[UPDATE: Museum Day will no longer take place on April 4] Satisfy your curiosity and quench your thirst for knowledge at these DC museums which will be free on Museum Day this April!
DC’s well known for its vast array of free museums, but on Apr 4, six additional museums around the DC area will open for free in honor of Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day. So if you ever wanted to visit Dumbarton House or Carlyle House in Alexandria, now is your chance!
1. Ben Lomond Historic Site, Manassas
Built in 1832, the Ben Lomond Historic site was crucial for the Confederate army during the civil war, which used it as a hospital wing after the Battle of First Manassas. You can still see the signatures of the soldiers who occupied the space in 1862.
Find Ben Lomond Historic Site at 10321 Sudley Manor Dr, Manassas, VA 20109.
2. Carlyle House Historic Park, Alexandria
Discover life in colonial Virginia at Carlyle House. A fine example of Georgian-style architecture, this 18th-century house was built for prominent merchant and politician John Carlyle back in 1753.
Find Carlyle House at 121 N Fairfax St, Alexandria, VA 22314.
3. Dumbarton House, Georgetown
Dumbarton House tells the story of life in the blossoming American Republic. Built for Joseph Nourse, the first register of the US Treasury, in 1799, it features rotating exhibits that reflect on early life in Washington DC. This April, you’ll be able to learn about Joseph Nourse and his wife Maria as well as alcohol consumption during the Federal period and the women who worked at the house among other curiosities.
Find Dumbarton House at 2715 Q St NW, Washington, DC 20007.
4. Gunston Hall, Mason Neck
This 18th-century Georgian Mansion near the Potomac was once the home of Founding Father George Mason. Located in a 5,500 acres plantation it’s not too far from George Washington’s home. For Museum Day you’ll be able to take a turn around the estate and visit the manor and the ongoing exhibition “Revolutionary Rights” which offers a window into Mason’s ideology.
Find Gunston Hall at 10709 Gunston Rd, Lorton, VA 22079.
5. Lee-Fendall House Museum & Garden, Old Town Alexandria
Rediscover American history through the eyes of Lee-Fendall’s residents who lived here from 1795-1969. For Museum Day, the house museum is offering visitors the chance to go on a self-guided tour of the building and discover the history trapped within its walls.
Find Lee-Fendall House Museum & Garden at 614 Oronoco St, Alexandria, VA 22314.
6. National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA), Penn Quarter
The NMWA is the only major museum in the world entirely dedicated to celebrating women’s achievements in the Arts. This year on Museum Day, you’ll be able to learn about the likes of Graciela Iturbide, one of the most influential photographers in Latin America who recorded life in her native Mexico, and Delita Martin, whose goal is to “create a new iconography for African Americans based on African tradition, personal recollections, and physical materials.”
Find the NMWA at 1250 New York Ave NW.
In addition to these institutions, four other museums which are free on the reg are joining this year’s Museum Day: the DAR Museum, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, and the United States Botanic Garden.
Although entrance to all these museums will be free, tickets are required and can be downloaded on the Smithsonian Magazine website. Only one ticket is allowed per email address and it will provide free entrance for two people to all Museum Day institutions.
Feature image: @artbyevramirez