National Gallery of Art - Sculpture Garden, Washington DC

4.5
#7 of 22 in Parks in Washington DC
The National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden is the most recent addition to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. in the United States. It is located on the National Mall between the National Gallery's West Building and the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History.Completed and opened to the public on 23 May 1999, the location provides an outdoor setting for exhibiting several pieces from the museum's contemporary sculpture collection. The collection is centered on a fountain which, from December to March, is converted to an ice-skating rink. (Such a rink predated the construction of the garden.) The outdoor Pavilion Café lies adjacent to the garden.Laurie Olin and his firm, OLIN, were the landscape architects who redesigned the garden.
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TripAdvisor
  • The sculpture garden is surrounded by lush trees and has a large pool and fountain in the middle. It was a refreshing break on a warm day in DC. The sculptures are scattered around the grounds, and th...  more »
  • It's not massive, by any means, but there are some neat sculptures and the like (I'm horrible at describing art). Also, it's free, so it's kind of a no-brainer if you're in the area anyway. If you've ...  more »
  • It's a nice little park adjacent to the national mall filled with some interesting works of art. You could probably walk through in ten minutes on your way from one museum to another.  more »
Google
  • This place rocks. The kids were tired of walking and the museums were starting to get really crowded. We stumbled across this place on our way to the national history museum. The kids were able to sit down in the shade and watch the fountain. They also loved looking at all the sculptures. If you want to take a load off the feet and relax for a little this place is perfect.
  • This outdoor sculpture area is easily missed by all the tourists, but it's a lovely space with a mix of contemporary sculptures, including a Sol Lewitt piece. Cafe and live music add a touch of delight and charm; good place to relax after a long day around the museums.
  • Absolutely loved my experience in the Ice Rink. The staff was so engaging and kind. I love to ice skate (not an expert) and this is the perfect place to enjoy the sculpture, the music and the great environment. One of my first experiences in DC and one of the best so far. So don't hesitate to go and skate, there is not much time left. ⛸
  • This is a must-do D.C. experience. This small-ish space turns into a charming ice rink that affords an intimate experience for skilled skaters and learners alike. Street parking on the weekends is typically doable.
  • The fountain is very round, just how I like it. It has a wide flat lip for sitting down and admiring the surrounding area. It is encircled with well maintained trees. Very nice!

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Most visitors to Washington, D.C., end up in the East End, the old downtown district containing most of the city's major cultural attractions. For a more authentic Washingtonian experience, consider staying at a smaller hotel just a little north or east of this busy area. Neighborhoods outside downtown offer less expensive accommodations and affordable street parking, as well as opportunities to meet more locals and fewer tourists. Alternatively, try a hotel in Georgetown, packed with high-end shops and Colonial architecture.
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