The National Building Museum

Engage Your Inner Child and Your Children Too At The National Building Museum!

Engage Your Inner Child and Your Children Too At The National Building Museum!

The National Building Museum is America's leading cultural institution devoted to building and design. We tell the stories of architecture, engineering, and construction to visitors from around the world.


Your first aha! moment will most likely come when you enter the lobby, look up at the ornate circular rotunda- the columns, stained glass, the way golden orbs of light cascade downwards wrapping you in an ethereal halo- hello world...

The second aha! will most likely come when you enter the Play Work Build room. A large blue foam Lego-like building world. Surrounded by children of all ages and stages and their unabashedly enthusiastic adults, it's where dreams are realized and innovation unleashed. In the great building dance your toddler transforms into an engineer, your kindergartener into a great inventor. Side by side creations are envisioned, constructed, destroyed, re-built, renovated, expanded upon, demolished- and on and on (the dance is never truly done).

Before you know it, hours have passed, you realize you're hungry, you can't account for the time.

The building room knows no time.

If you've got crawlers, waddlers, curious elementary aged students, inventive middle schoolers or if you've always had a sneaky suspicion a career in engineering or architecture was supposed to be your track, head to the National Building Museum in Washington D.C.

The National Building Museum is a place for curious minds to meet. They host family programs, adult programs, hands on and not so hands on exhibits.

The museum is a wonderful place for children and adults to build, create, problem solve and work collaboratively- an educator or homeschooling parents dream!

Did you know that playing with blocks is essential to early development ? Studies show that children who play with blocks reap cognitive benefits that will help them with math and science later on. Block play can help with social emotional development teaching patience, problem solving, cause and effect and sharing.

Um, can I hear a hip-hip-hooray for good old fashioned play!!!!

But you don't have to be a toddler to enjoy the museum. I can not tell you how relaxing and zen it is to build. It's a complete mental reset. Like a Buddhist sand painting, you create this work of staggering genius and then you knock it down. If adult building is too crunchy granola for you, there are tons of exhibits curated specially for adults. I liked House and Home- a journey through beautiful timeless homes through the ages. If you love architecture or HGTV, you'll be smitten!

The next time you're in D.C. either with friends, for work or with family, you've got to check out the National Building Museum at (401 F Street NW)!

Have you been to the National Building Museum? What did you think?