Editor’s note: This is the third post in a series of guest posts from the PRSA National Capital Chapter publicity committee leading up to the PRSA 2014 International Conference, October 12 – 14. Follow the Conference conversation by searching the hashtag #PRSAICON and following our PRSA National Events Twitter handle, @PRSAevents.
What do dinosaur bones, luggage tags, rocket engines, newspapers, and a working blacksmith shop all have in common? They all tell a rich and lively story about our nation’s history and each can be found at one of the many popular museums throughout Washington, DC. While attending this year’s PRSA International Conference in the city, the learning (and the fun) doesn’t have to stop there. Here are five exciting and educational museums you and your family can visit while staying in our nation’s capital.
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
As a native of the DC region and a mother of two, I can tell you that this museum has something for everyone! You and your family will absolutely love the dinosaur exhibits as well as the enormous collection of natural gems and minerals, artifacts of early man, an insect zoo, a live coral reef, an IMAX theater and much more.
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
If you (and your crew) are fascinated by air and space travel, you can get a close-up view of the more than 22 exhibition galleries and hundreds of artifacts on display at this museum including the original Wright 1903 Flyer, the “Spirit of St. Louis,” and the Apollo 11 command module. If you have the time to venture outside the city, there is also an annex location near Dulles International Airport – The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center with many air and space travel exhibits and artifacts to see.
U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
This museum is a memorial to the six million European Jews who died during the Nazi regime in Germany during World War II. These exhibits tell a vivid and personal story of the unthinkable acts of violence and horrific genocide that took place during that time period. The permanent exhibition at the museum has over 900 artifacts on display, 70 video monitors, and four theaters showing film footage and eyewitness testimonies of Nazi concentration camp survivors.
As a communications professional, I’m sure you will especially enjoy visiting this museum. The Newseum, a six-level, high-tech and interactive museum is one of DC’s most popular attractions. While visiting this 250,000 square foot museum, you will learn about the history of news reporting from the 16th century to the present day. The Newseum has 15 theaters, 14 major galleries, two state-of-the-art broadcast studios and a 4-D time-travel experience in addition to a gallery on news coverage during the 9/11 event.
Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens
Just outside the city, a “must-see” attraction and one of my personal favorites, is the Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens. Besides being arguably one of the most beautiful historical sites in the DC region, the home of George Washington is situated along the Potomac River on 500-acres, and is restored and decorated with original furnishings from the 1740’s. Visitors can explore the 14-room mansion, a museum, and the many outbuildings including a working blacksmith shop and a Pioneer Farm, a 4-acre demonstration farm with a reconstructed slave cabin and 16-sided treading barn to learn about the life of the nation’s first president and his family.
Jennifer Carin Meyer, Principal at J.C. Meyer Communications, is a seasoned PR professional with more than 20 years of PR and media relations experience. She is also a member of IPRA’s board and a member of PRSA.
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