frequently asked questions
general museum information
What are the Museum hours? Is the Museum ever closed?
We are open 9:30am – 4:30pm, seven days a week. The Museum is closed on the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
Where is the Museum located?
The Museum is located in downtown Washington, DC at 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, minutes away from the National Mall and the White House. Our main entrance on the Woodrow Wilson Plaza is between Pennsylvania and Constitution Avenues.
Please note the Museum is adjacent (not inside) to the Ronald Reagan Building and has its own separate entrances and security. Look for our blue awnings!
Where can I park my car?
There are several private garages within close proximity to the Museum. The adjacent Ronald Reagan Building also has a 24-hour public garage. Rates vary per hour.
What are the best ages for the Museum?
The Museum will spark curiosity and ignite creativity for children from birth to age 12 while engaging the whole family. Our exhibits support exploration and fun for all ages, including adults! Explore the full list of exhibits here.
How much is admission and what does it include?
Admission for the Museum’s soft opening for children (older than one) and adults is $10.95. Children younger than one receive free admission. Members can access the Museum for free year-round.
Admission includes all exhibits (permanent and temporary), daily pop-up experiences, weekend family workshops, and early childhood programs.
Are tickets timed entry?
All tickets for the Museum are timed entry. Museum members must also have a ticket for entry. We strongly encourage booking ahead of time to ensure availability for your preferred date and time. Please reserve tickets for your entire party in one order, as time slots may sell out quickly. Walk up tickets are not guaranteed.
3:30pm is our last time slot. Please note that the museum closes at 4:30. You may arrive up to 30 minutes earlier or later than your ticket time. For example, if you have reserved tickets for 3:30pm, you are welcome to enter as early as 3:00pm.
Can adults without children visit the Museum?
Adults without children may only enter the Museum with an appointment and must be accompanied by a National Children’s Museum employee at all times.
Do you offer discounted or free admission?
The Museum does not offer discounts for individuals (e.g. seniors, military, etc.) but hopes to do so in the future.
We are partnering with local organizations that serve families to ensure the price of admission is not a barrier for any child. These community access programs serve DC and Northern Virginia.
infants + toddlers
What spaces and experiences are available for toddlers and infants?
The Little Dreamers and Little Movers spaces are designed specifically for ages zero to three. STEAM + Storytime programs engage young learners in early literacy and playful hands-on activities.
Where can I nurse and/or feed my baby?
We encourage parents to feed their children wherever they feel most comfortable. A dedicated Mothers Room, sponsored by Lansinoh, is located near Little Dreamers on the Concourse Level.
Is stroller parking available?
Limited stroller parking is located on the Plaza Level. Please fold your stroller to provide space for as many families as possible. Families may also take strollers into the exhibits as long as major pathways remain clear.
What food options are available?
Our café is not yet open. A Bluestone Lane café will offer seasonal bites and drinks and will be accessible from inside the Museum and directly from the plaza. A Food Court with additional options is located inside the Ronald Reagan Building. Please note that in order to access the Food Court, visitors must go through Ronald Reagan Building security.
Can I bring my own food?
Snacking on your own food is allowed, but please help us keep the Museum clean and eat in designated snacking areas. We cannot guarantee a nut-free space. If you have a child with a food allergy, we suggest that you use all the precautions you would normally use in a public place, since we are unfortunately unable to ensure a nut-free and food-allergen free environment.
Is the Museum accessible for visitors with disabilities?
Yes! Exhibits within the Museum are physically accessible, including the Dream Machine. Additional resources include social narratives, quiet spaces, and sensory backpacks.
Are service animals permitted?
We welcome service animals trained to perform a task for individuals with disabilities.
What are the rules for the Dream Machine?
Must be ages 5 or up—yes, adults too! Children may not climb the Dream Machine barefoot or while wearing open-toe shoes such as sandals, Crocs, or flip flops. Visitors may find themselves in narrow spaces.
How do I become a member?
You can learn more about our family memberships here or speak to a Museum Experience Associate at the Museum.
Do members need timed tickets for entry?
Yes, everyone must have a timed ticket for entry. To reserve in advance, please access the member portal. Please note, tickets are subject to availability and walk up tickets are not guaranteed.
Do I need to show any identification?
All members will be required to present ID at the front desk.
Will the Museum offer birthday parties?
The Museum will offer two birthday party packages. Reservations will be available on Saturday mornings and afternoons and must be made at least two weeks in advance. For more information visit our birthday parties page.
Do you offer field trips?
The Museum offers a variety of field trips for pre-kindergarten through grade five. All field trips include a facilitated Museum tour and hands-on learning lab. To learn more visit our field trips page.
Can I bring a large group?
Yes! Groups of 10 or more are eligible for a special rate. Reservations are required and must be made at least four weeks in advance.
Is it OK to take photos and video?
We encourage visitors to capture the magic of the Museum as long as these moments are for personal (not commercial) use. As a courtesy to others, please only take photos of your group.
If you have questions about professional filming or photography, please contact [email protected].
Is the Museum a 501(c)3?
Yes! The Museum’s EIN is 23-7423491. Earned revenue covers a portion of the Museum’s operating costs, and generous donations make our high-quality exhibits and programs possible.
Is the Museum federally funded?
While the Museum was renamed in 2003 with a designation from U.S. Congress, it does not receive federal funding.
I’d like to be in touch! Who can I contact?
For ticketing and reservation inquiries, please email [email protected]
For membership inquiries, please email [email protected]
For press related inquiries, please email [email protected]
For general museum inquiries, please email [email protected]