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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.

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.

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)

Imagine rolling out your sleeping bag beneath a 50-foot whale, at the home of the Star-Spangled Banner, in the shadow of the space shuttle Discovery, or near the portraits of presidents and visionaries. That’s exactly what kids and their grown-up companions can do when they attend a Smithsonian Sleepover. The American History Museum, Natural History Museum, the Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center, and the National Portrait Gallery are all yours during a night of fun that features tours, games, crafts, and more. Which adventure will you choose?

  • Who it’s for: Children ages 8–14 accompanied by an adult.
  • Locations: American History Museum, Natural History Museum, Udvar-Hazy Center, and National Portait Gallery
  • When it happens: May through August