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:
Winter – Spring 2023:
Shared Planet, Shared Health
These online programs spotlight leading research on the interconnection between humans, nonhuman animals, plants, and their shared environment.
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.
National Pollinator Week, June 20-26, 2022:
Pollinators + Plants
We hosted several events in celebration of National Pollinator Week. One event, a community science project, is ongoing: PolliNation DC. With your help, PolliNation DC will document the insect pollinator species utilizing plants in community gardens throughout all eight wards of Washington, D.C., and in gardens on the National Mall. Learn about pollinators and what you can do to help them.
June 8, 2022: World Ocean Day
We celebrated the ocean with two events: A drop-in play date at the museum for early learners and their families, and a webinar about ocean, art, and action with Peggy Oki, who is an environmentalist, surfer, artist, and founder and director of the Origami Whales Project. Watch a video of the webinar and get ocean resources.
May 28 – June 3, 2022:
Black Birders Week at the Smithsonian
We teamed up with the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute, and Black AF in STEM to celebrate Black Birders Week by offering a series of programs and experiences in Washington, D.C., and online.
April–May 2022: Nature in Our Cities
This series of programs focused on the themes of biodiversity, urban nature, and pollinators. "Nature in Our Cities" features events for K-12 students, families, and adults, culminating in the City Nature Challenge DC 2022, in which participants found plants or animals in the Washington, D.C., area, photographed them, and shared them via the iNaturalist app.
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.
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.
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.
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.