The National Museum of Health and Medicine
Does your child want to be a doctor? Okay, does he or she love horror movies? This is the museum for kids interested in biology and slightly gross stuff (which means it's not for kids under five). If this sounds like something your kids (or you) may enjoy, you should go; they'll be talking about what they saw here for the next year!A Heady Collection
A little off the beaten track, but certainly one of the most interesting and unusual museums in existence, the National Museum of Health and Medicine is one of the nation's oldest medical museums, with 12,000 medical and anatomical items in its collection. Where else could you find the bullet that killed Lincoln or see Civil War-era surgical tools? You can also see centuries-old Inca skulls that show the results of head surgery, and Paul Revere's dental tools.
The National Museum of Health and Medicine, which was founded after the Civil War, was primarily focused on military medicine and pathology until World War II. It has a wonderful collection of old medical instruments and machines, as well as an extensive collection of skeletons and body parts, the first heart-lung machine, and prosthetic limbs.
It will take about two hours to fully explore this unusual museum. Its four permanent exhibits include “To Bind Up the Nation's Wounds,” which focuses on medicine during and after the Civil War; “Living in a World with AIDS”; “Human Body, Human Being,” which offers a look at a smoker's lung and the opportunity to touch a human brain; and the Billings Microscope Collection, which features the world's most comprehensive collection of microscopes from the earliest in the 1600s to the first electron microscopes of the 1930s.
The museum also has a changing panorama of special exhibits, so call or check the Web site for more information.Location and Hours
The museum is housed in the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, accessible via the Elder Street NW gate off of Georgia Avenue NW. To get there, you'll have get off at Silver Springs or Tacoma on the Red Line and take a short bus ride. Hours of operation are from 10
There are plenty of places to eat both on- and off-campus, from fast food to great ethnic restaurants, including the hospital's cheap meals.