The National Museum of the American Indian is a really great museum - and the newest member of the Smithsonian Museum family in Washington DC. The museum is open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily; closed Dec. 25. (Exhibition spaces, café, and stores begin closing at 5:15 p.m.)
The outside of the museum is as beautiful as the inside with waterfalls and native plants. The interior is huge...each floor exploring a different aspect of Indian Culture. But this isn't just a room full of arrowheads and fur jackets - this museum covers all aspects of the Indian experience in America. You will see artifacts from hundreds of years ago but also explanations and stories about what life is like today for the American Indian either living on a reservation or in the cities. I was fascinated and literally lost track of time.
Make sure to check out the museum's research center...a fully functioning library and genealogy center where you can research some aspect of Native American culture. Even if you don't have anything to research, check out the best view of the Capital Building I've ever seen - right from the research room!
The gift stores have some nice gifts for kids and adults, and if you are a Smithsonian member you get a discount. The cafe, Mitsam, is absolutely worth checking out. All the food stations, separated into specific regions of the company, serve an authentic native American Indian meal. Even the beverage station offers different teas and lemonade type beverages you will not find anywhere else. It's expensive - I paid nearly 14 for a meal, but I considered it a special treat so it was worth it.
Both kids and adults will enjoy a visit to the National Museum of the American Indian. Here is the museum's http://www.nmai.si.edu/index.cfm for more information.