town of Williamsport, the Paw Paw Tunnel, and an overnight stay in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, site of America’s first spa.

Date of event
Depart: Sunday, October 20, 2019 - 8:30 a.m.
Return: Monday, October 21, 2019 - 6:30 p.m.

An Immersion in Nature: Japanese "Forest Bathing" - Urban Style

Learn the benefits of quiet time spent in touch with nature as Melanie Choukas-Bradley, a certified nature and forest-therapy guide and author of The Joy of Forest Bathing, leads a series of 2-hour walks in the Smithsonian’s beautiful Enid A. Haupt Garden.

Date of event
Tuesday, October 22, 2019 - 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

An Immersion in Nature: Japanese "Forest Bathing" - Urban Style

Learn the benefits of quiet time spent in touch with nature as Melanie Choukas-Bradley, a certified nature and forest-therapy guide and author of The Joy of Forest Bathing, leads a series of 2-hour walks in the Smithsonian’s beautiful Enid A. Haupt Garden.

Date of event
Thursday, October 24, 2019 - 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Underground Virginia: Caves of the Shenandoah

Find out why Virginia’s caves never fail to dazzle visitors during a visit to realms of wonder eons in the making in the scenic Shenandoah Valley. With Gregg Clemmer as your guide, explore two of the region’s great caverns—Shenandoah Caverns and Luray Caverns—from their stone columns and draperies to jagged helictites and dog-toothed spars.

Date of event
Saturday, October 26, 2019 - 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Smithsonian Sleepover at the Natural History Museum Post-Halloween Special

Post-Halloween Special for Families: (Ages 8 to 14) Go on an interactive exploration of the Natural History Museum and participate in hands-on crafts projects and games. Then roll out your sleeping bag and dream away in the darkened halls of one of the world’s most famous museums! For this sleepover only, celebrate Halloween by wearing a costume.

Date of event
Start: Saturday, November 2, 2019 - 7:00 p.m.
End: Sunday, November 3, 2019 - 9:00 a.m.

Artificial Intelligence: Will It Go to Your Head Someday?

It sounds like science fiction, but cognitive scientist Susan Schneider says brain microchips and other techniques to integrate humans with artificial intelligence are under development. She addresses the implications of AI in our lives, and how to ensure that its science develops in a way that promotes human flourishing.

Date of event
Tuesday, November 12, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

An Autumn Nature Walk on Theodore Roosevelt Island

Enjoy the beauty of an autumn morning on the 90-acre wooded oasis and national memorial in the middle of the tidal Potomac. Author and naturalist Melanie Choukas-Bradley leads a scenic walk around Roosevelt Island, focusing on its woodlands, wildlife, and history.

Date of event
Wednesday, November 13, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

An Autumn Nature Walk on Theodore Roosevelt Island

Enjoy the beauty of an autumn morning on the 90-acre wooded oasis and national memorial in the middle of the tidal Potomac. Author and naturalist Melanie Choukas-Bradley leads a scenic walk around Roosevelt Island, focusing on its woodlands, wildlife, and history.

Date of event
Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Language and Aging: A Resilient Relationship

Cognitive scientist Roger Kreuz examines how aging affects language and how language affects aging, and explains why language ability shapes our lives throughout its course.

Date of event
Wednesday, December 18, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.