Summer is winding down and the weekend skies threaten rain. If you're at a loss for what to do this weekend, fear not: in the DC area we're fortunate to live near the Smithsonian Museums, where there are plenty of entertaining possibilities for you and the whole family. Check out our sampling of weekend activities:
- Go on a virtual ride into space at the Air and Space Museum's Flight Simulators. Take the kids on a choice of two simulated space adventures: a ride on board the Space Shuttle traveling to the International Space station; or a flight on both a vintage and jet-age aircraft. Rides last approximately 5 minutes. Tickets ($7-$8) can be purchased at the Box Office or at the Simulator Gallery. (Note: Children must be 42 inches tall unless accompanied by an adult).
- Take a trip to the stars at The Evolving Universe. Go on a mind-bending journey at this Museum of Natural History exhibit, which takes visitors from Earth to the far reaches of space and back to the beginning of the universe. Full color-photographs from high-powered and orbiting telescopes show the beauty of the cosmos, while exploring how stars, galaxies and the universe change from birth to death, much like living things on Earth. (Daily, 10 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.).
- Learn about the Tuskegee Airmen. Author George Norfleet signs copies of his book, A Pilot's Journey: Memoirs of a Tuskegee Airman, at the Air and Space Museum. The book tells Robinson's story as one of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen, America's first African-American military pilots. (Saturday and Sunday, 12:00 - 5:00 pm, Museum Shop. Books are available at the shop for optional purchase.).
- Explore the life of Amelia Earhart. 2012 marks the 75h anniversary of the 1937 disappearance of famed pilot Amelia Earhart. The exhibit, One Life: Amelia Earhart at the National Portrait Gallery tells Earhart's story as the first woman to cross the Atlantic by airplane in 1928 and the international fame which followed. Earhart's life and career are brought to life in varied artistic portraits along with rare vintage film and audio excepts. (Daily).
- Follow the celestial Drinking Gourd. Take a ride on the Underground Railroad at the Anacostia Community Museum, with performance artist Kwelismith as freedom fighter Harriett Tubman. Follow the Drinking Gourd recounts in performance how Tubman successfully led escaped Maryland slaves on a dangerous journey to freedom in Canada, using her knowledge of star formations, land, water, plants, animals, and faith. (Saturday, 10:30 a.m. For reservations, call 202-633-4844).