In the heart of the nation’s capital, surrounded by prominent historical buildings, sits the famous Madame Tussauds. Here, students and visitors of all ages can stand face-to-face with all 45 U.S. presidents—from George Washington to Donald Trump—and learn about what each did with the great responsibility and power they possessed. Observe them in the museum’s recreation of the Oval Office and White House Rose Garden and take a selfie with them as part of the many additional options provided to group visits. Other add-ons include an educational seminar led by the museums expert staff, a souvenir book, small celebrity statue, wax hand and even short or long scavenger hunts through the museum. Don’t worry about finding food in the busy Washington area, Madame Tussaud’s has that covered too, offering pizza parties, boxed lunches and buffet options.
The visit itself is just a small part of what Madame Tussauds has to offer, and their website is chock full of lesson plans and videos to help students learn before and after the trip. Their lesson plans, for instance, provide pertinent background information on some of the most famous figures in history. They allow educators to teach students about the lives of Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant and follow that up with prepared lessons that include everything from objectives, age ranges and even questions with possible responses to foster intellectual discussion in class. Even more immersive is the website’s “CrazyTalks” where CGI is paired with the statues to bring the figures to life. Watch Winston Churchill’s give the ending of his famous “We Shall Fight Them on the Beaches” speech or Ronald Reagan discuss tearing down the Berlin Wall.
Before visiting, guests can take a virtual tour and get a sneak peek at the many attractions they can see, learning some fun tidbits along the way. Browsing the museum this way allows for advanced planning and students to pick out which exhibits interest them the most, building excitement for the trip. During the trip, the excitement can continue through a behind-the-scene workshop where classes get a look into the 200-year-old process of modeling wax into such life-like and recognizable figures. This workshop delves into the maintenance and creation of the statues and incorporates subjects like art, business and social studies.
Easily added to any Washington, D.C. itinerary, this Madame Tussauds can enhance nearly any field trip to the D.C. area and provide an educational reprieve from the typical history experience. Groups looking to visit can start receiving discounted tickets with as little at 10 members with lunch and previously mentioned additional options like photographs with the statues. The D.C. location even offers a “DJ Dance Party” for those looking for late-night fun—a two-hour DJ-hosted party with food and beverages provided that’ll have you dancing the night away with anywhere from 40 to 200 people. Couple this with the vast educational potential of Washington, D.C., and Madame Tussauds is a must-see for any field trip.