Madame Tussauds is a famous wax museum filled with figures of famous people in a famous old city – London, to be exact. But not so fast! Your student travel group doesn’t have to book an overseas flight to see this attraction. There’s one in another famous old city, stateside: Washington, D.C.
Admittedly, there are other US locations for Madame Tussauds. But few have the pull of D.C. For student travel groups, Washington D.C. ranks high on the list of must-see places. It’s the seat of federal government. It has a long list of attractions, many of which are educational and some of which are free.
And, although we love museums unstintingly as places of educational interest, most museums have one very large (but very necessary) flaw: you can’t touch the exhibits. At Madame Tussauds, this doesn’t apply. Students can touch, pose with, photograph and generally interact with the waxy inhabitants.
What Educational Figures Will My Student Group See at Madame Tussauds?
Visits to Madame Tussauds are self-guided tours, so you can go wherever the mood takes your group. But no student group simply can miss the President’s Gallery. Composed of 14 themed rooms, the gallery contains a wax likeness of every single U.S. president in history. Kids can “meet” and interact with them in various ways and settings. For example, they can stand outside the presidential plane with JFK or sit with Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre.
History continues its march in the civil rights room. Here students can see lifelike re-creations of famous civil rights leaders. They can sit alongside Rosa Parks as she refuses to give up her seat on a bus or watch as Martin Luther King Jr. prepares to give his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.
New to Madame Tussauds is the Fourth of July Experience, where visitors will run into Uncle Sam. Students will be amazed with visual effects, historical trivia and a dress up area for patriotic photos. To top it all off, groups will be mesmerized by a fiber optic fireworks illuminating the DC skyline.
Another type of educational experience deals with the museum itself. With the Behind the Scenes exhibit, students can learn about the original Madame Tussaud and how she created her wax statues. The techniques have changed very little over the years. Just how do they get the figures so realistic? Students can find out here. And they can “immortalize” themselves, as well, by dipping their hands in wax.
Finally, kids interested in public speaking and mass media will want to see the media room. With newsworthy figures like Stephen Colbert, Oprah Winfrey, Katie Couric and others, kids can interview or be interviewed while learning more about American TV habits.
What Fun Exhibits Are There at Madame Tussauds DC?
What kid doesn’t dream of being a huge movie or music star? Madame Tussauds Glamour Room recreates the feel of a Hollywood party, right down to the maze of camera-wielding paparazzi at the door. Kids can join Taylor Swift onstage, boogie with Beyoncé on the dance floor, or get their pics taken with Johnny Depp, George Clooney, Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie.
Is your group more Hockeytown than Hollywood? Then they’ll love the sports zone, where they can see likenesses of NHL star Alex Ovechkin or pro golfer Tiger Woods. Other stars represent baseball, boxing, track and field, and an assortment of other sports.
This is just the short-short list of figures on display at Madame Tussauds. It may be the only chance your kids get to “meet” Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill and other historical figures. One caveat, though: be sure to check the Madame Tussauds DC website to see what figures, if any, are temporarily out of commission.
Can I Get A Discount for My Student Group at Madame Tussauds?
Yes! Student and group discounts are available. It’s recommended that you book your tickets in advance. The tour takes between an hour to an hour-and-a-half to complete, and wait times are usually no longer than 5-15 minutes. For full information on group rates and policies, contact Madame Tussauds DC directly.
In some ways, history and current events will always remain slightly at a distance to us. And since we can’t go out and meet Franklin D. Roosevelt, Madame Marie Tussaud or other historical personages, we have to do the next best thing: visit their wax incarnations at a hands-on interactive museum.
So, next time you’re in Washington DC, take your student travel group to Madame Tussauds for a couple of hours. It’ll be time spent building memories in a truly unusual and unique place.
Have you taken a student group to Madame Tussauds DC? Tell us your experience using the comment field. Thanks!