Events April 9-11: Tarantulas, Star Gazing and an Award-winning Film

This week, hold some creepy crawlers, look at craters on the moon and watch a film based on Joseph Conrad’s first novel

See the moon up close through a 16-inch telescope this Wednesday at the Air and Space Museum’s observatory. Photo by cotinis, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Update: Oops! Apparently, we got something wrong here, folks. You can visit the tarantula and you can watch the creature eat, but you can’t hold it in your hand. Sorry about that.

Tuesday, April 9: Live Tarantula Feeding

Ever held a tarantula in your hand? How about watched one chomp on crickets? Stop by the Insect Zoo today during their feeding demonstration and get up close and personal with one of the creepy crawlers, which can be touched and held. Not an event for the timid! Free. Year-round from Tuesday to Friday at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday at 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. Natural History Museum.

Wednesday, April 10: Public Observatory Project

Here’s something more exciting to look at than your computer screen on your lunch break today: moon craters and sun spots! The Air and Space Museum opens its observatory to the public on Wednesdays, which means visitors have access to a 16-inch telescope to survey the cosmos. Astronomy educators are on hand to guide visitors in their observations, and the observatory’s Discovery Station has other interactive activities that teach more about astronomy and telescopes. Free. 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Air and Space Museum.

Thursday, April 11: Almayer’s Folly

Sometimes we get so caught up in our goals that we lose sight of why we’re pursuing them. That’s one of the dangers explored in Almayer’s Folly, a 2012 film by Chantal Akerman on view this evening about a French expatriate in search of pirate treasure in Malaysia as he tries to manage his beautiful, mentally unstable daughter. In French and Khmer with English subtitles. Free. 8 p.m. Hirshhorn Museum.

Also, check out our Visitors Guide App. Get the most out of your trip to Washington, D.C. and the National Mall with this selection of custom-built tours, based on your available time and passions. From the editors of Smithsonian magazine, the app is packed with handy navigational tools, maps, museum floor plans and museum information including ‘Greatest Hits’ for each Smithsonian museum.

For a complete listing of Smithsonian events and exhibitions visit the goSmithsonian Visitors Guide. Additional reporting by Michelle Strange.