Parent-ready museums

Washington is home to the world-famous Smithsonian Institution, but beyond the traditional attractions D.C. contains several quirky treasures showcasing everything from notebooks of a reporter who died on 9/11 to the studio used for America’s Most Wanted. The Hatchet has compiled a list of some of the best non-Smithsonian museums around the city. And hey, if your parents are going, maybe they’ll pay for the tickets.

Madame Tussauds Wax Museum

Not surprisingly, the D.C. installation of this unconventional museum is filled with political figures, including Barack Obama and its most recent addition, Michelle Obama. Other figures include sports stars Tiger Woods and Babe Ruth, Hollywood’s leading couple Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, and of course our own claim to fame, George Washington himself.

Metro: Metro Center. Admission: $20 for adults, $15 for children.

International Spy Museum

The International Spy Museum, a haven for crime junkies and lovers of “whodunits,” is a tribute to the history of espionage. Become a pretend spy as you adopt a covert identity and move through the various exhibitions.

Metro: Gallery Place-Chinatown. Admission: $18 for adults, $15 for children ages 5-11.

Newseum

Home to 14 permanent galleries, this seven-story museum is a virtual shrine to journalism. Pick up the microphone and be a reporter in the “NBC News Interactive Newsroom,” or go back in time in “Woodstock at 40: The Rise of Music Journalism,” which features rare artifacts and photographs from the seminal event.

Metro: Archives-Navy Memorial Penn Quarter. Admission: $19.95 for adults, $12.95 for children ages 7 – 18.

National Museum of Crime and Punishment

Less well known but equally entertaining is the National Museum of Crime and Punishment, dedicated to the study of law enforcement. The museum features exhibitions ranging from “A Notorious History of Crime,” in which visitors can practice hacking into a computer and try to unlock a safe, to the “CSI Experience,” in which guests solve a fictional murder using DNA testing.

Metro: Gallery Place-Chinatown. Admission: $17.95 for adults, $14.95 for children ages 5 to 11.

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