You can read my informational review of it on Kid Trips here. Read further if you are interested in my personal review. :)
To prep my girls for the trip, we looked at pictures of some of the figures online, focusing mostly on the historical ones. The figures are VERY life-like and I didn't want the girls (especially Love Bug since she's only two years old) to get freaked out or anything when we got to the museum. I explained to them that we were going to see statues that looked like real people and that this was a special museum because we were going to be able to touch things there.
I had invited my sister and a mommy friend and her children to be part of the experience with us. Papa Bear was also able to join us.
We decided driving was the best way for us to get there. It was a bit of a trek from Prince William County to Washington, D.C. especially given that the tour started at 10:30 a.m. I was thankful that I had reserved parking online the night before and that the parking garage was right across the street from the museum. They even had valet parking!
Our guide, Joanna Hobday, led us through the museum and jokingly told us not to peek at the exhibits as she led us into a private room. The room was set up with chairs and a table with props for the discussion. We started off with a "real or wax" quiz. It is amazing how life-like the figures are! Then, Joanna told us how the figures are made and what they are made out of. I always thought the entire figure was made of wax, but it is actually just the head. The body is made of fiberglass. This is just one of the many facts you will learn on your "Behind the Scenes" seminar. We got to touch pieces of wax and other props. Love Bug was a bit shy, but enjoyed holding an eyeball (which was eerily real-looking) from the prop table. Sweet Girl enjoyed the seminar, but held her nose the entire time as the room we were in had just recently been painted. (Gotta love kids and their honesty!)
The tour was the perfect length--about half an hour. Everyone was engaged. We had fun guessing who was real and who was wax, examining the props up close and getting to ask Joanna questions. She talked to the children as well as the adults and made sure to involve everyone in the room. I wish we could've taken Joanna around with us as we toured the museum!
It was so neat to get to learn so much in such a private setting before we actually toured the museum, especially since this was everyone's first visit to Madame Tussauds. I don't want to give away all the fun facts we learned, so if you are curious and want to know more, plan on attending a "Behind the Scenes" seminar with your family!
I love how the presidents are arranged in chronological order. You can interact with every president. Many of them have props like period-style coats or chairs where you can sit down with the presidents and other historical figures. I was surprised to see how tall (and short!) a number of the presidents were. There are other interactive parts to the exhibit as well such as trivia questions on the front of picture frames with the answers hidden behind them. At the end of the Presidents Gallery you can pay to have your picture taken in the Oval Office, at the Press Podium or with the Obamas.
I can not believe how much fun we all had!! I would say that Madame Tussuads Wax Museum is geared towards older children, but everyone seemed to have fun in his/her own way. Little hands keep busy since you can touch practically everything in the museum. Older children will be able to do more of the reading on their own and will probably know more of the popular figures.
Madame Tussauds Washington D.C. gets three new figures a month, so the arrangement is always changing. The Beatles, for example, are there for the summer. At any given time they have about 100 figures in the museum. Needless to say, this is not a "ho-hum" type of museum!
So, if you are looking for a fun, educational experience that you can do indoors this summer, I highly suggest you sign up for one of the educational seminars hosted by Madame Tussauds Washington D.C. We had so much fun that I am going to put together a field trip for a play group that I have recently joined.
I received complimentary tickets to review the venue for Kid Trips, however I was not was not asked to write this post or compensated to do so. All opinions are my own.
**All photos and text are property of Angela Pounders and can not be distributed without permission.
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