Published On: Sun, Oct 30th, 2016

Visit to the National Museum of American History and Spark!Lab

As soon as I learned about the Spark!Lab at the National Museum of American History, I planned on taking Najwa. Picking a lazy Sunday, the timing couldn’t be more perfect with the Redskins playing in London, the game ending around lunch time [frustratingly ending in a 27-27 tie with the Cincinnati Bengals]. When we got there, as I started doing, we would visit at least one exhibit — we did a simulation ride — grab a bite to eat in the cafeteria [a lot nicer than I expected] then go to the kid’s area.

First we stopped by the museum to get a bag, something to hold our stuff. The weather was a lot warmer than anticipated so we needed something to hold our coats, hats, and whatever else we got that would fit. Like Najwa’s freeze-dried ice cream sandwich. It’s a huge museum store, relative to the others, so we were in there for a moment.

The exhibit we visited was Celebration: Snapshots of African American Communities. It was a quick walk through, balancing my requirement of us visiting at least one exhibit and her eagerness wanting to get to Spark!Lab.

American Museum of American History

American Museum of American History

But first, there were the ride simulators. They had a cool one in 3D. Not as 3 dimensional as a regular movie theater, but Najwa thoroughly enjoyed it.

Najwa with 3D glasses

When we finally made it to Spark!Lab, at 3:45 pm, that’s when I learned that it closes at 4:00 pm!

With only 15 minutes, though, Najwa whipped up her invention anyway. I was relieved Najwa, who was impatient to ge to Spark!Lab, didn’t blame me for us only having 15 minutes. She just got straight to work, not discouraged by the staff reminding everyone every several minutes that the Spark!Lab was about to close.

The theme was to invent something for the kitchen. She made a whup up, a device she said kills ants that try to eat your food. The imagination of a 6 year old!


Najwa at Spark!Lab at the American Museum of American History

Najwa at Spark!Lab at the American Museum of American History

Deflated, me more so than her, we left, planning on coming back another day. We hung out for a moment at the Gen. Hancock statue at Archives-Navy Memorial Metro Station where Najwa ate her dehydrated astronaut-friendly ice cream sandwich.

Najwa at Archives Metro

Najwa at Archives Metro

Najwa and Dad at Archives Metro

It was a good day. For our next visit, we’ll get there earlier.

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About the Author

David Gaines

- David Gaines is a Washington, DC, resident transplanted from North Carolina whose dream career was a newspaper writer but settled for the recruiting industry and simply blogging about whatever thoughts crosses his mind.

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