Weekdays are easier, and the museums are less crowded, but it depends on which museum and which weekend.
If you are going when school is out of session (I.e. summer vacation) then you will find a couple of the museums very crowded. If you want, for example, to go to the Air and Space Museum of the National...
Best answer: Weekdays are easier, and the museums are less crowded, but it depends on which museum and which weekend.
If you are going when school is out of session (I.e. summer vacation) then you will find a couple of the museums very crowded. If you want, for example, to go to the Air and Space Museum of the National Museum of Natural HIstory, it will be tough. We were there a few weeks ago, and it took some waiting time to get at the gems and minerals exhibit (a popular one) in the Natural History museum. We actually had to wait and be a little insistent on not letting a lot of people cut in. That is much less of an issue on weekdays, especially in the mornings, when the museums can be relatively empty.
Even with this, the museums are do-able, even on weekends, although with these two I'd make sure to get there a little before 10:00, when the museums open.
But there are so many museums in Washington! If you want to go to the new and wonderful American Indian Museum, or to one of the Art Museums, well, you should have very little problem getting in any time. And some museums, notably the Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Spy Museum, have timed tickets you can reserve online, or pick up that morning. They control crowds, and you don't have a real problem.
The zoo can be busy any day of the week. On weekends it is families visiting, but on weekdays often school groups are there, which can result in just as crowded conditions. Again, going when it opens helps, though with only two days I'd go to the museum early, then to the zoo later.
Except for the gem exhibit, though, the museums are laid out so that the crowds move quickly - they are designed for lots of people.
It's worse in the summer, when families visit, so if you can time your trip in May, or early June, you might not have any issue on the weekends. If you plan your trip for September or October, it's a breeze. We have relatively few fall visitors, and you should have no problem on a weekend.
One weekend you should avoid if you hate crowds, or should consider if you love events, are the weekends flanking July 4th, when the Smithsonian's folklife festival is on the mall. The festival brings tons of crowds, but is a rich and wonderful experience, with lots of exhibits and culture from all over the world brought right here to washington.
I hope that helps
10 months ago