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The Smithsonian is a great place to be a kid

Family programs for all ages

Smithsonian Associates has amazing programs for young people all year round.

Smithsonian Associates’ family programs make the Smithsonian the place for kids to play and learn. They offer smart choices—in every way—for families looking for engaging ways to expand young peoples’ horizons and spark their imaginations.

Smithsonian Nighttime Adventures at the Natural History Museum are back! By popular demand, we are also bringing back two Museum Sleepovers!

Join fellow adventurers at one of the world's most visited museum as the doors close, the lights dim, and the crowds shuffle out for the day. Wander through the Fossil Hall, where dinosaurs cast giant shadows. Learn about Earth's past, discover the ocean's aquatic wonders, blast off to the moon, visit pollinators, and walk softly past mysterious mammals. Participate in games and challenges, immerse yourself in hand-on crafts and even learn how to eat like a T-rex while playing The Game of Survival.

  • Who it’s for: Children ages 8-14 and their adults (21 or older). There must be at least one adult per every five children in every group that registers. No adults can register without children.
  • When it happens: Summer

Know any future astronauts, animators, astronomers, actors, artists—or zookeepers? They’d love the Smithsonian Summer Camps. Choose from more than 80 full-day camps that invite kids to expand their knowledge and hands-on skills in a whole spectrum of fascinating topics. All of the Smithsonian becomes Washington’s coolest learning lab as campers pursue their favorite interests and develop new ones.

  • Who it’s for: Camps are offered for children entering Grades 1-9 for in-person camps and Grades K-11 for online camps; each camp has a designated grade range.
  • When it happens: Each summer (mid-June to mid-August)

Discovery Theater is the perfect place to introduce the youngest Smithsonian kids to live performance, music, and movement. Stories of adventure, history, exploration, and science come alive in Discovery Theater’s signature mix of learning and entertainment. These shows are great for both school groups and families.

  • Who it’s for: Children ages 2–11; an appropriate age range is provided for each show.
  • When it happens: Discovery Theater’s season typically runs from October through July.