Friday, November 21, 2014

Last Day in Washington DC: National Postal Museum 11/19/14

It was our last day in DC and I wanted to stick close to Union Station so we headed to the National Postal Museum as it was literally across the street from our hotel. I wasn't sure what to expect at the museum because I wasn't sure how stamps and mail could be fun. However, I was pleasantly surprised on how well the museum displayed exhibits on stamps, explored postal history, and explained how mail is/has been transported throughout the years.

A cool thing we found was the Create Your Own Stamp Design station. It was neat because it was a touch screen where you got to tap what features you wanted. 

You can take your own picture or you can design without a picture and you can choose from different backgrounds and objects/pictures to design your own stamp. The kiddos preferred to get their picture taken as you can see above. Once done you can have the pic emailed to you.

Another neat thing we saw was on a table there were stamps where they could pick out a few to start out their own stamp collection. They both had fun picking out stamps to bring home. 
This section was neat because when you lifted the flaps were stamps from each country. The kiddos enjoyed lifting the flaps. :)
Another cool part of the museum was this display of TV's. They were really cool as they flashed stamps of all kinds on the screens. You don't realize it until you think about it, but stamps tell stories. I saw this label on the wall at the museum, "Stamps illustrate almost every subject imaginable - from history to science to popular culture."  It is so true because there are sports stamps, Disney stamps, Olympic stamps, animals, stamps that illustrate different parts of history - Presidents, military, etc..
After about an hour at the museum we left to meet up with Jenny at Run Jenny Run for lunch. The last time was saw each other was at the Wineglass Half MarathonIt was cool to catch up with her while on our trip and it was fun chatting about running and blogging. 
After lunch we headed back to the Postal Museum because there was a lot more to see. There was a whole level downstairs with exhibits that we had not explored, so we decided to check them out. 

They had a section where they had real scanners, same that postal carriers use today to try out and scan boxes and envelopes. I thought it was neat and the boys thought it was cool to play with the buttons.
Here my 5 year old, enjoyed this employee training that they did back in the day where they had to type zip codes. It was fun for him until the timer went down faster and faster and he had to do it quicker.
I think the kiddos favorite part of the museum was this section where they had U.S Mail bins and little boxes to place the parcels in. You were to place the box by U.S State into the correct bin and when you did a green light turned on. Both boys loved this game as they thought of it as parcel basketball. I think we spent a good 20-30 minutes here. :p
Lastly, it was neat seeing the different types of mail transportation. It was cool that they displayed so much as in having the actual vehicle or at least part of the type of transportation at the museum.
In all, I thought the museum was great! It wasn't crowded (be it was a Wednesday) and the museum has lots that kids of all ages can enjoy. There are lots of visual displays and hand on things that make the museum more fun for kids. A definite must see for stamp lovers as they have a room with numerous collections of stamps. I learned that stamp collecting ranks among the world's most popular hobbies. I had no idea! There was also an exhibit about mail fraud/scams and also law enforcement in the postal community. It was all pretty interesting!

Do you collect anything?


  1. Nice, looks like a great way to learn and have fun at the same time! That's neat they had a create your own stamp station. Love the pics!

  2. Thanks Sherry! The stamp station was fun. I even made one! :p

  3. I'm local to D.C. and don't think I've ever been there - I love museums with hands-on activities.

  4. Oh definitely check it out. I was impressed.

  5. I've never been to DC, but this looks like so much fun! I love hands-on activities at museums and I feel like I'd be hanging out at the stamp station for a while, hahha. :P

  6. Thanks Farrah! It was a great time! There was lots to see! :)

  7. Glad we were able to have lunch! Now I want to visit the museum :)

  8. Funny i've been to DC a milliontimes and have never heard of this place. It sounds awesome. I'll have to put it on my kidt to visit the next time we're tgere with kids.

  9. Yeah the only reason we went was because it was so close to our hotel and we had time to kill. It's a neat museum!