Group Visits and Custom Tours
Thank you for inquiring about group visits and custom tours at the National Building Museum! Please keep in mind that filling out a request for a group visit, custom tour, or custom Discovery cart is not a reservation confirmation. If we are unable to schedule your request, we will contact you to discuss other possibilities. For further information or questions about group visits, custom tours, or custom Discovery Carts beyond the descriptions on this page, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reservations need to be made at least three weeks in advance and payment is due two weeks prior to your visit.
Group rates are available for groups of ten people or more by making a reservation. The group fee is $5 per person, which includes admission to the Museum's exhibitions.
School Groups (PreK–12)
School Group Visits
School groups consisting of ten or more people who wish to enjoy the Museum's exhibitions with or without a tour or Discovery Cart are qualified for the group rate by making a reservation. School groups receive an additional discount of one free ticket for every five students to help accommodate the required chaperones. We strongly suggest a 5:1 ratio of children to adults with grades Pre-K to 3rd and a 10:1 ratio of children to adults grades 4th to 12th.
PLAY WORK BUILD
For groups interested in the interactive exhibition PLAY WORK BUILD, please indicate this during the reservation process. Each reserved time slot is 1 hour long.
For groups interested in the interactive exhibition Building Zone (geared for 2 to 6-year-olds), please be advised that it CANNOT be reserved ahead of time. If space is available on the day of your visit, please note that only 15 people (children and adults) per group may enter during each timed entry.
Visit the School Programs page for other great program options for school groups. For Scout and Youth groups, visit the Scout and Youth Groups page for other great programs the National Building Museum provides.
Custom Tours and Discovery Carts
Custom tours and custom Discovery Carts are led by trained docents and provide in-depth knowledge about the National Building Museum's exhibitions, the historic building, and interactive explanations of building materials and building methods.
Custom Tour and Discovery Cart Offerings
Historic Building Tour
Learn the history of the National Building Museum's historic home, the former Pension Building, when you take this docent-led historic building tour. This tour takes 45 minutes to 1 hour and can hold a maximum of 25 people per tour. The cost is $35 per tour.
House & Home Tour
Explore the architecture of everyday life and learn about different construction techniques, see some of America's most iconic homes, and revisit home goods from yesterday and today. Your docent will share some of the highlights of this extensive exhibition, sharing interesting information and stories. Can be adapted for pre-K to 12th grades. This tour takes 45 minutes to 1 hour and can hold a maximum of 20 people per tour. The cost is $35 per tour along with $5 per person for admission.
The New American Gardens Tour
Founded in 1975 and based in Washington D.C., learn about the firm of Oehme, van Sweden & Associates, leader of modern American landscape architecture. Your docent will share stories of the firm’s founders, Wolfgang Oehme and James van Sweden, along with different projects the firm has completed over the years. This tour takes 45 minutes to 1 hour and can hold a maximum of 20 people per tour. The cost is $35 per tour along with $5 per person for admission.
Bridging the Gap Discovery Cart
During this interactive demonstration, participants learn about basic forces that impact structures, the five different types of bridges and their advantages and disadvantages, and how bridges are applied in real world situations. Appropriate for children ages 5 and older. This Discovery Cart takes 30 to 45 minutes and can hold a maximum of 25 people per Discovery Cart. The cost is $35 per Discovery Cart.
Arches and Trusses Discovery Cart
Discover how building forces, materials, and structures affect strength and longevity. Participants test different building materials and work together to build an arch. Appropriate for children ages 5 and older. This Discovery Cart takes 30 to 45 minutes and can hold a maximum of 25 people per Discovery Cart. The cost is $35 per Discovery Cart.
The Three Little Pigs Build a House Storybook Reading
This activity will teach children about the basic components of building and will introduce a variety of materials needed for construction. Appropriate for children ages 3–5. This Storybook Reading takes 30 to 45 minutes and can hold a maximum of 25 people. The cost is $35 per Storybook Reading.
Inaugural Ball Tour
Learn about the Pension Building's connection to the Presidential Inaugural Balls. Your docent will share the pageantry and history of these festive events. This tour takes 45 minutes to 1 hour and can hold a maximum of 25 people per tour. The cost is $35 per tour.
Special Custom Tours
Curator Led Tours
Share in the expertise and behind-the-scenes knowledge of one of the National Building Museum’s curators. This tour takes 45 minutes to 1 hour and can hold a maximum of 20 people per tour. The cost is $300 per tour, which includes admission to the exhibitions.
After Hours Tours
Available on a limited basis, please contact the tour office for details.