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National Museum of Crime & Punishment

575 7th Street Northwest
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Gotcha! Washington, D.C. District of Columbia United States


No doubt you were raised to be an upstanding citizen, but if you are ever curious about how those who live on the wrong side of the law are caught and punished, then come to the National Museum of Crime and Punishment in Washington, D.C.

The museum has exhibits that cover everything from outlaws in the Wild West to mobsters who ruled U.S. cities in the early 20th century to mass murderers and serial killers. There are plenty of interactive stations to keep visitors aged 10 to 100 engaged. The high-speed police chase simulator was definitely popular the day I was there. For those who've caught the CSI bug, you can interact to solve a case in a real crime scene lab. And if you want to feel what it’s like to be in prison, presuming you’ve not already been in one, you can put yourself inside a real cell and pretend to escape.

Although there is an admission fee to get into the museum, it’s worth the money especially if you have children in tow. It’s a lot of fun!

The National Crime and Punishment Museum is conveniently just around the corner from the International Spy Museum, so go to one place to see how crimes are committed and the other to see how criminals are discovered!

Metro stop: Gallery Place/Chinatown
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