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In the Spotlight
The Smithsonian in your neighborhood
Image of a Flashlight Take your family to a Smithsonian exhibition near you! There are more than 100 Smithsonian Affiliate museums across the country. Here we highlight shows of special interest to families. Some are temporary, so be sure to check the dates.
Raleigh, North Carolina
The Story of North Carolina

North Carolina Museum of History
The Story of North Carolina
The story told by this new comprehensive exhibition begins around 10,000 BC and continues to the present. Includes a cannon from Blackbeard’s flagship, a restored slave cabin, Civil War artifacts, and a full-sized replica of the 1903 Wright Flyer.  
Permanent Exhibit
Visit the exhibit website
Credit information can be found on the museum website.

Los Angeles, California
Coral Reef

California Science Center
Ecosystems
Discover how environment affects living things—and vice versa—in a new immersive exhibit. Ecosystems is divided into eight zones, each of which demonstrates a different ecological principle. In Extreme Zone, visitors feel the heat of a desert ecosystem and the chill of an “ice wall” in a polar ecosystem. Forest Zone includes an underwater kelp forest inhabited by such California coastal creatures as leopard sharks and moray eels. Island Zone, home to lizards and tropical fish, shows the workings of evolution in isolated habitats. Ecosystems also features a Discovery Room especially designed for children seven and younger.
Permanent Exhibit
Visit the exhibit website
Credit information can be found on the museum website.

Bradenton, Florida
Pho

South Florida Museum
Parker Manatee Aquarium
Located in Manatee County, Florida, the museum includes an aquarium that serves as a “second-stage rehabilitation facility” for manatees that have received medical care and are about to be released into the wild. The aquarium is also the permanent home of Snooty, the oldest known manatee in the world. Visitors can observe manatee life both above and below the surface.
Permanent Exhibit
Visit the exhibit website
Credit information can be found on the museum website.

Charlestown, Massachusetts
USSC USS Constitution Museum
All Hands on Deck: A Sailor's Life in 1812
The museum opened thirty years ago to house artifacts from the frigate nicknamed “Old Ironsides.” The new exhibit All Hands on Deck is an interactive “family-centered” exploration of life on the ship at the beginning of the War of 1812. Visitors learn how to scrub the decks and furl a sail, and can even climb into a hammock for a bit of well-earned rest. Along the way, they learn the stories of sailors who served on the Constitution during the war, including an eight-year-old lad who was captured by the British and imprisoned in Barbados.
Permanent Exhibit
Visit the exhibit museum
Credit information can be found on the museum website.
Daytona Beach, Florida
Teddybears Museum of Arts & Sciences
Roots Family Museum

Visit this astounding display of more than 800 teddy bears, ranging from seven feet tall to only a few inches in height. The exhibit presents Florida's largest collection of stuffed teddy bears; each bear represents a different time period or theme and portrays everyday scenes such as “Teddy Bear Wedding,” complete with bridesmaids, groomsmen and a minister. In addition, see every conceivable item relating to the bottling, advertising and consumption of Coca-Cola. Through a selection of glass bottles representing the changing trends in bottling over the decades, this exhibit chronicles the transition of Root Family Glass Works into Associated Coca-Cola, the largest independent Coca-Cola bottler in the nation.
Permanent Exhibit
Visit the exhibit website
Credit information can be found on the museum website.
Huntsville, Arizona
Armstrong on the Moon

U.S. Space & Rocket Center
Cosmic fun for the entire family. From incredible displays of artifacts from the nation's space program, to hands-on interactive exhibits and space travel simulators, the U.S. Space & Rocket Center experience is unlike any other. Climb a cliff face on a Martian volcano on our Olympus Mons Climbing Wall. The mars mission motion-based simulator takes you on a surprising journey across the red planet. Experience three times the force of gravity as you spin like crazy in the g-force accelerator. Get a true feel for the close quarters shared by astronauts in the Apollo days as you sit inside the Apollo cockpit trainer.
Permanent Exhibit
Visit the museum website
Credit information can be found on the museum website.

Kennesaw, Georgia
Locomotive <em>The General</em>

Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History
The Great Locomotive Chase

On April 12, 1862, James J. Andrews and a band of Union spies stole the locomotive, the General, from under the watchful eyes of guards at nearby Camp McDonald while passengers and crew were eating breakfast at the Lacy Hotel. Follow in the footsteps of Confederate Conductor William Fuller as he chases “Andrews Raiders” with a dramatic tour featuring an exciting movie about the chase, a façade of the Lacy Hotel, a tunnel, and the General. Learn more about the spies in the Museum's Raiders Gallery that features Sgt. Scott's Medal of Honor, as well as photos and information about all 22 raiders.
Permanent Exhibit
Visit the exhibit website
Credit information can be found on the museum website.



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