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D.C.: Smithsonian is extending museum hours this summer

Three of the most visited museums in Washington, D.C., will stay open later in the evening this summer. While the museums don't charge admission, officials hope that visitors will use the extra hours to spend more money in gift shops and restaurants—helping to bring in revenue to the for-profit arm of the Smithsonian Institution.

Every day through Labor Day, the National Air and Space Museum and National Museum of Natural History will stay open two hours later, until 7:30 p.m. The National Museum of American History, recently re-opened after an $85 million renovation, will stay open at least an hour later. The museums open at 10 a.m. daily.

Meanwhile, after being closed for an 18-month renovation, Ford's Theater has reopened with improved

seating, upgraded lighting and sound systems, and—best of all—a new timed-ticketing system that allows travelers to plan their visit in advance, rather than wait in line all morning. Details at Ford's Theater.

Washington, D.C., is our pick of one of the top ten budget travel destinations of the year, especially for families.

EARLIER The National Museum of American History re-opens after a multi-million dollar renovation

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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