Festivals and Event Series
Several times a year, the museum's Department of Education offers a festival or series of events related to a particular theme. Each thematic festival or series often includes separate programs for families, K-12 students, and adults; individual programs may also be listed on other pages on this website. Use the menu (above left) to visit pages for the museum's Family Programs and Adult Programs.
On This Page:
Current and Upcoming
May 28 – June 3, 2023:
Black Birders Week at the Smithsonian
We are teaming up with the National Museum of African American History and Culture and Black AF in STEM to celebrate Black Birders Week by offering a series of programs in Washington, D.C.
June 8, 2023: World Ocean Day
Join artists and ocean scientists in the museum's Sant Ocean Hall for an exciting series of interactive experiences celebrating our blue planet and exploring all the ways art, science, and community action can connect us to our waterways.
National Pollinator Week, June 19-25, 2023:
Pollinators + Plants
Get to know and admire pollinators! Come to a pollinator celebration for families, participate in a community science event, and learn about these remarkable animals that feed the world and what you can do to help them.
Winter – Spring 2023:
Shared Planet, Shared Health
Watch videos of these online programs, which spotlighted leading research on the interconnection between humans, nonhuman animals, plants, and their shared environment.
April 2023: Nature in Our Cities
This series of programs focused on the themes of biodiversity, urban nature, and pollinators. "Nature in Our Cities" featured events for K-12 students, families, and adults, culminating in the City Nature Challenge DC 2023, in which participants found plants or animals in the Washington, D.C., area, photographed them, and shared them via the iNaturalist app.
Fall 2022: In the Pandemic’s Wake
Social Change and Reflection with Asian American and Pacific Islander Leaders
Among the communities disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities faced severe challenges that continue to leave a lasting impact today. At this critical moment, the museum and Smithsonian’s Asian Pacific American Center teamed up for a virtual three-part series to reckon with and reflect on these challenges and highlight the intricate relationship between humans and nature, and with each other, to enact community wellbeing, environmental justice, and social change.
October 12, 2022: National Fossil Day
We celebrated National Fossil Day with real dinosaurs and free, kid-friendly activities in the museum’s Hall of Fossils – Deep Time. Scientists and educators from the Smithsonian and the National Park Service were on hand to welcome school groups, families, and anyone interested in exploring Earth’s deep past.
September 2021–March 2022:
Unsettled Nature: Artist Event Series
Watch conversations with contemporary artists on the power of art to illuminate our relationship with the natural world. The artists' work is featured in the new exhibition, Unsettled Nature: Artists Reflect on the Age of Humans.
October 2021: Archaeology Family Weekend
We hosted two live virtual family programs — one in Spanish and English — with archaeologists and anthropologists from our museum and around the world.
July 2021: Challenging the Face of Science: Women Scientists Share Their Stories
This series of online interactive webinars explored themes of women in STEM careers, mentorship, and community. Smithsonian scientists from the National Museum of Natural History discussed their career journeys. This program was part of the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative – Because of Her Story.
Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World
This series of video webinars, in conjunction with an exhibition of the same name, provides context for various public health topics, including COVID-19, vaccines, AIDS, and disease vectors such as mosquitoes and ticks.
Natural History Summer Explorations
This free virtual summer program series in July and August 2020 allowed students in Grades 3-7 to explore the world of natural history science in a fun and interactive way. Each one-week session focused on different natural science-based themes (Deep Sea Animal Adaptations, Paleo Art: Edge of Extinction, and ¡Descubre la historia natural!) using a suite of daily live webinars, videos, activities, and projects.