A Healthy Visit

a healthy visit

We can’t wait to welcome you into our wonder-filled space! Below, find important information regarding our COVID-19 policies, our hours of operation, an update on what’s new at the Museum, and resources to prepare for your visit.

resuming play, the safe way

As champions of science, National Children’s Museum will continue to analyze the latest COVID-19 data, research, and best practices to determine what’s best for our multigenerational community. Therefore, the Museum’s policies may change as the situation continues to evolve. Please refer back to this page before your visit for the most up-to-date policies.

Teamwork makes the dream work. Here’s the scoop on how we’ll work together to ensure a safe and fun visit for everyone!

What we will do:

Advanced tickets and timed sessions

Encourage advanced-tickets for timed sessions, which allows visitors to choose a contactless admissions experience and time between sessions for staff to reset the space.

Limited capacity

Limit visitor capacity to ensure maximum (and safe!) STEAM fun.

Cleaning best practices

Follow best practice cleaning procedures and protocols in line with most up-to-date guidelines.


Provide helpful signage throughout the space to remind visitors of important safety measures, including social distancing, hand hygiene, and masks.

What you will do:

Stay home if you're sick

Take a rain check if you’re feeling sick–we promise we’re not going anywhere! Stay home, get better, and we’ll see you soon.

Social distancing

Keep your personal bubble of at least 6 feet and respect others’ bubbles!

Hand hygiene

Be a hand hygiene hero! Defeat germs by washing your hands often.

Mask wearing

And don’t forget your mask! Every hero (2 years and older) needs to wear a mask to play in the Museum. Please note, gaiters, bandanas, masks with exhalation valves or vents, and face shields without an accompanying mask do not qualify as proper masks.

play dates and times

National Children’s Museum is open Thursday through Sunday. Tickets will be available for two timed sessions:

morning session: 9:30 am to 12:30 pm
afternoon session: 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm

For more information on our ticket policy and timed sessions, please visit our tickets page.

no such thing as a silly question

When it comes to learning, there’s no such thing as a silly question. Be sure to check out our list of frequently asked questions to help you and your young learners prepare for your visit!

what’s new at the Museum?

Entry hall – Floor 2 of the Museum, where our main entrance is located, is officially open! Dressed up with our blue awnings, Floor 2 connects to the beautiful Woodrow Wilson Plaza, where the Capital Harvest Farmers Market is held on Fridays, summer through fall! As visitors enter on Floor 2, they’ll be greeted by our three-story climber and slide, the Dream Machine, plus a few other surprises (keep reading!).

Gift shop – For those who’d like to explore STEAM in style, look no further. A small, curated gift shop will sell merchandise inspired by the Museum’s exhibits and our city.

Dance Party Pod, presented by Spotify – Meet us in the Dance Party Pod, located on Floor 2, to wiggle and giggle! Powered by Spotify, this new pod experience will allow Dreamers to explore new genres of sound while discovering how different music inspires different movements.

Artist-in-Residence Programming – In March 2021, National Children’s Museum launched its Artist-in-Residence program to provide arts programming and opportunities to children and their families by teaming up with a local DC artist. Inaugural artist-in-residence Tommy Bobo has connected with Dreamers through live, virtual art workshops and on-demand programs and upon the Museum’s opening will continue to engage young learners in-person with his community crowdsourced art project, Sky Survey! The sky survey installation and related pop-up programming will be located on Floor 2 of the Museum.

Moomin Animations – Thrills and Cuddles – From September 2021 through January 2022 in the Visiting Exhibit Hall, visit Moomin Animations – Thrills and Cuddles to learn how the Finnish author Tove Jansson’s beloved Moomin books are brought to life using animation! Along the way, you’ll learn about the universal values of the Moomins, such as equality, inclusion, and respect for nature, and the history of animation.

Exhibit modifications While all of our exhibits are open and ready for play, we’ve made modifications to some of our experiences with our visitors’ safety and health in mind. For example, messy toy bins have been added throughout the Museum for visitors to place items that have been dirtied and/or in someone’s mouth. Toys will be cleaned and sanitized for reuse.

ready to dream?

Explore the wonder-filled world that awaits!