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Museums to Visit for International Museum Day that Aren’t The Smithsonian

five paintings with ornate frames on a museum wall

Greetings from 2424 Penn Blog! Did you know that Saturday, May 18th is International Museum Day? Because we know that living in Washington D.C. means you have access to a lot of museums — especially The Smithsonian — we assume you’ve been to all the most frequented ones. But what about some of the less conventional museums that get a bit less attention? This month on the 18th, or any other day you’re free, we invite you to take a trip from your apartment to one of the following museums:

International Spy Museum

Have you ever wanted to get an inside look at the history of espionage? Home to the largest display of international spy artifact, the International Spy Museum is bound to blow your mind. Let a hidden world come to life before your eyes as you discover how spying has evolved through the ages, and how what you thought was merely the stuff of movies might just be real. Catch this museum at its new location at L’Enfant Plaza!

National Museum of Women in the Arts

If you’re looking to gain a better awareness of the monumental role that women have played in the world of visual arts, then you won’t want to miss this museum. Being the only major museum in the world dedicated solely to women’s contributions in visual arts, you’ll find thousands and thousands of breathtaking works, including collections by Frida Kahlo and Mary Cassatt.

National Bonsai and Penjing Museum

For those of you who have jumped on the bonsai tree train, this national museum is right up your ally. Recently voted one of the best museums off the mall, the National Bonsai Museum is a great place to relax and to recharge. Located on the grounds of the National Arboretum, this museum lets you see some of the world’s most fascinating bonsai trees, free of charge!


Finally, if you haven’t yet been to Newseum — an entire museum dedicated to the freedom of expression and the history of the news — National Museum Day is the perfect excuse. Between interactive exhibits, galleries, and theaters, you’ll leave this place with a new appreciation for the free press and the freedoms granted to us by the First Amendment — not to mention some new insight on the news you’ve consumed throughout your life!

Which museum do you plan to visit this National Museum Day? Let our apartment community know in the comments below!