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Museum Guidelines & Conduct

We want you to have a great time while visiting. The following guidelines will help you enjoy your visit to the National Building Museum:

Curiosity is a wonderful thing, but something as simple as a touch can leave acids and residue on very valuable objects that may not be able to be removed. Please do not touch objects in the galleries. 

We ask that you keep an eye on your children at all times. Unattended children are not allowed in the galleries. Please keep your children with you at all times. For groups, we ask that there be 1 adult per 10 children at all times. Chaperones must stay with the children at all times. 

In order to provide a safe environment for our visitors, we ask that you do not throw or toss a ball or any other object in the Great Hall. No footballs, baseballs, softballs, or frisbees allowed. The Museum reserves the right to limit ball play when necessary.  

We understand the importance of taking home memories of your visit, but we ask that you only take photographs in the Great Hall. Please do not photograph objects in the galleries, unless otherwise noted in gallery signage. Flash photography is very damaging to artifacts. A flash will fade dyes and colors, weaken organic materials and cause them to become brittle, and will yellow varnishes. Also, objects that you see may be on loan to the Museum. Lenders loan us these objects with the stipulation that their objects are not photographed. Postcards, books and images of our collection are available in the Museum Shop.

Please keep all food, drink, plants or flowers in the café area. Please do not bring any food, drinks, plants or flowers into the galleries, Building Zone, or Museum Shop. 

While we understand the importance of communication, the use of cell phones can be very disruptive to other visitors. Please do not use cell phones in the galleries. If you receive, or need to make a call, please step outside the gallery for the duration of your phone call.

Significant damage can occur to objects, walls and signage from backpacks or other objects that are carried on your back. Please be sure to carry, stow, or wear on your chest, your backpack or baby carrier while in the galleries. 

The cases in our galleries are very fragile and contain artifacts that are very fragile as well. Please do not lean on, or use the cases as writing surfaces, in any of the galleries. 

Running in the galleries could result in damage to artifacts, walls and signage. It can also result in injuries to adults and children alike. Please do not run in the galleries.

Building Zone: we invite our youngest visitors and their families to enjoy this space as they explore the world we build for ourselves. In this gallery please remember:

  • It is designed for children ages 2-6.
  • An adult must accompany children at all times.
  • Maximum capacity is 40 visitors.  On busy days, you may experience wait times to enter.
  • We ask that you be mindful of others and keep your visit to 30 minutes. 
  • Photography is permitted.
  • Shoes and/or socks must be worn at all times.
  • Please pick up, and put away, any toys that you may use.
  • Strollers parking is available inside and outside of the gallery.

Family tool kits are not allowed in any of the galleries. Please feel free to enjoy them in the Great Hall and arcades.

The National Building Museum is a smoke free environment. A smoking area is located just outside our 4th Street entrance.

We hope you enjoy your visit with us. If you need assistance while you are here, please feel free to ask a Visitor Services Representative in the galleries or at the Information Desk.