Wednesday, August 26, 2015

US Postal Museum: A Family Favorite

I don’t know the actual statistics for any of what I’m about to say, but I’m pretty sure it’s true anyway. Insert winking emoji here. The Postal Museum has got to be one of the most undervisited Smithsonian museums there is. At the very least, the number of people who have been their on either of the occasions that I have visited has not matched the value of what you get for the visit. Since it’s not on the mall, I think a lot of people don’t really know it’s there. Besides, if I told you that one of the coolest places to visit was a museum about the post office would you really believe me? Probably not. That’s why I took photo evidence.

We started by basically going back in time into a mock forest, where you see a pony express trail and learn about how they notched trees, what they earned, ate, and how they avoided robbers. Then you climb on a stage coach with these creepy mannequins, which my kids were not super fond of. Then you get to more modern day cities where there is a mail train car, you can sort packages, practice coding letters by zip code, scan packages, sit in a semi cab, and even see a dog sled. It’s all very hands on and kid friendly. And all that is just the downstairs. Oh wait. I forgot. There’s also the traditional gift store, but there is a stamp store as well, where you can buy tons of different kinds of valid postage with cool designs and pictures.

Moving on, upstairs, there several interactive boards to learn about different stamps, as well as a table full of old stamps that kids are invited to choose from (pick 6, is the suggestion) and take home to start their own stamp collection, along with a couple computers where kids can take their photo and design their own stamp that can be emailed to an adult and shared. We didn’t actually get any farther than that because we ran out of time, so there’s probably more to the upstairs exhibits than I’m able to tell you about, but seriously. Add this one to your list, it ended up being one of my kids' favorite stops!

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