[Note: This was originally published on KidFriendly DC, but has been repurposed for District Mix.]
When the Museum of Illusions opened at CityCenter DC back in December, I thought it was just a quick pop-up, a temporary experience that would only be here through the holiday season, so I didn’t make it a huge priority to go. I’ve since learned that it’s here indefinitely, so when my friend Jen from Kid Up and Go asked me to join her on a visit recently, I was excited to check it out.
The museum calls itself an “edutainment destination” and fittingly so. The many installations and exhibits throughout the multi-room space trick and test the mind in ways that are fun and illuminating. Not only are the illusions cool to see and interact with, they play with perspective, sometimes require problem solving, and spark curiosity about how they work. And you can learn all about them from signs with explanations and staff who are on hand to answer any questions.
Everything in the museum is interactive in some way, whether you’re staring at pictures to watch them “move,” standing within an exhibit to feel its effects, solving some kind of puzzle, or placing yourself just so to create an illusional scene. There are purely visual exhibits, elements that require hands-on activity, whole immersive rooms, and fun optical illusion photo ops. The images in this post offer a glimpse, but there are so many more!
It’s completely engaging, and you can explore it all as slowly or quickly as you like, though the museum’s website says visits last about 45-60 minutes. We spent about an hour in the museum, and that was enough time to check out everything there.
Unlike many DC museums, there is an admission fee for ages 5 and up to visit the Museum of Illusions. But if you’re looking for something unique and fun to do, this mind-bending experience is a good bet.
Museum of Illusions
Where: 927 H Street NW | CityCenter DC
When: Sun–Thurs, 10am – 8pm | Fri & Sat, 10am – 9pm
Admission: $23.50/13+, $18.95/age 5-12, free/4 & under