In 2003, the Capital Children’s Museum was renamed the National Children’s Museum following a designation by Congress. The museum had served the community in a building in Northeast DC for thirty years, but after the designation operated as a museum without walls, focusing on traveling exhibits. In 2012, the museum settled in a spot at the National Harbor, but shut its doors in 2015 to move to a downtown location. Now, after five years, the National Children’s Museum has once again reopened.
The National Children’s Museum reopened last week in the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. The museum originally planned to open its doors last November, but was delayed by a slow-moving federal permit process.
The new iteration of the museum focuses more on STEM than its predecessors. New exhibits include engineering games, a “data science alley”, and a Nickelodeon-sponsored art and technology space. The museum’s president and CEO Crystal Bower said that the museum “will really be a science center and a children’s museum in one.”
The museum also reopened with a new focus on accessibility. The museum offers two quiet rooms for overstimulated children, as well as free sensory backpacks and assistive listening devices. All the exhibits in the museum are also wheelchair accessible.
The National Children’s Museum is open seven days a week. Tickets cost $10.95 for anyone over the age of one.