Everyone always raves about DC's great museums, but while Air & Space is pretty cool, you're unlikely to find either of those things at one if it's the weekend. Hit a radically themed new-seum before the tourists learn of its existence: The National Pinball Museum.
The brainchild of a local professor/lifetime pin-thusiast, the NPM boasts over 14,000 interactive square feet celebrating the glittery marvels, with multiple exhibit rooms, classrooms/workshops, a rentable movie theater, and over 800 machines, from the latest computer-driven techno-games, to a pinball precursor from the 19th century, when people only listened to pinball wizard for fear that he'd turn them into a newt. Permanent exhibitry includes specific rooms like "Art" (plastered with concept drawings) and "Roll Down" (devoted to a pinball-variation used by some states to skirt anti-gambling laws) bordering an arcade-style main room stocked with playable classics covering everything from movies (from a '93 Lost World to the older Addams Family Gold), to music, with a Guns N' Roses set-up and the Southern-rocking Nugent, whose bumpers ironically don't have murdered deer carcasses hanging off them. They've also got more tightly themed rotating exhibits, with the current line-up including "The Golden Age of Pinball", showcasing how three companies defined the industry in the '40s - '60s with machines like 1963's Touchdown; or a display examining the relationship between those who make pinball fun and those who make it pretty, called "Artist vs. Designer" -- also a new Bravo series where Mizrahi totally wails on dudes wearing berets.
For those who think they've got a green thumb, the NPM's also planning on setting up an annual tournament with cash prizes -- meaning unlike spending a day at the Portrait Gallery, you'll have a chance at seeing some presidential faces you actually care about.