OWINGS, MD - JUNE 8: A tree frog sits on a branch June 8, 2005 in Owings, Maryland. The state of Maryland is home to several species of frogs each of which have their own distingue call or sound that they produce. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
There's a place in Virginia where you can come into contact with more wildlife in one day than you'd ever encounter during an ordinary ol' nature hike.
No pandas though. Sorry. Nope.
The museum is also chock full of activities like outdoor/indoor exhibits, a planetarium, special events and outdoor gardens. Labs and uber-local safaris are also a popular activity.
During the holidays (through Dec. 31), you can learn about the Magi and the Star of Bethlehem
's "mystery" at the Abbitt Planetarium
. Both are laser shows enjoyed with festive music (daytime shows $4).
The museum has provided natural and space science education to more than two million students since 1987. It's also endorsed by the U.S. Dept. of Education and National Science Foundation.
Hours are Mon.-Sat. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sun. noon-5 p.m.