Step beneath the weeping-willow-like tree, and a symphony of words surrounds you as tree branches light up while broadcasting monologues in a host of languages. With this dramatic courtyard prelude, Planet Word signals that you’re about to enter a decidedly different type of museum.
Opened in October 2020, Planet Word is the newest addition to Washington DC’s host of free museums. Its 10 high-tech galleries immerse visitors in the beauty, fun and power of words as they engage with poetry, speeches, conversations and more. In the library, for example, you can sit down with your choice of 49 books that come alive with audio and animation as you read them aloud.
Dip your virtual paintbrush into an adjective-labeled “paint can” in the Word Worlds gallery to transform a large-scale projected image, recasting its appearance to correspond with its new descriptor: nostalgic, surreal, nocturnal, magical. Elsewhere, you can recite famous speeches, learn to speak a few words or phrases in multiple languages, and perform karaoke while learning how songs and lyrics come together.