National Children's Museum
Reopened in 2019 after roughly a decade of renovations, the National Children’s Museum is a must-visit destination for families. The 30,000-square-foot (2,800-square-meter space is focused on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics and includes an array of interactive, hands-on exhibitions.
Those visiting with infants and toddlers can head to the Little Dreamers and Little Movers spaces, which are aimed at the youngest visitors. Older kids can venture to the Dream Machine (a 3-story climber and slide, and the museum’s centerpiece), play in the Innovation Sandbox (an immersive digital experience), take part in Data Science Alley, and more.
To make your visit even simpler, book advance tickets online to guarantee your admission.
Things to know before you go
- The National Children’s Museum is aimed at children aged 12 and under, and their families.
- In addition to its permanent installations, the museum also hosts temporary exhibitions, family workshops, daily pop-up experiences, and more.
- All of the museum is accessible to wheelchair users, and service animals are also welcome inside.
- The museum’s dedicated Mothers Room caters to nursing parents, and stroller parking is available on site.
- For a quick bite, head to the Bluestone Lane café, which serves seasonal nibbles and drinks, or venture to the food court in the adjacent Ronald Reagan Building.
How to get there
The National Children’s Museum is located on Pennsylvania Avenue NW. It is just steps from the Federal Triangle Metro station (served by the Blue, Orange, and Silver Metro Lines), and close to Archives—Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter Station (served by the Yellow and Green Lines). The museum can also be reached on foot, by bike, by taxi, and via a range of bus services.
When to get there
The National Children’s Museum is open daily during school holidays, but closed on Mondays during term time. The museum is closed each year on New Year’s Day (January 1), Memorial Day (the last Monday in May), Independence Day (July 4), Labor Day (the first Monday in September), Thanksgiving (the last Thursday in November), and Christmas Day (December 25).
Other Family-Friendly DC Highlights
Visiting the nation’s capital with the kids in tow? Venture beyond the National Children’s Museum, and discover Washington DC’s other family-friendly offerings. Nearby attractions—including the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, the National Air and Space Museum, the Discovery Theater, and the Carousel on the National Mall—are all popular among younger visitors, and all just minutes away on foot.
- Old Town Alexandria
- Alexandria Christ Church
- Potomac River
- George Washington Masonic National Memorial
- Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA)
- Frederick Douglass National Historic Site
- Nationals Park
- Mount Vernon
- National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial
- East Potomac Park
- U.S. Air Force Memorial
- Tidal Basin
- Washington DC Chinatown
- Thomas Jefferson Memorial
- International Spy Museum