Fluffy: The Native Americans dined with the Pilgrims. Is that right?
Me: More or less.
Try this outing info at the end.
Since Fluffalumbopoulos is learning in Kindergarden about how European invaders in the Americas raped the land and decimated the native population, it was time to make our yearly pilgimage to the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian to learn the true meaning of Thanksgiving.
You may recall that in past years I have been rather harsh on this museum. Maybe even hinted that the only thing worth the price of admission (free) is the cafeteria (not free). Well, I was wrong.
This year Fluffy and I went on a girl date with no stroller, no babies, no diaperbag full of fruit purees, and no, I repeat, NO whining. Result? Best museum trip ever!! Ninety minutes which is usually an eternity in toddler museum visit years flew by too quickly, and Fluffy and I were only sorry we couldn’t stay twice as long.
Seriously, it was a totally different experience. The current exhibits were way more interesting. The lighting seemed better. The Lelawi theater’s 13 minute film projected onto a domed ceiling, rug screens and a boulder in the center campfire was mesmerizing and as relaxing as a deep tissue massage. Without the stroller, we took the stairs and discovered that above them, the prismatic skylight casts an enormous rainbow. Wow!
Our favorite exhibit was “Grand Procession: Dolls from the Charles and Valerie Diker Collection”. The costumes were sumptuous and the scenes, like this proud mother with a baby slung on the saddle and two other kids riding on a bracket behind, enthralling. I wondered to myself why this was like the best museum exhibit ever and why Fluffy was eating it up with a side of fries. Then it came to me:
The Museum of the American Indian is exactly like the American Girl doll store. There are a bunch of historical dolls in intricate fancy clothes displayed in glass boxes. And you can’t buy anything.
So I have to offer my apologies to the American Indian Museum. Turns out, it’s not you, it’s me. You’re very lovable and amazing and a real catch. I’m just not emotionally available when I’m totally on the clock trying to fit the whole trip into the nap window.
Try this outing
Difficulty Level: Moderate. Great stoller access. The doublewide fit everywhere. Kind of dim in some places with tunnel-like display rooms where runners could really be a problem.
- I have never seen it crowded even around Thanksgiving which is when the schools go.
- Definitely stop by the Lelawi Theater on the top floor to choose a show time of the 13 minute film before you start browsing.
- The cafeteria is really an accomplishment. Though on the spendy side, there are a variety of interesting and delicious foods from many Native American cuisines. Yum.
- The cartoon films of Indian mythology on the third floor are really creepy. They are shown in the dark, under that gorgeous “Peter Pan’s Flight” milky way ceiling, so it’s already in a spooky atmosphere. Then the tales are of a little girl drowning in a flood, and another girl turning into a bear and killing all the children in the village and having her toes cut off and being burned…. Those films literally gave both Fluffy and me nightmares. I had to crawl into bed with her in the middle of the night. Now I realize our fairytales are every bit as gruesome, I’m just sayin’.
- The gift shops are almost as fun as the exhibits.
Fluffy Fun Factor (Kindergartener Rating): I didn’t like it. I LOVED it!