The Native American Indian Museum, Washington DC

Mom by the canoe near the entrance of the museum

It’s tourist season in Washington DC, and none of the sights are particularly new, but some are new to me. Last week I had the opportunity to go to the Native American Indian Museum with my mom, who was visiting from Florida, and it was quite an experience.

The museum is designed in a circle, so one should go to the top floor, watch the introductory movie and then proceed downstairs through the exhibits, finishing on the first floor to exit.  Each exhibit throughout the building is meant to touch, learn and explore.  It’s perfect for kids of all ages.

My favorite part was the modern art done by native Americans.  What I loved, in addition to the art itself, was that if you had a smart phone, you could download an app and then if you swiped the phone by the painting or sculpture, it would give you all of the info on that particular piece.  You could also call a phone number on a non-smart version to find the info.  Very tech-friendly.

There were huge display cases of small artistic pieces, and in front of the cases were computers on which visitors could interactively examine each one.  We happened to catch a performance by a Native American who works at the museum and he was doing a traditional dance with a drum.  Just wonderful – mesmerizing.

But by far, the best part was the cafe.  Good food in a museum, you might wonder?  Well yes!!  It was cafeteria style, so you could choose food from about six stations and each one sported a different part of the Indian culture.  There was buffalo, corn, fruit, salads, and a million other different things that I had never heard of.   My mom and I shared a funky southwestern-style taco that was basically chili over a flat bread.  We also had cantaloupe soup and a tomato and watermelon salad. We shared a pumpkin cookie for dessert.  It was delicious!

The museum is a must-see when planning a visit to Washington DC.  Go for the exhibits and stay for the food.