Museums can be a hit or miss. They’re not everyone’s cup of tea, especially children who prefer the outdoors or theme parks over artifacts kept on display. However, there is a way to make yourself and your children develop an interest in art and history. You can achieve this by visiting the right kind of museums. Such museums are fascinating, equipped with the right features, and offer a wide range of information, activities, and artifacts that everyone can admire. This is why dropping by at any museum won’t do. Finding the best ones in the city and visiting them is sure to help develop an eye for the anthropological aspects of society.
If you are visiting Alexandria, or have recently moved there, then learning all about the area and its rich history and society can be done through the top museums. While there is quite a handful of them, only a few stand out as being the best. We have put together a list of the top 5 museums in Alexandria, Virginia that are worth the visit. You can visit them with your family and friends. They’re also a great learning experience for your children. Getting them started young on developing an interest in history and learning about the artifacts and culture that shaped societies centuries ago is important. It’s sure to help them in the future.
So, without further delay, let’s dive in and look at the top 5 museums in Alexandria along with what makes them stand out. All these museums follow strict adherence to SOPs, making them safe and welcoming for people of all ages. You need not worry about social distancing here, the rules are quite strict when it comes to keeping a distance.
To find out which museums these are, read ahead.
1. GADSBY’S TAVERN MUSEUM
This museum is a glimpse into the five star hotels of the 18th century. The hotels inside this museum are the 1785 taverns and the City Tavern Hotel of 1792. You are surely going to be transported back in time after stepping into this museum. This museum has been named after John Gadsby, a famous tavern keeper. You can explore the City Tavern Hall where some of the most exceptional banquets have taken place. Thomas Jefferson had his Inaugural Banquet here in 1801. The City Tavern Ballroom is also where George Washington’s Birthnight Ball of 1798-99 was hosted
This museum is located on Royal Street and is easily accessible via Google Maps. To learn about the upcoming events, visit their website today.
- Food and drinks
- Private and public tours
- Photographic Collection showcasing the 20th century
- Gadsby’s Collection consisting of furniture and early objects in the 18th and 19th century
- Special Events and private parties
- Self-Guided Tours
- Private parking
2. ALEXANDRIA HISTORY MUSEUM AT THE LYCEUM
The Alexandria History Museum at the Lyceum has a history that is quite fascinating and worth the visit. The Lyceum Company was formed in 1838 during the Lyceum movement in America. Lyceums were established to promote education and took on the responsibility of the dissemination of knowledge to local people. The halls were open to all, from children, women, and men to older people. What was even more remarkable was how this Lyceum was used as a make-shift hospital and military quarter for troops during the Civil War. It then transformed into the first U.S. Bicentennial Center.
The rich history that this lyceum offers cannot be missed out on. It now offers public events and programs, facility rentals, and several exhibitions. The Alexandria History Museum at the Lyceum is open from Tuesday till Sunday and is located at 201 S. Washington Street. Be sure to check it out!
- Museum Store
- Public programs and Group services
- Free Parking
- Accommodation for individuals with a disability
- Easy access to restaurants and other historic sites
3. GEORGE WASHINGTON’S MOUNT VERNON
If you’re in Alexandria, then dropping by at George Washington’s Mount Vernon is a must. It is located 8 miles south of Alexandria but has a lot to offer. From George Washington’s Distillery and Gristmill, which is fully functioning, to Washington’s tomb, working farm, and slave memorial, all can be visited here. You can explore and learn all about George and Martha Washington’s estate via the Mansion tour as well. This is the most attractive feature of Mount Vernon. Once you are done with the tour, you can enjoy a fresh and delicious dinner at the Inn or food court. Visit their website to book a tour and head on over there this weekend, you will not regret it.
- Free Parking
- Online events and programs
- Special events
- Mansion and Estate visit
- Art Exhibitions and Gallery
- Tours – Live, Virtual, and Audio
- Shopping – Mount Vernon Museum Collection, books, souvenirs, ceramics, and more
4. ALEXANDRIA ARCHAEOLOGY MUSEUM
This museum is the perfect way to get to know about how the archaeological sites and resources are managed and maintained in Alexandria. A detailed insight into how the city’s residents and developers work towards preserving the heritage is sure to be found here. You can visit this museum at the Torpedo Factory Art Center on 105 N. Union Street. The museum is open from Thursday till Sunday. For more information, visit their website.
- Special events
- Educational programs
- Free Parking
- Docent Programs
- Activities showcasing how the past is studied
- Internship opportunities for students
5. FREEDOM HOUSE MUSEUM
This museum was once the largest domestic slave trading firm. Accounts and records of the dark and harsh realities of the slave trade in America can be learned here. These accounts have been preserved through decades and are first-hand encounters. This historical reminder is a great way to teach children about the contours of slavery that shaped America’s history. You can even donate to the Freedom House Museum to preserve this landmark.
The museum is located on 1315 Duke Street and is open Friday and Saturday from 1 till 5 p.m.
- Group tours
- Wide range of restaurants nearby
- Private Parking
Wrapping it Up!
There you go, a list of the top 5 museums in Alexandria, Virginia. You can add them to your bucket list and start knocking them out one at a time. They’re the perfect way to unwind and relax after a long week. And, they’re a productive way to spend some quality time with your family. Trust us, if your kids are museum haters, then taking them to one of these museums is sure to change their minds. Your kids are going to love museums after visiting the ones mentioned here. So, add a trip to the museum for this weekend and add some variety to your entertainment options. You are going to be glad you did this – Alexandria has some of the best museums for a reason.
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