National Building Museum, Washington DC

3.7
Tour a museum for architecture, design, engineering, construction, and urban planning when you visit National Building Museum. View detailed drawings, rare photographs from the early 20th century, and original building fragments. Take your younger kids to the Building Zone to build a fort, or construct a soft-block arch in the museum's Great Hall. Tour the building itself, which is a National Historic Landmark and was completed in 1887. The museum's shop is considered the "best museum shop" by several publications, including The Washington Post and National Geographic Traveler's blog. Work out when and for how long to visit National Building Museum and other Washington DC attractions using our handy Washington DC day trip planning site .
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National Building Museum Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
654 reviews
Google
4.3
TripAdvisor
  • The National Building Museum is a very special place for visitors and locals alike. With HUGE, dramatic art installations, specialized museum exhibits, hands-on and age-appropriate play areas, reasona...  more »
  • Be sure to take the tour with a guide... ours was an architect and it was fabulous. We started outdoors to learn about the frieze around the building and then it covered the entire insides... Really g...  more »
  • Initially I was a little disappointed I spent $10 on a ticket because it didn't seem like there was much to see. There are a few rotating exhibits, a couple of permanent exhibits that are very kid foc...  more »
Google
  • Definitely not what I expected but I really enjoyed this museum. The lay out was a little weird and it wasn't super obvious where the exhibits where but the building itself has a lot of character. Some of the exhibits where a little weird and not terribly interesting, but I was very captivated by the rest. The hoops and house & home exhibits were great! The lawn was very fun and kid friendly as was a lot of the museum. The gift shop had a lot of fun things, but was a little pricey. We spent just over 3 hours here and I was very happy with my visit. Good vibes all around!
  • Great place to while away an afternoon, always some oddball display with appeal to children and some very educational special exhibit. You can blow through the place in an hour or less, depending on your interests, or profitably engage for hours at a time. A gem with a lot of local subscribers and few tourists, and an interesting take on architecture. Cool gift shop too.
  • The kids really enjoyed the building zone, the lawn and Play work build. Clever museum for keeping kids engaged and interested. Good on the cafe was great (pastries), but coffee not so. You have to book for Building zone. If you need the deadline for buying day tickets you can get through Google partners.
  • Great place to go on a hot summer DC day. I really liked the Hoops exhibit and the House&home exhibit. The main exhibit Lawn was interesting. It was pleasant to lay in the hammocks and play cornhole. It really mimicked being outside. Definitely great for children, but otherwise not that interesting. Very close to judiciary square metro and Chinatown.
  • An absolute disappointment of a museum. It is a waste of space and 90% of it is a children's playground. They already charge $10 per adult, and they charge an additional $6 for the pointless "lawn." It's just a big field that is smack in the middle of the building. More than half of the "exhibits" are basically kids' playrooms. I was done with everything the museum had to offer after only an hour. The gift shop was more interesting than the whole museum combined. If you are an adult, even if you have children, don't come here. You can go to a nearby park or playground. If you are an adult looking for interesting artifacts from history, don't come here.
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