The National Children’s Museum
Kids will love climbing into the Dream Machine. Photo courtesy of the author
Entering the museum, the first thing you notice is an impressive three-story slide and climbing structure called the Dream Machine. Museum goers can slide straight down to the exhibits if theyre so inclined. Sliding two stories was too much for my son, but other slides and climbing structures more his size awaited us downstairs.
The Sensory and Light Board is mesmerizing. Photo courtesy of the author
Once on the first-floor exhibit level, numerous zones entice little hands and eyes. Designed for children ages 0-12, the exhibits include a range of activities that focus on science, technology, engineering, art, and math topics. My 3-year-old was drawn to everything he saw.
Favorite Nickeloden friends will greet you at the Art+Tech section. Photo courtesy of Daniel Swartz
On the Go-Go offers fun ways to learn about engineering and air force. Photo courtesy of the author
Babies and toddlers can pretend to fly a plane inside the Little Dreamers exhibit. Photo courtesy of the author
The National Childrens Museum is a great addition to the many family-friendly museums in the downtown area, but its especially nice to have a place for kids to feel comfortable being kids and to learn through play. Minutes before having to drag my son out, he said, This place rocks!
There is so much for kids to explore at the National Children’s Museum. Photo courtesy of Daniel Swartz
National Children’s Museum Opens In Washington Dc
After 18 yearsand then another 18 months due to the COVID-19 pandemicWashington, DC has finally gotten a childrens museum! The National Childrens Museum reopened to the public on September 2, 2021 after being open for only 18 days at the start of the pandemic. Now operating with COVID measures in place, the National Children’s Museum combines the feel of a science center and a childrens museum to create an interactive, fun place for kids ages 0-12 to explore.
I recently got the opportunity to investigate the National Children’s Museum with my 3-year-old son on a sneak-peek tour. For a kid who has only gotten to experience museums through Blippi videos due to the pandemic, a museum visit was long overdue, and he had a fantastic time.
Below is my review of the National Children’s Museum. You can also check out our list of free museums in DC for more fun museums to visit with kids!
Don’t Show Up Without Buying Tickets In Advance
After 18 months, the National Childrens Museum will finally open to the public again. Starting September 2, the museum and science center will be open Thursdays through Sundays for a morning session and an afternoon session .
Visitor capacity will be limited, and guests will be encouraged to stay six feet away from others. All guests over the age of 2 must wear masks inside the museum. Tickets for all guests over the age of 1 are $15.95 and can be purchased on the museums website you cant visit without buying in advance. Admission is contactless.
The reopening is a long time coming. The museum used to be located at National Harbor, but shuttered there in 2015 it relocated to Pennsylvania Avenue, Northwest, but only had time for a soft opening of its new home in February of 2020 before the pandemic shut it down. During the long closure, it added several new attractions, including a Spotify-powered dance pod, an Artist-in-Residence program, and a gift shop.
Check out photos of a few of the new experiences:
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Special Hours On Martin Luther King Jr Day
National Childrens Museum will be open on Martin Luther King Jr. Day with two timed sessions: 9:30 am to 12:30 pm and 1:30 to 4:30 pm. Well celebrate the vision of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and reflect on our own dreams for the world with a special art project in the Tinkerers Studio, guided by a resource from the National Museum of African American History & Culture.
Tickets for General Admission can be purchased here.
Tickets for Members and Community Access Program Partners can be reserved here.
A Museum Built For All
All exhibits are wheelchair accessible, including the Dream Machine, our climber and slide. An elevator connects the Museums two floors.
mothers room + stroller parking
The Mothers Room is located on Floor 1, near the elevator and the Little Dreamers toddler space. Stroller parking is available on Floor 2 of the Museum.
All videos with audio content are captioned.
Sensory backpacks are available to borrow at no cost and include noise-reduction headphones as well as fidgets to help ease sensory stimulation.
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Tns International Budget For Saturday Jan 8 2022your Browser Indicates If You’ve Visited This Link
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National Children’s Museum To Feature Mothers Room Sponsored By Lansinoh
National Childrens Museum, a congressionally-designated cultural and educational institution that has served children and families in Washington, D.C. for 45 years, received a sponsorship from Lansinoh Laboratories, Inc. for a Mothers Room in the museum, which is set to reopen in downtown D.C. in Fall 2019.
Lansinoh is an industry leader in the fields of mother and infant feeding health. A critical piece of our mission is to ensure that the whole family is supported and engaged, and were thrilled to partner to ensure a modern Mothers Room in the Museum, said Elise Lemle, director of exhibits and education at National Childrens Museum. The Mothers Room will help foster a welcoming, inclusive environment for families at National Childrens Museum, and Lansinohs generous sponsorship guarantees that breastfeeding or pumping mothers and nursing infants who would like to use a private room are accommodated during their visit.
A partnership with Lansinoh ensures that National Childrens Museum will have a best-in-class Mothers Room equipped with modern amenities, as well as Lansinohs line of essential breastfeeding products complimentary for nursing mothers. As content experts, Lansinoh will also help provide resources on important mother and infant health information.
For more information about National Childrens Museum please visit:
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Grand Opening Of National Childrens Museum In Washington Dc
The following is a press release from the National Childrens Museum:
Big news for little learners around Washington! Following an 18-month closure due to the COVID-19 health pandemic and continued space development, National Childrens Museum will celebrate its grand opening and reveal its new Entry Hall on September 2, 2021. Tickets will become available to the public on Monday, August 16, with member-only pre-reservation beginning on Saturday, August 14.
The Museum will open with limited capacity and operating policies that help to ensure a safe and fun experience for all visitors, including:
- Adjusted operating hours. The Museum will open with two timed sessions from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm, and 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm on Thursdays through Sundays. This helps promote physical distancing through limited capacity and provides an opportunity for Museum staff to reset and clean the space between sessions.
- Advanced-only reservations. Reservations are required for all visitors, including members, and will be available through online, advanced-purchase only.
- Mask and vaccination guidelines. Masks will be required for all guests ages two and up, regardless of vaccination status. All National Childrens Museum staff members will be vaccinated.
All of the Museums exhibits will be open and ready for play in September, with modificationslike easily sanitized material substitutions and easy-to-follow exhibit directions added to some experiences for visitors safety and health.
Arabic Animal Name Yoga + Arabic Story Time
On Saturday, January 15, join us for an imaginary adventure to the farm, where well wiggle and breathe while learning animal names in Arabic! Adventures will last approximately 30 minutes and will start at 10:00 am, 11:30 am, 2:00 pm, and 3:30 pm in Little Movers. Caroline, an Arabic educator, will lead us through poses inspired by a day at the farm including the butterfly, the scarecrow, and the sunrise. Recommended for all ages, especially 3-6.
On Saturday, January 15, and Sunday, January 16, sit down for a special story time, where youll hear tales from the Arabic-speaking world! Story time will begin at 10:30 am and 2:00 pm in Little Dreamers.
This program complements the Alif Ba Exhibition, an interactive experience that brings to life the Arabic alphabet and language through touch and sound. Produced by Qatar Foundation in honor of the Qatar-US 2021 Year of Culture, the Alif Ba Exhibition will be on display in the Creative Corner from December 18, 2021, through February 21, 2022. Programming provided by Qatar Foundation International.
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We Will Spark Curiosity Ignite Passion And Foster Inclusivity To Empower Future Innovation
National Childrens Museum is committed to equal opportunity for all employees and prospective employees without discrimination based upon race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, personal appearance, sexual orientation, political affiliation, family responsibilities, disability, matriculation, marital status or any other category protected by law. This policy applies to all aspects of employment at the Museum, including, but not limited to recruitment, promotion, compensation, benefits, training and development, access to facilities, discipline, separation of employment and other terms and conditions of employment.
Ready To Come Dream With Us
Here are a few things you should know.
- Advanced tickets are strongly recommended. Walk up tickets are limited and are not guaranteed. As the Museum continues to limit capacity to enable social distancing, visitors, including members, are encouraged to reserve tickets in advance of their visit.
- All tickets are for timed sessions. When you purchase your tickets in advance, you will be prompted to select a date as well as a timed session.
- Every Monday at 9 am EST, a new week of tickets will be released. Tickets are released 8 weeks in advance.
- Tickets are non-refundable. If you are unable to visit due to health concerns, you may exchange your tickets for a new date and time by reaching out to in advance of your original ticket time.
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Norton Introduces Bill To Allow The National Childrens Museum To Remain In The Ronald Reagan Building Rent Free
WASHINGTON, D.C. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton introduced the National Childrens Museum Act today, which would require the General Services Administration to enter into a cooperative agreement with the National Childrens Museum to allow the Museum to remain in the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, a federally owned building, without charge. Norton says that the newly redesigned Museum, the nations first combination childrens museum and science center, should remain centrally located in the nations capital for the benefit of all.
In her statement, Norton writes: Despite its many benefits it brings to the nations capital, NCM remains an outlier in terms of upkeep and maintenance. NCM is the only congressionally designated museum expected to pay rent in a federal building. This bill would allow NCM to remain in its current federal location without payment of rent, allowing staff to focus on bringing 21st century STEAM learning techniques to the nations capital.
Nortons introductory statement is below.
Statement of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton
On the Introduction of the National Childrens Museum Act
Ms. Norton. Madam Speaker.
Now located in its new home in the Ronald Reagan Building at 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, NCM is poised to bring new and innovative STEAM exhibits to the nations capital, building on more than 30 years of educating D.C. children and families.
I strongly urge my colleagues to support this bill.
Moomins Coming To National Childrens Museum In Dc In September
Moomins are the subject of a visiting exhibition at National Childrens Museum in Washington D.C. as of September 3rd. The upcoming exhibition, on loan from the worlds only Moomin Museum located in Tampere, Finland, showcases the universal values of the Moomins, such as equality, inclusion and respect for nature.
The exhibition, Moomin Animations Thrills and Cuddles, which is brought to the United States by the Embassy of Finland in Washington D.C., will open at National Childrens Museum on September 3, 2021, and will be on display inside the Visiting Exhibit Hall until January 9, 2022. This is the first time this exhibition travels abroad. It highlights the rich history of Moomin animations, which are based on the Moomin books and comic strips created by Tove Jansson.
The Moomins always treat nature with respect and live in harmony with the environment. The Moomin values, such as compassion and open-mindedness, are current, independent of time and place, and more relevant than perhaps ever before. As we follow the stories of Moomintrolls growth and encounters, we can learn more about our own humanity, relationships and emotions, explains Roleff Kråkström, Managing Director of Moomin Characters.
Moomin animations from different decades and countries
Furthermore, the exhibition presents digigraphs of Janssons original artwork and stills from the animations to show the differences and similarities between the original and new interpretations.
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Details For Your Visit
The National Children’s Museum has implemented a number of COVID safety measures. Tickets must be purchased in advance, and all attendees ages 2 and older must wear a mask. Hand-sanitizing stations appear throughout the museum. Two timed sessions each dayone in the morning and one in the afternoonallow for a limited visitor capacity and extra cleaning. The timed sessions are each three hours long, which for us is enough time to explore a museum this size. You can probably see almost everything without getting too exhausted.
The National Children’s Museum keeps kids’ minds working and their bodies moving. Photo courtesy of Daniel Swartz
The museum is located at 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, close to the White House, the National Mall, and many restaurants. The main entrance is adjacent to the Ronald Reagan Building on the Woodrow Wilson Plaza between Pennsylvania and Constitution Avenues. Look for the blue awnings. If youre taking Metro, its steps away from Federal Triangle Station. Paid parking is available at the Ronald Reagan Building parking garage.
Make scarves fly in a wind-powered tube at the Art + Tech section. Photo courtesy of Daniel Swartz
I found the stroller check on the main level of the museum handy. It was convenient to use our stroller on the way to the museum, but once inside, my son zoomed around with no desire to sit down! You can leave and re-enter during your allotted time, but you cannot re-enter at a different session.
Creating A Dream For The New National Childrens Museum
Taking a basic sketch provided by a client, then designing, engineering, fabricating and installing the specialty project takes years of proven experience in a range of markets. With the late February 2020 opening of the National Childrens Museum in Washington, D.C., children up to age 12 can now experience interactive exhibits focused on science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics, or STEAM, including the marquee Dream Machine three-story climber and slide.
Entech Innovative Engineering partnered with Universal Services Associates to engineer, build and install the Dream Machine from the ground floor up three stories, where children can let off steam by imagining they are an airplane pilot in one of many lighted Easy Pods up in the clouds or sliding down the 45-foot slide like an astronaut landing from space. Located on the Space Coast of central Florida, Entech Innovative has more than 25 years of experience combining art with technology to build creative solutions for museums, theme parks, experiential marketing agencies, and large general contractors.
To learn more about the 3D modeling software and how Entech engineered this piece, visit the link below.
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What We Value
Our mission is to inspire children to care about and change the world. The Museum is an innovative institution that sparks curiosity and wonder and a space where children feel valued. In order to do this well, we need a team that reflects the dynamic and diverse communities that we serve and brings a variety of perspectives, abilities, and skills. We embrace that this work is critical to our mission and never finished. The more inclusive we are, the stronger our Museum.