Things to Do

5 Fascinating Smithsonian Exhibits to Go See on Thanksgiving Day

Want to kill time before the turkey?

Photograph by AppalachianViews/iStock.

Smithsonian museums will be open on Thanksgiving, operating under the hours they adopted during the Covid pandemic. That means if you’re looking for something to do with family while you wait for the big meal, there are plenty of good options.

Laurie Anderson: The Weather

The Hirshhorn is currently staging a major exhibition of work by the renowned artist and musician. Check out more than a dozen new art works, along with a bunch of classics. The immersive experience features video, performance, installations, paintings, and more. Independence Ave. and 7th St., NW

Block by Block: Naming Washington

If your favorite DC street fact is that there’s no J Street, it’s time to brush up on local history at this National Portrait Gallery exhibition. Featuring 16 different namesakes, the show explores people who some of DC’s streets, neighborhoods, and public spaces are named after. 8th and G sts., NW


Where else can you see a flying taxi, food of the future, and ocean living? The new exhibit, which opens November 20, is part of the institution’s 175th anniversary celebration. Housed at the revamped Art and Industries Building, it features 150 futuristic objects across 32,000 square feet of immersive activities. Who knows? These could one day be part of our everyday lives. 900 Jefferson Dr., SW

Reckoning: Protest. Defiance. Resilience

This show at the National Museum of African American History and Culture illustrates how artists and photographers have honored people we lost, like George Floyd and Eric Garner. Explore the tradition of Black artists using their work to display resilience and view new acquisitions like an appliquéd textile portrait of Harriet Tubman and a portrait of Breonna Taylor. 1400 Constitution Ave., NW

Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code

After leaving on a six-year tour, the popular genome exhibition has returned to the National Museum of Natural History. The original four areas from the first show are back, taking visitors through the human body’s genetic blueprint. Explore 3D models, custom animations, and other interactive activities. 1000 Madison Dr., NW