Go behind the scenes for an insider's look at Smithsonian artifacts and state-of-the-art research facilities. This year will feature the National Museum of African American History and Culture, our dazzling new museum.

Starting at: $3,495 Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture  Lonnie Bunch, director of NMAAHC, speaking at museum's groundbreaking ceremony, Feb. 22, 2012, flanked by Smithsonian Secretary G. Wayne Clough, First Lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama. Credit: John Gibbons/Smithosnian  Family portrait following emancipation. Credit: Library of Congress  March on Washington, August 1963. Credit: Warren K. Leffler, Library of Congress  Meditation room at the National Museum of African American History and Culture  Smithsonian's newly renovated Renwick Gallery  The dramatic grand entry of the Renwick Gallery  The SERC Laboratory, Smithsonian's first LEED-certified building  Scientist at work at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. Credit: Jim Duls  Scientist at work at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center  The Smithsonian Institution Building, affectionately known as "the Castle"  Gala dinner event at the Smithsonian Castle  The iconic Smithsonian Castle

Celebrate Smithsonian

A Behind-the-Scenes Gala Event

4 days from $3,495

Go behind the scenes for an insider's look at Smithsonian artifacts and state-of-the-art research facilities. This year will feature the National Museum of African American History and Culture, our dazzling new museum.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

An eye opening look at aspects of the Smithsonian that we forget about—or never knew. The range of the Institution's research is astounding! 

- Clyde L.

We thoroughly enjoyed Celebrate Smithsonian and look forward to joining a Smithsonian Journeys trip in the future. We thought the program, Smithsonian representatives, and fellow participants were all top notch. 

- Previous Journeys Traveler

This tour was very special because it brought me into the heart of what the [Smithsonian] mission is all about. Much of the history, the purpose, and the philosophy were covered and it made me appreciate the Institution all the more.

- Lydia M.

The Celebrate Smithsonian trip exceeded my expectations!

- Robin T.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

See All Journeys Dispatches ››

Sep 13 - 16, 2017 Departure
Matthew Carrano

Matthew Carrano

Matthew Carrano is Curator of Dinosauria at Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Since 2000, he has been helping to assemble the fossil vertebrate component of the Paleobiology Database (PBDB). The PBDB will ultimately provide full internet access to all published vertebrate fossil localities for any researcher worldwide. To date, more than 7000 dinosaur-bearing localities have been entered into the PBDB, which can be analyzed and downloaded by any visitor or researcher. Dr. Carrano is particularly interested in large-scale evolutionary patterns within the Dinosauria. This diverse, long-lived vertebrate group dominated terrestrial habitats worldwide from the Late Triassic through to the end of the Cretaceous period. Dr. Carrano has led dinosaur-hunting expeditions around the world, named a dinosaur after a rock-and-roll singer, and is the lead curator for the National Museum of Natural History’s new 30,000-square-foot National Fossil Hall.

Sep 13 - 16, 2017 Departure
Anson “Tuck” Hines

Anson “Tuck” Hines

Anson “Tuck” Hines is Director of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) in Edgewater, Maryland. He oversees a staff of 17 senior scientists and an interdisciplinary team of more than 180 researchers, technicians, and students who conduct long-term descriptive and experimental research on global change, landscape ecology, ecosystems in coastal regions, and population and community ecology. Prior to his duties as director, Dr. Hines served as a marine ecologist and principal investigator of SERC’s Fish and Invertebrate Ecology Laboratory and concurrently served as assistant director for 17 years. He is a co-principle investigator in SERC’s Invasions Biology Program, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive research program on invasive species in marine ecosystems. In his time at SERC, Dr. Hines advanced the center’s land conservation program, which encompasses nearly 3,000 acres of the Rhode River watershed and shoreline. He has published more than 100 articles in technical journals and books and is the recipient of more than 95 research grant and contract awards.  He is an adjunct professor at four major institutions (University of Maryland College Park, North Carolina State University, College of William and Mary, Maryland Biotechnology Institute). Dr. Hines is an expert on blue crabs and serves as a member of the Bi-State Blue Crab Technical Advisory Committee for the Chesapeake Bay. 

Sep 13 - 16, 2017 Departure
Richard Kurin

Richard Kurin

Richard Kurin is the Smithsonian’s Acting Provost and Under Secretary for Museums and Research and a key leader in the Institution’s senior management team. He is responsible for all of the Institution’s museums, including the Anacostia Community Museum; Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and Freer Gallery of Art; Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum (New York City); Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; National Air and Space Museum and its Udvar-Hazy Center; National Museum of African American History and Culture; National Museum of African Art; National Museum of American History Kenneth E. Behring Center; National Museum of the American Indian and its George Gustav Heye Center (New York City); National Museum of Natural History; National Portrait Gallery; National Postal Museum; and the Smithsonian American Art Museum and its Renwick Gallery. He also oversees the National Zoological Park. Kurin is also responsible for the Smithsonian’s scientific research centers, including the Museum Conservation Institute; Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory; Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute; Smithsonian Environmental Research Center; and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.

In addition, Kurin oversees several of the Smithsonian’s arts and humanities research centers and outreach programs, including the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, the Archives of American Art, the Smithsonian Latino Center and the Asian Pacific American Center as well Smithsonian Libraries, Smithsonian Institution Archives, the Office of Fellowships and Internships, the National Collections Program and the Scientific Diving Program that support the Institution’s major research and educational activities.

Kurin is also responsible for the programmatic aspects of the Smithsonian Channel, the Institution’s cable television partnership with Showtime.

Kurin first worked for the Smithsonian in 1976 for the Bicentennial of the United States. For decades he directed the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and was responsible for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival held every summer on the National Mall, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings and other cultural programs and products that have won Grammy, Emmy, Academy and Webby awards.

Kurin has served as the executive producer for several major special events, including the National World War II Reunion on the Mall to mark the dedication of the World War II Memorial (2004) and the grand-opening celebration and six-day festival on the Mall for the National Museum of the American Indian in 2004. He also co-produced the Smithsonian’s 150th Anniversary “Birthday Party on the Mall,” several presidential inaugural festivals and the Southern Crossroads Festival in Centennial Olympic Park for the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.

Kurin represents the Smithsonian as liaison to the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, the White House Historical Association and other boards. He led a U.S. and international project to rescue Haiti’s cultural heritage following the devastating 2010 earthquake. The effort saved nearly 35,000 artworks, artifacts and archival works, trained some 150 Haitians, led to the establishment of a Cultural Conservation Center at Quisqueya University in Port-au-Prince and resulted in a book, Saving Haiti’s Heritage: Cultural Recovery after the Earthquake. He oversees similar Smithsonian efforts to help save heritage in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Mali, Nepal and other nations as well as in the United States. Kurin served on the U.S. Commission for UNESCO and continues to advise that organization and the U.S. Department of State. He helped UNESCO draft an international treaty on safeguarding the world’s living cultural heritage now ratified by more than 160 nations. He has been honored by the International Council of Museums, Harvard University’s Peabody Museum and the American Anthropological Association among others. He has been awarded the Smithsonian Secretary’s Gold Medal for Exceptional Service, the Botkin Prize for lifetime achievement in public folklore by the American Folklore Society and the Robert Mills Prize for inspired scholarship by the Smithsonian American Art Museum Commission. In 2015 he was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. A former Fulbright fellow, Kurin earned his doctorate in cultural anthropology from the University of Chicago and taught at The Johns Hopkins University’s Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. He is the author of Hope Diamond: The Legendary History of a Cursed Gem; Reflections of a Cultural Broker: A View from the Smithsonian; Madcap May: Mistress of Myth, Men, and Hope; Smithsonian Folklife Festival: Culture Of, By, and For the People and scores of scholarly articles. His latest book, The Smithsonian’s History of America in 101 Objects, was published by Penguin Press. It appeared on many best-seller lists and has been the subject of numerous lectures and radio and media features. The book forms the basis of a series of lectures for The Great Courses titled “Experiencing America: A Smithsonian Tour through American History,” which won a Telly Award, and a SmithsonianX massive open online course with EdX called “Objects That Define America.”

Sep 13 - 16, 2017 Departure
Pat Megonigal

Pat Megonigal

Pat Megonigal is Deputy Director at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. He is an ecosystem ecologist with interests in carbon and greenhouse gas cycling in wetlands and forests, particularly as they relate to global change. He is also the lead investigator of the Global Change Research Wetland, located within the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. This 70-hectare brackish marsh is home to several long-term experiments designed to predict what the future holds for coastal wetland ecosystems. Dr. Megonigal has published numerous scholarly articles and is a Fellow of the Ecological Society of America.