Kid-Friendly in DC: The National Building Museum

Note:  You can see more Kid-Friendly reviews throughout the DC and Baltimore areas here, here, here, here, and here.

I’ll get right to it:  I highly recommend this one.

The National Building Museum might not sound like the most interesting place in the world – especially for kids – but they’ve got something the rest of the DC museums don’t: The Building Zone!

For three bucks admission (and I’m not sure if that paid for me or Loren) you buy yourself 45 minutes in the large indoor play area, equipped with large building blocks, a miniature house, a huge play cottage, plenty of big toy trucks, a great-big train set, more blocks and still more blocks.

They also have dress-up clothes, which adds a nice touch of humor to the whole experience.

Loren really liked that miniature house.

The Museum recommends The Building Zone for children ages 2 to 6.  However, Loren enjoyed the experience at only 18 months old, and I imagine he would have liked it even if he were a few months younger than that.  All the toys they offer are right in his wheel house these days. And they are all way cooler than what we have at home.

Located at 4th and F Streets NW, it is easily accessible for locals and out-of-towners alike.  You can take the Red Line Metro to Judiciary Square (right across the street), or you can take the Green/Yellow Lines to Chinatown (two blocks away), or opt for the countless bus lines that zig-zag their way through the area.  And while people are always surprised by the amount of walking they need to do between the Metro and various museums on the Mall, the National Building Museum is a lot easier on the pedometer.

That’s about fifty feet between the Metro entrance and the Building Museum.

The District is colder today than it’s been in almost two months, and yesterday it rained and rained.  With the park and playground less appealing on days like these, conditions are perfect for a National Building Museum trip – because you can plan your visit to DC all you like, but you can’t guarantee the weather.  However, if you give yourself options like this, you might still find ways to completely wear out your toddler.

So much so, in fact, that we didn’t even make it to the huge Lego Architecture Exhibit, which I’m told is worth the trip in itself.  I guess it will have to wait until next time.  And this one was so good there will definitely be a next time.  And soon.

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  1. And you didn’t even mention the acre of naturally lit open space in the middle for roaming and exploring. It is a beautiful building and too often overlooked. Great review!

  2. I’ve been to this building for an event and thought it was pretty great, too — one that visitors might not think about checking out when they come to DC. 

  3. […] from military forts, to museums, to national landmarks, to deli’s.  With the exception the National Building Museum (which was featured for being unexpected and somewhat off the beaten downto…, none of these places have been kid-specific […]

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