FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

covid-19

Science and safety are our highest priorities. The Museum’s COVID-19 health and safety policies are informed by the most up-to-date local guidelines. As champions of science, we will continue to assess the landscape to determine what’s best for our multigenerational community. You may find our current COVID-19 policies on our healthy visit page at any time.

National Children’s Museum has moved to a mask optional policy for guests and staff in alignment with the latest guidelines issued by the CDC and DC Government and in alignment with our local schools. We fully support families who continue to mask, and as always, we expect kindness and respect during interactions with other visitors and Museum staff.

A professional cleaning team is on-site during Museum operating hours to clean and sanitize bathrooms, common areas, and exhibit spaces, including frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces (door knobs, handrails, etc.). Bathrooms will be cleaned multiple times throughout the day. The Museum uses EPA List N compliant cleaners, with our visitors’ safety and environmental impact in mind.

Cleaning happens before, during, and after visitors enjoy the exhibits.

Teamwork makes the dream work! Here’s what you should know about the additional policies we’ve established to keep the Museum clean and safe and how you can help:

  • We have added additional hand sanitizer stations throughout the Museum and exhibits.
  • We have added messy toy bins 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.
  • Museum exhibits have been modified to use easy-to-clean materials or items.
  • Exhibit areas designed for our littlest Dreamers (ages 3 and under) are given extra attention.
  • Our visitors are encouraged to notify Museum staff if an area or object needs attention.

At this time, the Museum is operating with a limited capacity to ensure all guests are able to explore the space while maintaining proper distance from others.

Signage announcing visitor capacities has been installed. Additionally, general distancing markers serve as helpful reminders to visitors throughout the Museum. Museum staff will be stationed throughout the space to assist in maintaining proper distance among guests.

In order to reduce exposure to the COVID-19 virus, the Ronald Reagan Building, where National Children’s Museum is located, has upgraded the air filters used in its HVAC system to MERV 13 filters, and has increased the flow of outdoor air into the facility.
No. All of our exhibits are open and ready for play! Modifications to experiences have been made where necessary to accommodate for proper distancing and cleaning.
We suggest familiarizing yourself with both our general guest policies and our COVID-19-specific policies, found on our healthy visit page.

general museum information

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.

The Museum is open every day except Tuesdays from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. The Museum is closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

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 to (not inside) the Ronald Reagan Building and has its own separate entrances and security. Look for our blue awnings!

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.

If you use the Ronald Reagan Building Garage, you can park on any level. Please note, the Atrium North parking area, marked with green signs, is nearest to the Museum.

The Museum is easily accessible by public transportation. We are located steps away from the Federal Triangle Metro station and are just three blocks from Metro Center Metro station. Nearby bus routes include 30N, 30S, 32, 33, 34, 36, D6, and P6.
When you visit, look out for our blue awnings! The Museum’s main entrance is on Floor 2, which opens to the Woodrow Wilson Plaza near the intersection of 13th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, adjacent to the Ronald Reagan Building.

admission

National Children’s Museum exhibits and programs are designed for children ages 0-12, with the following admission policy:

  • Adults (age 18+) must be accompanied by a child (age 0-12); close relatives of that child age 13-17 are welcome.
  • We welcome individuals with disabilities who will benefit from our exhibits and programs.
  • Parents 16+ are welcome with their own children.

For the safety of all our guests, children must be supervised by an adult caregiver at all times.

Admission for children 1+ and adults is $15.95. Children younger than one receive free admission. Members can access the Museum for free year-round.

Admission includes all exhibits (permanent and temporary) in addition to pop-up experiences, family workshops, and early childhood programs, when offered.

You can purchase your advanced tickets on our website at nationalchildrensmuseum.org/tickets. Limited walk up tickets are available but not guaranteed. We strongly recommend that all visitors, including members, reserve tickets in advance of their visit.

Every Monday at 9 am EST, a new week of tickets will be released and tickets are released 8 weeks in advance. Please reserve tickets for your entire party in one order, as time slots may sell out quickly.

If you are unable to purchase tickets online, please get in touch with us by email at [email protected], and a member of our staff will be happy to assist you!

If on the day of your reservation a member of your group feels sick, stay home! Please email [email protected] in advance of your ticket time to discuss the possibility of rescheduling due to health concerns.

The Museum currently operates with hourly, timed-entry tickets to manage visitor capacity.

When you purchase tickets, you will be prompted to select the day of your visit in addition to an entry time. The last entry time is at 3:30 pm each day. Please note that the Museum closes at 4:30 pm each day.

Please arrive within the hour of your reserved entry time. For example, if you purchase tickets for the 10:30 am entry time, we ask that you arrive between 10:30 and 11:30 am.

You are welcome to explore the Museum for as long as you wish until the Museum closes at 4:30 pm. Please note, the Museum does not permit reentry. Once you leave the Museum, you will not be readmitted.

Large groups (between 20 and 100 visitors) are eligible to receive a 10% discount on Museum admission. Booking is subject to availability, and larger groups should get in touch 4-8 weeks in advance of their desired visit date. Visit our group visits page to learn more and fill out the form to request a group visit.

Additionally, to ensure the price of admission is not a barrier for families, the Museum developed its Community Access Program to provide local organizations and the families they serve with free membership.

Tickets are non-refundable and may only be exchanged for a new date and time if you are unable to visit due to health concerns. In such situations, you must request to reschedule your reservation at [email protected] in advance of your ticket time.
Yes. For the safety of our visitors and staff, a waiver is required at the time of ticket reservation.

Yes, guests can leave and re-enter the Museum. Please check in with Museum staff at the admissions desk prior to exiting the Museum to receive a stamp, which will permit you to re-enter.

infants + toddlers

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.
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 Floor 1. To accommodate for proper physical distancing, the Mothers Room is currently limited to one family at a time.
Limited and unattended stroller parking is located on Floor 2 of the Museum, where guests enter. 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. The Museum is not responsible for lost or stolen items.

food

Visitors are encouraged to consume food and beverage in the Playzone on floor 2. Guests are permitted to drink their own water throughout the Museum, and water fountains are available for use.
A Bluestone Lane café is accessible from both inside the Museum and directly from the Woodrow Wilson Plaza and offers a variety of food and beverage options. There is also a food court located inside the adjacent Ronald Reagan Building. Please note that in order to access the food court, visitors must go through Ronald Reagan Building security. If you wish to re-enter the Museum, please check in with staff at the admissions desk prior to exiting to receive a stamp.

accessibility

Yes! Exhibits within the Museum are physically accessible, including the Dream Machine. We have also designated quiet spaces for neurodiverse visitors. Additional resources, including social narratives and sensory backpacks, are available upon request.
We welcome service animals trained to perform a task for individuals with disabilities.

safety

Visitors may not climb the Dream Machine with shoes on. It is recommended that climbers wear socks. Please note that visitors may find themselves in narrow spaces.

memberships

You can learn more about our family memberships here or speak to a Museum Experience Associate at the Museum.

We highly recommend reserving tickets in advance of your reservation , as the Museum continues to limit visitor capacity. Members can reserve their tickets by navigating to the member reservations section on our tickets page. For any questions on accessing the member portal, please contact [email protected]. Please note, members may be subject to ID checks at time of entry.

Please be considerate of other guests when reserving tickets! One of the benefits to being a member at National Children’s Museum is free admission. While we hope you take full advantage of this benefit, please keep in mind that the Museum is operating at a limited capacity for the safety of all guests. Please only reserve tickets for days you intend on visiting us. If you are unable to attend, please cancel your tickets by emailing [email protected]!

To cancel your member tickets so another family can use them, please email [email protected].
Our family membership includes benefits for two adults and all children in the household and our builder family membership includes benefits for three adults and all children in the household. When you purchase or are gifted a family membership of either type, we automatically collect the name of one adult in association with the member’s online portal. In order to register the names of additional adults on your membership, you must email us at [email protected]. Please note, members may be subject to an ID check when being admitted to the Museum. IDs presented at the admissions desk must match the name of an adult registered on the membership used to purchase tickets.
Members enjoy a 10% discount in the Museum’s gift shop. To redeem this benefit, members will be asked to show their ticket at the point of purchase.

group admission

Yes, the Museum offers birthday parties on Saturdays and Sundays. Choose from two birthday party packages to celebrate your little Dreamer's big day! At this time, birthday parties can only be booked 4 months in advance. For more information visit our birthday parties page.
The Museum offers two types of on-site field trips: self-guided and guided field trips. You can learn more about these offerings on our on-site field trips page.

Yes! Groups of 20 guests or more (not to exceed 100 guests) are eligible to receive a 10% discount on admission and must fill out the form on our group visits page to coordinate a visit. Booking is subject to availability, and we encourage you to get in touch 4-8 weeks in advance of your desired group visit date.

Please note the below chaperone requirements for groups. Chaperones must be 18 years or older.
  • For groups of learners age 7 and under, the Museum requires 1 chaperone for every 5 learners.
  • For groups of learners age 8 and older, the Museum requires 1 chaperone for every 10 learners.

other

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].

National Children's Museum welcomes requests for ticket donations from schools and organizations with a 501c3 or equivalent status. To learn more about the Museum's donation guidelines and whether your organization or event qualifies, please visit nationalchildrensmuseum.org/ticket-donation/.
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.
While the Museum was renamed in 2003 with a designation from the U.S. Congress, it does not receive federal appropriations 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]