Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
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, School Programs, and Adult Programs.
On This Page:
Current and Upcoming Festivals and Event Series
Past Festivals and Event Series
Current and Upcoming
September 2021–March 2022:
Unsettled Nature: Artist Event Series
Join us for 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
Tune in October 16-17 for two live virtual family programs — one in Spanish and English — with archaeologists and anthropologists from our museum and around the world.
Ongoing: Pollinators + Plants
This was a series of events in August 2021 to document pollinators in the Washington, D.C., region. 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.
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.
June 2021: World Ocean Week
We turned World Ocean Day (June 8) into a week-long celebration of our ocean! This series of five video webinars featured "Hope Spots," areas around the world that are critical to the health of our ocean. Watch videos of Smithsonian scientists and educators as we explore some of these amazing habitats and the animals that live there!
April–May 2021: Nature in Our Cities
This series of online 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 2021, in which participants found plants or animals in their city, photographed them, and shared them via the iNaturalist app. Cities around the world participated.
November 2020: A Celebration of Fossils
We usually celebrate our annual Fossil Family Festival at the museum in November, but in 2020 we moved our celebration online. We offered digital programs and activities, including video webinars, with paleontologists, fossil preparators, educators, and artists.
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. 
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
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