February 2017

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Browse Full Calendar

Everyday Activities at the Museum

Family Tool Kits

Free for members. $3 check-out fee per Tool Kit with Museum admission. $5 without Museum admission. Cash or check only. Available until 4 pm daily.

 House & Home Family Toolkit

Tool Kit 1: House & Home NEW
Discover what makes a house a home. Record an interview about the home you grew up in, look through a view master, touch building materials, become an interior decorator, and draw a floorplan.
Recommended for children ages 7–10 and adult companion.

Tool Kit 2: Patterns: Here, There, and Everywhere!
Learn about design by creating architectural patterns using stamps and rubbings, making musical patterns, looking for patterns in the Museum, and building patterns with mini bricks.
For children ages 3–7 and adult companions.

Tool Kit 3: Eye Spy: What Can You Find with Your Little Eye?
Use binoculars and flashlights, eye spy games, drawing activities, and custom jigsaw puzzles to find details in the Museum's historic home.
Recommended for children ages 7–10 and adult companion.

Tool Kit 4: Constructor Detector
Practice using measuring tapes, a measuring wheel, a level, magnetic compass, and a hammer and nails to figure out building challenges. Create an art piece to take home.
Recommended for children ages 8–11 with adult companions.

Amazing Arches

Free. On-going daily. Appropriate for all ages.

Arches are an iconic architectural feature in the Museum's Great Hall and around the world. But have you ever wondered just how they work? Discover the arch's secrets for yourself by constructing a 7-foot-tall, soft-block arch in the Museum's Great Hall.

The Building Zone

The Building Zone is a hands-on introduction to the building arts designed especially for the Museum’s youngest visitors, ages 2–6. 

Bridge Basics
The Museum's Bridging the Gap Discovery Cart.
Photo by Kevin Allen.
Discovery Carts

Free. Registration not required. Most appropriate for ages 5 and up. Based on docent availability, please call 202.272.2448, ext. 3302.

Bridging the Gap 
During this interactive demonstration, participants learn about basic forces that inpact structures, the five different types of bridges, their advantages and disadvantages, and how bridges are applied in real world situations. 1st and 3rd Sundays and the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of each month at Noon and 2 pm.

Arches and Trusses
Discover how building forces, materials, and structures affect strength and longevity. Participants test different building materials and work together to build an arch. 2nd and 4th Sundays and the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of each month at Noon and 2 pm.


Questions? Contact the Family Programs Coordinator at 202.272.2448 or email family@nbm.org

Please note: the Museum's Great Hall also serves as a special event venue. Occasionally, Great Hall activities are unavailable due to event set-up. You may call 202.272.2448 in advance of your visit to check on the availability of Tool Kits, Discovery Carts, and Amazing Arches.


The National Building Museum's family programs are funded, in part, by generous grants from The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation.