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Smithsonian Institution Referred to as "the nation's attic" for the 137 million items in its various collections, the Institution's Washington, D.C. complex of nineteen museums, nine research centers, and zoo—many of them historical or architectural landmarks—is the world's largest such complex. It is an educational and research institute administered by the US government.

from Kidventurous

Washington, DC: One Day, Three Family Museums

If you’re open to picking up lunch from a street vendor, you’ll find a bunch along Independence Avenue (in front of the Air and Space and American Indian museums). We got ice cream from one of these carts, and it was actually half as much as it was from vendors on the other side of the museums that face the National Mall.