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National Building Museum

National Building Museum

Museum and Historic Site
Downtown-Penn Quarter-Chinatown, Washington
  • Danika B.
    "hands down my favorite museum in DC or anywhere!"(5 Tips)
    "mini golf closes at 3pm on the weekends"(3 Tips)
    Theresa D.
    "The architecture of the building alone is worth the walk!"(8 Tips)
    Jonathan C.
    "History of Washington DC exhibit"(2 Tips)
99 Tips and reviews
  • museums
  • architecture
  • mini golf
  • exhibits
  • urban planning
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  • Jennifer N.
    Fabulous building and interesting exhibits related to architecture and construction.
  • Cidomar B.
    Beatifull place to visit, specially with children. Very didatic.
  • Lamar M.
    Great place for a Coffee break.
  • Carla S.
    Carla SpitlerFebruary 18
    Been here 10+ times
    Great museum for all ages. Fun interactive exhibits and displays for kids and adults alike. A whole room of pretend play for those 5 and under. Highly recommend!
  • Hannah L.
    Hannah LuddyJanuary 11
    Excellent exhibits, particularly the one on wood and the one on dolls loaned from the Victoria and Albert museum. Great for kids-- lots of space and interactive stuff just for them.
  • Stephanie
    StephanieAugust 24, 2016
    The large open space within has recently been activated over the years thru architect led installations. The supporting exhibits have also improved in quality and content. Certainly worth a trip.
  • ed P.
    ed PoprikJuly 24, 2016
    Love the collection of paper buildings! Brings back memories.
  • Bryan M.
    Bryan MooneyJuly 3, 2016
    Iceberg installation is highway robbery. Avoid.
  • Georgi G.
    Georgi GeorgievApril 29, 2016
    Amazing building! Exhibitions are on interesting topics, but it's missing some je ne sais quoi. I think it can certainly improve.
  • Charla P.
    Charla PayneDecember 12, 2015
    Loved the displayed beach this past summer. We had a blast!
  • Craig B.
    Craig BarrittDecember 8, 2015
    Wonderful structure.
  • Jeremy C.
    Jeremy CNovember 27, 2015
    Stop by around Thanksgiving to check out 'construction' exhibit 4 free. Building itself is a great, spacious place to chill after doing the National Mall.
  • Allison K.
    Allison KasicOctober 9, 2015
    The actual museum is eh but each summer they do something awesome like a giant maze, ball pit, or mini golf course in the middle of their main room.
  • Lauren B.
    Lauren BaconSeptember 23, 2015
    Ball pit is wayyyy too expensive and long. Exhibits are nice but scattered
  • Jeff A.
    Jeff AmlinAugust 31, 2015
    Beach is overcrowded
  • Rebecca W.
    Rebecca WAugust 13, 2015
    The great hall is incredible. They always have awesome exhibits on building and green energy and such. I highly recommend.
  • Jack F.
    Jack FonsecaJuly 28, 2015
    "The Beach" is the place to be!
  • Vivian K.
    Vivian KongJuly 14, 2015
    For all ages - free admission if you want to just check out the gorgeous space/structure.
  • Mark K.
    Mark KupasrimonkolJuly 14, 2015
    Probably the most underrated museum in DC. Those columns!
  • Yessica P.
    Yessica PalaciosJuly 13, 2015
    The best ball pool for al ages!!!
  • Darius J.
    Darius JokubaitisJune 23, 2015
  • Elizabeth
    ElizabethJune 23, 2015
    What a gem! Two great spaces for the kids and lots of interesting exhibits for the adults. Each summer they roll out something unique as well.
  • Pablo R.
    Pablo RamosMay 11, 2015
    be prepared for a lot of vacant space
  • Danika B.
    Danika BrownMarch 31, 2015
    Take the tour so you can get the scoop on the history of this building. The exhibits are always fascinating, and the gift shop is a great place to get an unusual design-gift.
  • Megan J.
    Megan JantosMarch 22, 2015
    If you are looking for playmates come on weekend or weekdays before lunch
  • Chris R.
    Chris RichardsDecember 30, 2014
    Not free $8, interior hall is though. Terrible use of space, so much potential.
  • Liz C.
    Liz Caselli-MechaelSeptember 2, 2014
    Some exhibits close earlier than the museum- check in advance!
  • Joe H.
    Joe HAugust 9, 2014
    Cool Place!
  • Oliver G.
    Oliver GriswoldAugust 9, 2014
    Been here 5+ times
    Kids paradise. And coffee.
  • Ashley B.
    Ashley BrooksAugust 8, 2014
    The inside is absolutely gorgeous. There were only two exhibits open when we toured the museum so there wasn't much to see...
  • Leia W.
    Leia WelchJuly 11, 2014
    House&home exhibit for free from monday to friday!
  • Bridget G.
    Bridget GriffinJune 25, 2014
    They were building a maze which once completed will be really neat!
  • Affinia Hotel Collection
    Less than a 10 minute walk from The Liaison, this museum allows you to channel your inner architect, highlighting design, engineering, construction, urban planning, and of course, architecture.
  • Miguel
    MiguelJune 9, 2014
    Great unknown museum. Also great for kids.
  • Matt W.
    Matt WetzelMay 30, 2014
    Hidden museum gem in DC. One of most beautiful museum buildings I've been to. There is a small fee, but well worth the admission. In fact, its better than some of the other free Smithsonian museums.
  • Joanie O.
    Joanie O'SullivanApril 5, 2014
    Make sure to check out the gift shop!
  • Andrew M.
    Andrew MMarch 22, 2014
    A few fun rooms for the little ones but that's about it.
  • Dominic O.
    Dominic O'ConnorFebruary 16, 2014
    I'm biased but the exhibit about Los Angeles is great
  • Chris F.
    Chris FordFebruary 5, 2014
    Don't use the fountain as a restroom after all you can drink special events, you'd think that wouldn't be a tip and would be common sense, but it isn't
  • Tamara
    TamaraAugust 10, 2013
    Has the largest columns in the world.
  • Elizabeth
    ElizabethJune 30, 2013
    Play the indoor architectural mini golf! Just remember, mini golf closes at 3pm on the weekends and 4pm weekdays.
  • Ken
    KenApril 27, 2013
    The building zone for kids is well worth the $3!
  • Nisa M.
    Nisa MuhammadMarch 20, 2013
    Great place for a meeting. Culture and convenience.
  • Peter H.
    Peter HillFebruary 17, 2013
    You gotta get some marble columns!
  • Kristin V.
    Kristin VisaggioFebruary 17, 2013
    You've gotta get yourself some marble columns!
  • Jerry J.
    Jerry Jay👊🏾RocJanuary 21, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    I absolutely love the bldg!
  • Dara F.
    Dara FisherDecember 26, 2012
    An awesome first stop in DC--a great exhibit on DC's urban planning history will get you oriented well to the layout of the city.
  • Shelby A.
    Shelby AnnNovember 24, 2012
    It was awesome. Kids love this place and never want to leave!
  • Alison
    AlisonAugust 25, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    The Building Zone is a great little play area for kids. It's billed as suitable for ages 2-6, but my one-year-old was able to enjoy it as well.
  • Wired
    WiredAugust 8, 2012
    The museum offers insight into the history and future of the world we create for ourselves, with lots of things for kids and adults to do.
  • Tim F.
    Tim FJuly 1, 2012
    Fantastic views from up on the 2nd, 3rd floors.
  • Lori B.
    Lori BonicelliApril 22, 2012
    Take the free tour!
  • BigRoe #.
    Parking sucks..... ballz
  • R
    RApril 6, 2012
    Activities for kids!
  • Steve M.
    Steve MinardFebruary 12, 2012
    The Unbuilt Washington exhibit is amazing.
  • Tina T.
    Tina TerrellJanuary 28, 2012
    The lego room is so much fun
  • Kathryn F.
    Kathryn FoxJanuary 25, 2012
    The Building Zone play area is no longer free. It's $3 per person, including adults, for a 45 minute session.
  • Katylou M.
    Katylou MJanuary 21, 2012
    Been here 10+ times
    If you have kids under 6 it's definitely worth becoming a Family Member
  • GoGayDC
    GoGayDCDecember 28, 2011
    The Twentieth Annual SLDN National Dinner is here on March 3, 2012.
  • Tim D.
    Tim DoyleNovember 27, 2011
    No strollers in exhibits rule is dumb
  • DealChicken
    DealChickenNovember 7, 2011
    Great for family fun or school field trips!
  • Katylou M.
    Katylou MOctober 30, 2011
    Been here 10+ times
    If you have children under 5 become a member!
  • Belga C.
    Belga CaféOctober 8, 2011
    Stella Draft Masters!!
  • M Squared Real Estate
    M Squared Real EstateAugust 19, 2011
    This building has one of the best interior rooms in DC, if not the country. Anyone interested in the architecture of Washington DC should visit.
    LAMPS PLUSAugust 17, 2011
    The National Building Museum in DC examines the impact of the built environment on our lives. Ancient Native tipi designs to the future of sustainable architecture, all housed in a landmark structure.
  • Sean H.
    Sean HackbarthAugust 15, 2011
    Check out the LEGOs exhibit. Then be a kid and play with some LEGOs yourself. Read more
  • Farrar, Straus & Giroux
    Meet journalist Greg Lindsay on Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 6:30 PM as he talks about his book, Aerotropolis.
  • Neelu M.
    Neelu ModaliAugust 2, 2011
    Lego exhibit ROCKS! Check out the built-to-scale replicas of various skyscrapers from around the world.
  • Theresa D.
    Theresa DreikeAugust 1, 2011
    The architecture of the building alone is worth the walk! Read more
  • Caroline S.
    Caroline S.August 1, 2011
    The Congressional Blues Fest was amazing...until I got my wallet stolen. Is nothing sacred anymore? Read more
  • Chris K.
    Chris KenngottJuly 26, 2011
    Take your kids, lots of things to do for toddlers.
  • Martin C.
    Martin CuellarJuly 16, 2011
    Been here 10+ times
    $3 per person for just the Building Zone. $8 per person for the whole place.
  • Andrew W.
    Andrew WhiteJuly 13, 2011
    DC'a most majestic structure
  • Timothy R.
    Timothy RobsonJuly 4, 2011
    The best book store/gift shop in DC, and the most interesting special exhibitions. Members get a discount in the shop. Read more
  • Boxfire Press
    Boxfire PressJune 15, 2011
    Well off the National Mall, this is one of DC's best kept museum secrets. The history of DC exhibit is fantastic, but be sure to check out the Lego brick buildings upstairs until September 2012. Read more
  • Ali V.
    Ali VillalobosApril 9, 2011
    Fun fact: this building was originally used for the first inaugural ball
  • Harrison W.
    Harrison WelchApril 2, 2011
    Why is there a line wrapped around the block??
  • Johnny G.
    Johnny GoldenApril 2, 2011
    Don't come now. The line is almost literally a mile long
  • Going Out Guide from PostLocal
    #CherryBlossoms: The National Cherry Blossom Festival Family Day and Opening Ceremony is at the National Building Museum March 26 from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. It's free! Read more
  • Chris G.
    Chris GreenFebruary 26, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    15.5 million bricks used in this building.
  • Presidential Libraries
    Presidential LibrariesJanuary 24, 2011
    From 1982-1988, President and Mrs. Reagan participated in the annual "Christmas in Washington" program, a chance to celebrate the holiday season with Americans across the country.
  • Claire L.
    Claire LormanDecember 29, 2010
    the best museum in dc! the great hall is a great place to sit and relax. they also gave great design outreach programs!
  • Danika B.
    Danika BrownNovember 12, 2010
    hands down my favorite museum in DC or anywhere!
  • Kay W.
    Kay WoodOctober 10, 2010
    An absolute must and few people would think so.
  • Ashley S.
    Ashley SmithOctober 4, 2010
    Nice chai tea at the museum cafe
  • Jess
    JessSeptember 21, 2010
    Building Zone is free and a great place for 2-6 year olds to play. On 1st floor.
  • CJ
    CJSeptember 6, 2010
    the marker on Google Maps above is incorrect... 2.5 blocks East on F St. definitely worth a visit!
  • CJ N.
    CJ NicholsonAugust 12, 2010
    Great gift shop with a very interesting selection of. Architecture and Design books.
  • National Building Museum
    After you visit the LEGO Architecture building, post your LEGO creations to the museum's Flickr group Read more
  • Dora
    DoraJuly 21, 2010
    The Building Zone play area is open every day for mini-architects to come in and create.Powered by
  • Michael N.
    Michael NaclerioJuly 3, 2010
    Visit the Washington DC exhibit and listen to a talk from Frank.
  • Najeema
    NajeemaApril 26, 2010
    Been here 5+ times
    This is a popular walking area for nearby employees who come to walk during their lunch hours on the upper floors.
  • KC C.
    KC C.March 1, 2010
    Loved the exhibit on Washington city planning
  • Catherine M.
    Catherine McAranFebruary 12, 2010
    it is really awesome inside, really, and the exhibits are usually quite cool.
  • Andrew W.
    Andrew WatsonFebruary 3, 2010
    Even the exhibition about parking garages is interesting. That said, the museum doesn't have a parking garage. Public transport a better option than trying to us spaces owned by the nearby FBI. Read more
  • Jim M.
    Jim MaloneFebruary 1, 2010
    Been here 5+ times
    Best museum in DC. Check out the latest provocative exhibit about the world of design.
  • Joe P.
    Joe PopeJanuary 27, 2010
    Great place to take toddlers when the weather is bad. Huge indoor area to run around and a fantastic kids play area. Read more
  • Sara D.
    Sara DavisJanuary 17, 2010
    Filled with young couples and their kids on Sunday afternoon.
  • Jonathan C.
    Jonathan CoffmanJuly 27, 2009
    Check out the photo galleries, and History of Washington DC exhibit as well
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