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Good For Kids
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museum from across the street
Closest available address
555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001
Open 9:00am-5:00pm daily
Best time to visit
District of Columbia
The Newseum is a very popular museum focused on journalism and freedom of speech. It's on Pennsylvania Avenue and only a few blocks from the US Capitol. The museum is huge with 250,000 square feet of display space, 7 floors and 15 different theaters. The collection features artifacts such as old newspapers and manuscripts, and more recent objects such as portions of the Berlin Wall and part of an antenna from the World Trade Center. Additional facilities include a working broadcast studio, restaurant and gift shop. There are interactive activities as well such as an opportunity to be videoed as a newscaster and also electronic games for kids.
The Newseum is operated by the Freedom Forum, which is a foundation dedicated to free speech and a free press. Established in 1997 and initially located in northern Virginia, the Newseum moved to its present location in 2008. The new building cost a paltry $450 million, which may explain why a once free museum now charges a steep $22.95 for a two day pass.
Visiting here in September was lucky because the museum happened to be free that day and unlucky because it was mobbed. It's typically less crowded on non-holiday weekends and after 3:00pm when school groups have left. Despite the crowds, the overall experience here was first rate. From the various front page newspapers outside, to the good views and a timeline of DC history on the top floor balcony, to a great 4D film, to insightful temporary exhibits on the Baby Boom Generation and on the FBI, this museum was replete with engaging content and diverse displays. It's hard to narrow down a list of things to see and do here because so much was interesting and/or entertaining. Of the permanent exhibits and attractions though, top picks would include the Berlin Wall, the 4D film, lighter side of the news (comedy bits), Pulitzer Prize photos, and the old newspapers and films shown on level 5. You should plan on a full day to enjoy this place, especially if you are the type of person who likes to read everything and get immersed in the experience. If you live in DC or plan to be in town for a while, there are also regularly scheduled events such as lectures and interviews at the museum that may be of interest. Also, if you have the bread and the inclination, private tours of the facility are offered for an extra fee and outside of regular operating hours.
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