Although The National Building Museum’s name does not evoke a place filled with children’s activities that is exactly what you will find there. The highlight of the museum for most children was the Building Zone. However, it is currently closed yet there are many attractions at the museum that kids would definitely love.
The Museum offers programs and activities for families with early learners. Visit their Calendar page
to know about the upcoming events and summer classes.
Presently, 2021 Summer Block Party is going on at the Museum. It features a handful of smaller projects and public programs both within the Museum and on the West Lawn that are better suited to the early post-pandemic era of smaller gatherings and social distancing, including a wooden maze filled with books, a hand-built cathedral truss, public programs, and, thanks to a partnership with the DowntownDC Business Improvement District (BID), interactive lawn art and outdoor movies.
The Museum will be resuming in-person programs very soon for viitors. In the meantime, you’re encouraged as a family to discover architecture, design, and engineering in fun and interactive ways with their online resources.
Play, Work, Build is another great exhibit geared towards children. Read the Our Kids review here. Currently they are operating PLAY WORK BUILD in a very limited capacity: only 20 people in the exhibition at a time.
Some of the home-learning activities by the Museum are:
- Bell Pepper Architectural Drawings: Learn about three types of architectural drawings and practice them using a bell pepper as a model.
- Building Survey: Investigate a building in your neighborhood.
- Brick Who Found Herself in Architecture Coloring Sheets: Learn from the illustrator of Brick Who Found Herself in Architecture and color Brick while she journeys around the world.
- Contour & Continuous Line Drawings: Make a contour, continuous line drawing, then learn about two architects who often designed using this style.
- Material Seek & Find: Seek and find common materials in your home and neighborhood.
- Patterns in Nature: Look closely at patterns in nature and practice making patterns of your own.
- Tiny Tinkerers Information & Coloring Sheets: Inspired by our popular Tiny Tinkerers program, learning about woodworking with toddlers and color labeled tools.
Additionally, The D.C. Public Library has put together a page chock-full of information and learning fun, including book chats on social media, virtual readings, activities, and much more. Check it out: Library at Home.
Admission and Hours
Hours of Operation: Friday–Sunday, 11 am–4 pm
Visits to the Great Hall, the Museum Shop, and Gun Violence Memorial Project are FREE.
Advance-purchase tickets are suggested, but not required. Same-day, walk-up tickets may be purchased at the Visitor Center whenever you choose to visit us during operating hours.
CLICK HERE to purchase tickets in advance.
Print your own Museum Guide before you visit: download the PDF.
There is metered parking available surrounding the museum but it can be difficult to find an open spot at times. The National Building Museum is located directly across from the Judiciary Square metro on the red line.