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The Big Build

A Hands-on Family Festival of Tools, Trucks, and Construction


Big Build
Photo by Emily Clack Photography.

Saturday, September 19, 10 am–4 pm

Be a builder for the day at the Big Build festival! Amateur builders young and old can discover what it's like to build a brick wall, carve stone, hammer nails, and much more as they work side by side with designers, builders, and artisans demonstrating their skills. Meet plumbers, electricians, ironworkers, landscape architects, woodworkers, and experts in many other fields to learn about their professions and hobbies. At this year's Big Build festival you can:

  • Climb aboard cranes and tractors
  • Build a brick wall
  • Construct a log cabin
  • Carve stone
  • Imagine a sculpture made of plumbing pipes
  • Compete in a nail driving contest
  • Create a hardware wind chime to take home

New This Year

The Big Build Celebrates Play

This year, the Big Build festival highlights the Museum's exhibition PLAY WORK BUILD and the theme of play. Similar to the exhibition, Big Build will celebrate the connection between children's affinity to construct imaginary worlds and the professionals who create the built world around us.  

The World's Tallest Toy

Help us construct the World's Tallest Toy out of Superstructs in the Great Hall!

Truck "Petting Zoo" Bigger than Ever

A portion of F Street NW will be closed for the increase in exhibitors and the truck "petting zoo" doubles in size to include a firetruck, garbage/recycling truck, cement mixer, cranes, and more! 


2014 Participants Include: American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA); The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC); Blacksmiths' Guild of the Potomac; Clark Construction Group, LLC; Community Forklift; Continental Building Products; D.C. Association of Land Surveyors; D.C. Committee on the Environment (COTEdc); DC Department of Public Works; DC Fire Department; DC Sustainable Energy Utility; The Electrical Alliance; Forbo Flooring; International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, Local 1 MD, VA & DC; Ironworker Management Progressive Action Cooperative Trust (IMPACT); International Union of Elevator Constructors; kaBOOM!; Little Main Street Playhouses; Miller and Long; National Association of Women in Construction; National Capital Art Glass Guild; Natural Edge; Salvagewrights Ltd.; Shapiro & Duncan; Sunbelt Rentals; WABA Fun; Washington Conservation Guild; Washington Parent Magazine; Washington Woodworkers Guild; and WETA Kids.



 AGC Logo 2

The Big Build: A Hands-on Family Festival of Tools, Trucks, and Construction is generously sponsored by WABA Fun, LLC, The Associated General Contractors of America; DAVIS Construction; International Masonry Institute; International Union of Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers; International Union of Elevator Constructors; Ironworker Management Progressive Action Cooperative Trust; Capital One Bank; and The Electrical Alliance.