Press Release New Placita Mágica Exhibit Opens at National Children’s Museum—And It Might Look Familiar to DC Area Natives

press release

New Placita Mágica Exhibit Opens at National Children’s Museum—And It Might Look Familiar to DC Area Natives

The Museum celebrates its 50th anniversary with the reimagining of a beloved exhibit from Capital Children’s Museum

June 26, 2024

WASHINGTON — Today, National Children’s Museum announced the opening of a new, immersive cultural exhibit, Placita Mágica. In this “magical plaza,” visitors experience Mexican culture through sensory play, group activities, and hands-on fun. Sponsored by Abuelita Mexican Chocolate and with cultural support from the Mexican Cultural Institute, the exhibit will be on display in the Museum from June 29 – January 3, 2025.

Throughout the Museum’s history — first called the Children’s Museum of Inquiry and Discovery and later the Capital Children’s Museum — the institution’s mission has remained the same: to inspire children to care about and change the world. Placita Mágica is a reimagined homage to the beloved 1979 Capital Children’s Museum Mexico exhibit, now presented with modern inclusions of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM).

“We often hear from visitors about core memories created at our former Capital Children’s Museum location on H Street, and in particular, about their fond recollections of the Mexican hot chocolate experience within La Abuelita,” said Meredith Hamme, interim CEO and Vice President of External Affairs. “We are thrilled to launch our 50th anniversary with a nod to that special place, made possible through the generosity of our incredible partners from Nestlé Abuelita and the DC Deputy Mayor’s Office for Planning and Economic Development, and the cultural support of the Mexican Cultural Institute of Washington, DC.”

Explore five interactive exhibits related to Mexican play and celebration:

turn table – build your own spinning tops with wooden discs and rods, then test them out on different moving plates

smell station – create connections between physical senses and memory by smelling different ingredients

bernoulli fountain – launch balls into a traditionally tiled fountain using blower nozzles of various lengths

projector table – use multi-colored tiles to create your own papel picado designs, then project them on the wall for everyone to see

ball maze – design a town of wooden buildings on a tilting table, then roll a ball through the maze you created

Placita Mágica is included in the cost of Museum admission. Tickets to the Museum are $18.95 for adults and children 1 and older and are free for children under 1 and Museum members. For more information about the exhibit at National Children’s Museum, please visit

Located at 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW off the Woodrow Wilson Plaza, National Children’s Museum is open from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm every day except Tuesdays. 

Placita Mágica is sponsored by ABUELITA™ and created in partnership with the Embassy of Mexico, the Mexican Cultural Institute. Placita Mágica is partially supported through the District of Columbia Executive Office of the Mayor – Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development.


About National Children’s Museum

Celebrating five decades of play in 2024, STEAM adventure awaits at National Children’s Museum, located in the heart of downtown Washington, D.C. With a mission to inspire children to care about and change the world, the Museum sparks curiosity and ignites creativity for children under the age of twelve and their families. Through playful science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) based exhibits, programs and virtual offerings, the Museum reaches millions of people each year. Learn more and plan your visit at


For generations, Nestlé Abuelita Authentic Hot Chocolate has been an essential part of the Hispanic kitchen. Rich and frothy, it consistently provides a warm and comforting flavor and quality. Whether you’re making your favorite traditional recipes, like mole, fabulous desserts, or simply enjoying a cup with pan dulce, trust ABUELITA to deliver its rich chocolate, cinnamon taste.