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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful
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.

All Discovery Theater and Smithsonian Sleepovers are temporarily suspended due to the pandemic.

Smithsonian Virtual Adventures from January to April 2022 are available online, and 2022 Summer Camps will resume both in-person sessions as wel as with online sessions.

Adventures with the Smithsonian - online!

Discover the Smithsonian’s Museum collections and themes during these weeklong sessions specially designed for kids entering kindergarten through 11th grade. Guided by amazing instructors, adventurers take virtual field trips, and interact with each other as they play games, create crafts, meet experts, and complete challenges. Fly to the moon, dive deep into the ocean, innovate, create art, and experience much more with Smithsonian Virtual Adventures!

In-person and online Summer Camp options are available for Summer 2022!

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)

NOTE: All Discovery Theater programs are temporarily suspended due to the pandemic.

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.

NOTE: All Smithsonian Sleepovers programs are temporarily suspended due to the pandemic.

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