The National Building Museum encourages families to discover architecture, design, and engineering in fun and interactive ways. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Museum is closed until further notice. Once we are open again, you can also stop by the Information Desk at the Museum to learn about activities happening on the day you visit.
In the meantime, as all of us work, learn, and play at home, we encourage you to click on the At-Home Learning tab below. It’s chock full of great educational activities for parents to engage children of any age.
Continue your family’s learning beyond your visit to the National Building Museum. Engage your child and family in playful learning that is imaginative, constructive, and active. The resources below range from toddlers through elementary school, which you can make simpler or more complex based on your child’s age and ability.
In addition to the activities listed below (click the links for downloadable PDFs), asking your child simple questions, such as identifying colors and shapes, can encourage them to look closely at and learn more about their built environment.
Explore your local built environment with your littlest learner.
- Bell Pepper Architectural Drawings — Learn about three types of architectural drawings and practice them using a bell pepper as a model.
- Brick Who Found Herself in Architecture Coloring Sheets — Learn from the illustrator of Brick Who Found Herself in Architecture and color Brick while she journeys around the world. (The full book is available at the Museum Shop website.)
- National Building Museum Paper Model — Print, cut, and assemble a mini model of the National Building Museum.
- Newspaper Forts — Build a fort of newspaper using basic engineering principles.
- Patterns in D.C. Architecture — Look closely at patterns in buildings around the city and practice making patterns of your own.
- Patterns in Nature — Look closely at patterns in nature and practice making patterns of your own.
- Senses Exploration: In Your Home — Use your senses to explore the rooms of your home.
- Senses Exploration: In Your Neighborhood — Use your senses to explore your neighborhood.
- Tiny Tinkerers Information & Coloring Sheets — Inspired by our popular Tiny Tinkerers program, learning about woodworking with toddlers and color labeled tools.
Click here for general visitor information, including Museum hours and ticket cost.
The Museum entrance on the G Street side of the building is stroller accessible. Elevators are available and go to all floors. All visitors entering the Museum must pass through security. To make the process easier, try to have bags out and open before you get to the security desk.
Nursing and Bottle Feeding
You are also welcome to nurse and bottle feed your child anywhere in the Museum that you feel comfortable. Café tables and seating are located along the second floor hallways.
There are changing stations available in all restrooms on the first and second floors.
Check the calendar for upcoming programs.
The Big Build
Experience a hands-on festival of tools, trucks, construction, and design.
Save the Date: October 2020
Tiny Tinkerers (ages 3 and up)
Practice fine motor skills with your young learner as you learn together about tool safety, practice using the tool, and listen to a related story to build literacy and language skills.
Read, rattle, and roll! Develop your child’s lifelong love of reading and learning with an interactive storytime.
Alternating Tuesdays, March 17 through June 9.
Spend your summer at the National Building Museum! Explore the world we design and build through hands-on activities, projects, and field trips.
Build a bridge from cardboard and test its strength with your own weight. Learn about famous architects from around the world. Write, direct, and edit your own stop-motion animation film with LEGO. Draw inspiration from the built environment to imagine, design, and build your own models.
Summer Camp is offered for students entering 2nd through 7th grades in the 2020-2021 school year. National Building Museum Summer Camp sessions will begin on July 6 and run through August 14, 2020.
Check back here for updates or join our email list for the most up-to-date information sent directly to your inbox.
The National Building Museum is temporarily closed for Great Hall repairs from December 2, 2019 to March 2020. As the Museum is closed to the public, birthday parties are unavailable during this time.
Parties for April, May, and June will go on sale on Tuesday, February 25 at 10 am EST – you must be a Museum Member at the Family level or above to purchase.
Join our mailing list for the most up-to-date information directly to your inbox; current Members will receive a save-the-date email on February 18.
Questions about membership? Please email the Membership department or call 202.272.2448.
Birthday parties include two hours of facilitated celebration time, thematic party hats, and Museum admission for your guests. Parties are for children ages 3-11. Choose from three themes, which can be adapted based upon the age of participants.
All Aboard Train Construction
Become a train engineer for the day as you investigate all kinds of trains, then design and construct your own from a variety of craft materials.
Put on your construction hats and explore architecture and design as you construct your own cityscape using thousands of LEGO® bricks. Choose between standard bricks or Duplo, based on the age of the birthday child.
Castles and Crowns
Have a royally fun time exploring the enchanting world of castles, dragons, kings, and queens as you build your dream castle complete with towers, gems, or even a drawbridge.
Family programs are generously supported by: The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation. Geppetto Catering, Inc. is the official meal provider for all education programs at the National Building Museum.