Washington, DC was seeing plenty of stars last night—movie stars, that is. Ben Stiller, Amy Adams, Robin Williams and Owen Wilson were among the Hollywood faces mingling with Supreme Court Justice John Roberts and members of Congress at the premiere for Stiller's latest movie "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian."
The premiere was held at the National Air and Space Museum attraction in DC, a fitting locale given the plot of the movie. For those not familiar with this sequel, the plot revolves around a museum security guard who comes to Washington from New York to find his museum friends, a group of animals and exhibits that come to life after-hours.
After the release of the first film, attendance at New York's American Museum of Natural History rose, and it wouldn't be surprising if the same trend followed for the Smithsonian. Lucky for planners, a number of the Smithsonian's museums serve as Washington, DC special event venues, which means you can take advantage of these hot spots to host your very own night at the museum!
National Air and Space Museum
Located on the National Mall, the Air and Space Museum has four primary event sites as well as a 230-seat planetarium and 485-seat IMAX theater. Among its venue options, the Milestones of Flight Gallery can seat up to 400 guests, while the Space Race Exhibit can accommodate receptions of up to 700 people.
National Museum of Natural History
The popular National Museum of Natural History houses over 126 million natural science specimens and cultural artifacts, including those at the recently-opened, one-of-a-kind Sant Ocean Hall. Host a formal dinner among skeletons of a Tyrannosaurus Rex and a Triceratops at the Dinosaur Hall, or mingle next to the African elephant during a cocktail reception in the grand Rotunda.
National Museum of American History
Recently renovated and re-opened in November 2008, the National Museum of American History is a stunning tribute to our great nation, featuring attractions such as George Washington's uniform, Thomas Jefferson's writing desk, and First Ladies' inaugural gowns. Host a DC event among these treasured items of U.S. history in spaces such as the museum's fifth-floor roof terrace. At its largest, the museum can accommodate receptions for up to 3,500 guests and seated dinners for up to 500 guests.
The Smithsonian Institution's museums follow a special events policy in which organizations that support the museum with a donation may co-sponsor celebratory events in its facilities. Visit each museum's respective website to learn more about its policy.