16 Museums You Can Visit During the Government Shutdown

Smithsonian museums shut their doors on Jan. 2 due to the government shutdown, but there's plenty of museums to enjoy until the classics open again. Consider a railroad museum where you can actually ride the rails, a medical museum full of specimens you'll want to view only on an empty stomach, and plenty more.

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B&O Railroad Museum
Robert Lautman
Smithsonian museums shut their doors on Jan. 2 due to the government shutdown, but there's plenty of museums to enjoy until the classics open again. Consider a railroad museum where you can actually ride the rails, a medical museum full of specimens you'll want to view only on an empty stomach, and plenty more.

The Phillips Collection n

Where: 1600 21st St. NWn

How Much: Adults $12; students & seniors $10; youth & members free.n

It may not be a Smithsonian or on the National Mall, but you can still find some of the world's most unique and incredible works of art. In the museum's sprawling collection of over 3,000 works, see world-renowned paintings such as Renoir's "Luncheon of the Boating Party" and lose yourself in the Rothko Room, a room (as the name implies) dedicated to abstract expressionist Mark Rothko. Sit and stay awhile. Federal workers with an ID can enter for free.
National Capital Trolley Museum
The National Capital Trolley Museumn
Where: 1313 Bonifant Road, Colesville, Maryland
How Much: Adults $7; kids & seniors $5.n
Experience what it was like when streetcars ruled the rails by riding one of the still-operational cars at the National Capital Trolley Museum. Tracks take visitors on a short journey around the museum's campus. In addition to the rides, the museum features exhibits, antique route maps, and a collection of historic streetcars from D.C. as well as from other U.S. and Canadian cities. It's open on Saturdays and Sundays, and for special event days.
The Washington Post/Getty Images
The Society of the Cincinnati's Anderson Housen
Where: 2118 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.n
How Much: Free.n

The Society of the Cincinnati is a historical organzation that works to promote appreciation of America's independence. The museum focuses on all things related to the American Revolution. You'll find antique tapestries, sculptures, portraits and more.
National Law Enforcement Museum/News4
National Law Enforcement Museumn
Where: 444 E St. NW, Washington, D.C.n
How Much: Prices are $14.95 for kids and $21.95 for a regular adult ticketn

The newly opened National Law Enforcement Museum showcases the process of law enforcement through exhibits highlighting daring undercover operations, heroic rescues and troublesome prison histories. Here's a preview of what's inside.
National Museum of Health and Medicine
The National Museum of Health and Medicinen
Where: 2500 Linden Lane, Silver Spring, Marylandn
How Much: Free.n

From antique microscopes to jars of preserved human specimens to the bullet that killed Abraham Lincoln, the National Museum of Health and Medicine provides visitors a deeper understanding of medicine's past and its future. The Silver Spring institution has been operating since the 1860s and has a special focus on American military medicine. Note that the museum's collection contains quite a few human-related specimens that may not be suitable for small kids or anyone with a delicate stomach. If you're feeling up for it, though, you'll likely find the displays fascinating. Visitors can also see a portion of a trauma bay used to treat soldiers in Iraq as part of its "Advances in Military Medicine" exhibit.
Clara Barton Missing Soldiers Office Museum
Clara Barton Missing Soldiers Office Museum n
Where: 437 7th St. NWn
How Much: Adults $9.50; students $7; seniors & military $8.50; kids free.n

If it weren't for a chance discovery during a demolition inspection of an old shoe store on 7th Street, about 1,000 artifacts left behind by the woman who founded the American Red Cross would have been lost forever. Clara Barton lived in and opened her Missing Soldiers Office in the building after the Civil War to help reunite families with their loved ones. Today, visitors can tour the restored building and learn the story of the "Angel of the Battlefield." The museum also hosts events throughout the year including concerts, presentations and even amputation demonstrations. It's open regularly from Thursday to Saturday.
Where: 555 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, D.C.n
How Much: Buy your tickets online during the shutdown for a 15 percent discount: $21.21 for adults and $12.71 for kids aged 7 to 18.n

The Newseum highlights the old and latest in journalism and news. Current exhibits look back the Civil Rights movement in 1968, segments of the Berlin Wall and the editorial cartoons of Michael Sloan and Jake Halpern.
Emily Haight, National Museum of Women in the Arts
National Museum of Women in the Artsn
Where: 1250 New York Ave. NWn
How Much: Adults $10; seniors & students: $8; museum members & youth free.n

This museum is billed as the only one in the world that holds a collection of 4,500 works of art created exclusively by female artists. The collection features present-day artists, but some of its earliest pieces date to 16th century. One of its most prominent artists is 19th century impressionist Mary Cassatt. whose later works focused on the theme of mother and child. Visitors to the museum this summer can see the Heavy Metal, a series featuring artists who created sculptures, jewelry and other objects in metal.
B&O Railroad Museum
B&O Railroad Museumn
Where: 901 W. Pratt St., Baltimore, Marylandn
How Much: Adults $20; seniors (age 60+) $17; kids (ages 2-12) $12; furloughed federal workers can flash their ID for free entry through the shutdown.n

Ride the (historic) rails! One of the world's largest collections of railroad artifacts and locomotives is in Baltimore at the B&O Railroad Museum, where you can take a ride along the first commercial mile of train track ever laid in the U.S. The historic train station and workshops date back to 1829, and the site is considered by some to be the birthplace of American railroading, the museum says. In addition to seeing historic locomotives and other train vehicles, you'll also find smaller artifacts and can search for ancestors in B&O's employee records.
Alexandria Black History Museum
Alexandria Black History Museumn
Where: 902 Wythe St., Alexandria, Virginian
How Much: Suggested $2 donation.n

In the building that once housed Alexandria's segregated library, the Alexandria Black History Museum uses exhibits to tell the story of the African-American Alexandrians during slavery, the Civil War and post-Civil War era. This summer, visitors can also check out a collection of African American dollhouses and miniatures depicting African-American life in Alexandria and Virginia. In addition to the museum's main building, visitors can check out the Watson Reading Room and the Alexandria African American Heritage Park, a satellite location that includes a sculpture garden and a one-acre 19th century African-American cemetery.
Shawn Levin
American Visionary Art Museum n
Where: 800 Key Highway, Baltimore, Marylandn
How Much: Adults $15.95; seniors $13.95; students, kids & veterans $9.95; active military, members & kids under 6 free.n

If you feel like a mini-road trip, consider visiting the eye-popping collections at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, featuring an eclectic mix of sculptures, mosaics and paintings. Curators take special attention to add work by self-taught artists to the collection. Because the museum's mission is to preserve "outsider art," you'll discover a mind-bending group of pieces that run the gamut from sculptures built from scrap metal to giant neon lights. Don't miss the gift shop.
Museum of the Biblen
Where: 400 4th St. SW, Washington, D.C.n
How Much: Tickets for children over 7 cost $9.99 online and $14.99 for walk up. Regular adult tickets are $19.99 online and $24.99 at the door.n

The Museum of the Bible opened its 40-foot Gutenberg Gates in 2017, welcoming anyone interested in a biblical perspective on history. With lots of kid-oriented exhibits and historic artifacts on loan from Israel's esteemed official collection, the museum is a good bet near the National Mall.
Prince George's African American Museum & Cultural Center
Prince George's African American Museum & Cultural Centern
Where: 4519 Rhode Island Ave., North Brentwood, Marylandn
How Much: Tours are $5 per person.n

The museum and cultural center is located in North Brentwood and hosts an array of exhibits focusing on cultural and historical contributions of its African-American community. The museum has several exhibitions including "Footsteps from North Brentwood." The exhibit was first displayed in the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Museum. It features historical information, photographs, interviews and memorabilia about North Brentwood, a town first settled by African-American Civil War veterans.
Kreeger Museumn
Where: 2401 Foxhall Road NW, Washington D.C.
How Much: $10 suggested donation for a regular adult ticketn

The Kreeger Museum features a collection of modern art, ranging from painting to sculpture. You can also walk through the sculpture garden.
Alexandria Archaeology Museum
The Alexandria Archaeology Museumn
Where: 105 N. Union St., #327, Alexandria, Virginian
How Much: Free.n

Over the years, Alexandria residents, workers and developers have uncovered thousands of artifacts in the historic city. The museum's collection contains more than 2,000 items including parts of ships, ceramics, wooden toys, leather items and other relics that tells the story of Alexandria's past. Visitors are encouraged to learn about the people that lived and visited Alexandria from prehistoric times all the way to the 20th century.
Brittany Johnson
Where: 1238 Maryland Ave SW, Washington, D.C.n
How Much: Regular admission starts at $15 for adults, $12 for students, seniors and military and $8 for kids.n

The current interactive exhibit, New Nature by Marpi, is open through Jan. 13. Wave your hands to pet a digital plant that makes music, tap your smartphone to feed a larger-than-life beast illuminated on the wall and enjoy beautiful lights at this art exhibit that's probably unlike anything else you've seen. It's a good option for kids during the day, and hosts adults-only hours at night.
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