National Building Museum

National Building Museum
The Building Museum has lots to offer for all visitors. When I’ve visited with my daughter, we enjoy just walking around the museum. There are several spaces other than the Great Hall or Building Zone which are toddler-friendly. The wide, shallow steps are great for little climbers, and the long arcades on the second (and third) floors were a delight for her little legs. The Commissioner’s Suite on the second floor, with a domed ceiling, was also a fun place to explore.

The Building Zone is one of the more talked-about toddler areas in DC (ages 2-5), but going at 10 am promptly is the best way to get in. Inside are building and construction toys, a library, a dress-up box, and more. Here is a link to their flickr page. It is a lot of fun, but again, can be popular and it’s best to expect a bit of a wait. Purchase tickets at the main desk.


The museum’s exhibits offer a wide range of topics for all members of the family. There are wonderful exhibits about architecture, including a great exhibit around the second floor of the work of one architectural firm. Play, Work, Build offers visitors a space to play with blue foam blocks large and small.


The museum has a special exhibit during the summer of 2015, No Sunscreen Required, which is an interactive beach exhibit with mirrors and translucent balls. It looks pretty promising, and will probably be pretty amazing. It will be open July 4 through September 7. There will be an entry fee of $10 for members/$16 non-member adults. There will be “season passes” and late nights available for visitors.


National Building Museum

401 F St, NW Washington DC
(202) 272-2448
Metro: Red Line (Judiciary Square) or Yellow/Green Line (Gallery Place/Chinatown – exit at Verizon Center)

Monday – Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, Sunday 11:00 am – 5:00 pm


Free to enter and hang out in the building, shop, and cafe.

$8 for adults to visit exhibits

$5 for youth, students, seniors

$3 per person for Building Zone entrance (for children 2-6)

The museum has a handicapped accessible entrance on G street. There are a few stairs going up on each of the other doors.

The Great Hall is often reserved and being used for special events or classes. If you have your heart set on the little one running freely around the space, call the museum while planning your visit.



Sara worked as an art educator in the Fairfax County Public Schools. She is from Nebraska and went to college in Minnesota, where she met her husband, and has one daughter, born December 2013. She loves to draw, paint, knit scarves, and is learning to quilt. She watches too much TV, loves wine, trashy historical romance books, space operas, and plays World of Warcraft. Her local favorite is Meadowlark Gardens, which can be a hassle to get to visit with a babe but is always worth the drive.Her favorite time to create is when the house is quiet.

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