National Building Museum, DC

May 7, 2012 by

So you’re planning a visit to DC with your small child and want to choose a museum she’ll really enjoy. You might look right past the National Building Museum. That would be a mistake. Believe it or not, this museum of architecture and building design is one of the most child-friendly spots in DC.

The museum’s interior is modeled after a 16th-Century Roman palazzo, with a vast open hall the length of a football field and three stories tall. There are skylights, giant columns, park benches, and even a tall fountain in the center.

It’s the perfect spot for an indoor picnic, or for little kids to run on a rainy day. Children ages 2-6 can play in the Building Zone, a hands-on space full of construction toys, puzzles, and books. Older kids will enjoy many of the museum’s exhibits — especially the occasional Lego Architecture displays that end in big tables full of Legos. (Even if you don’t have a kid in tow, that Lego room is pretty darn fun.)

Best of all, there’s a Firehook Bakery branch with coffee drinks for Mom and Dad. Room for kids to run indoors while the parents sip a latte in a beautiful space? And you can call it educational? Sign us up!

If you’re into architecture or design, the Building Museum also has a great gift shop. Admission to the Building Museum is free, but the Building Zone and exhibitions carry entrance fees.

Image: National Building Museum on Facebook

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