HOW TO DC: Smithsonian tokens – collect them all!

Smithsonian collectible tokens

The Smithsonian is all about collections and collecting – so it’s very apropos that their collectable tokens seem to be such a hit with the little ones. An old-school pastime, I was pleasantly surprised that it would hold such allure for a modern tyke. Each Smithsonian sells its own shiny token, stamped with the institution’s logo on one side, and an image symbolizing its museum on the other. So, for example, the Natural History Museum’s token features a drawing of their iconic Triceratops, Hatcher. The tokens are sold in bins at cash registers at the museums’ gift shops alongside hand-sized albums that have little clear sleeves to show off each token collected. Collect them all! for $1 per token, and about $6 for the album. They’re the perfect way to get kids excited about visiting museums! We stumbled upon them when Sopapilla spied the bin of tokens at the same time another little kid did – she tugged on my sleeve and the other kid accosted his mom in the same manner. In the end, they were both victorious, walking off happily with a token, their little album and daydreams about where and when to get the next one.

El Smithsonian es sobre colecciones y coleccionismo – así que es apropósito como las fichas son coleccionables y favoritas de los pequeños.  Es un pasatiempo escolar, me sorprendió agradablemente que tenga tanto atractivo para los modernos chiquillos.  Cada Smithsonian vende sus propias fichas, brillantes y sellados con el logotipo de la institución visitada en un lado, y con la imagen simbolizando el museo en la otra.  Por ejemplo, el Museo de Historia Natural, tiene su ficha que figura un dibujo de su icónico triceratops llamado, Hatcher. Las fichas se venden en las tiendas de regalo, por cajas, en cubos, al lado hay álbumes que modelan cada ficha en colección.  ¡Colecciónalas todas!  Se venden $1 dólar por ficha y alrededor de $6 dólares por el álbum.  ¡Son el instrumento perfecto para entusiasmar a los chicos para visitar los museos! Tropezamos con ellos cuando Sopapilla espiaba los cubos de fichas al mismo tiempo que otro pequeño niño miraba – tiró de mi manga, al mismo tiempo que el otro niño hizo lo mismo con su mamá.  Al fin, los dos fueron victoriosos, caminando alegremente con fichas, con álbum y con sueños de cuándo y dónde obtendrían su próxima ficha.

6 Comments on “HOW TO DC: Smithsonian tokens – collect them all!

  1.  by  logan

    Where can I find ninteen more collectable tokens apart from Apollo 11 July 20,1969.

    •  by  dccapitalinas

      Thanks for your comment – the tokens featured here “commemorate” each Smithsonian – when you visit, check out each museum’s gift shop. They should be right by the cash register, usually in a clear bin. :)

      •  by  Jim Williams

        Is there a list & photo of the tokens that are avail?

        •  by  dccapitalinas

          Great question – not that I’m aware of – I’ve put in a question to the Smithsonian myself! As we collect them, we’ll be sure to post more :)

          •  by  auguy2012

            I recently went to Washington d.c. for a week and all i did was go to museums. I also noticed the tokens and bought them when i saw them. From what i could tell there were only eight.

            triceratops hatcher (depicts triceratops head) = museum of natural history

            apollo 11 july 20 1969 (depicts moon landing) = air and space museum

            star spangled banner (depicts old glory) = american history museum

            Native sun symbol ( depicts hand prints forming native sun symbol) = American Indian

            Smithsonian castle dedicated 1847 (depicts smithsonian castle) = smithsonian castle

            national zoo Washington d.c. (depicts panda) = national zoo

            national portrait gallery (depicts george washington) = national portrait gallery

            american art museum (depicts piece of art work) = american art museum

            The other smaller museums and galleries had tokens but they were the same as the smithsonian castle one.

          •  by  dccapitalinas

            Thanks for sharing this info with us! It’s too bad they don’t have different tokens for the smaller museums :(

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