National Children’s Museum - Washington, DC

••• National Children's Museum. Photo © Rachel Cooper, licensed to, Inc.

The National Children's Museum is a cultural and educational center with exhibits and activities that focus on the arts, civic engagement, the environment, global citizenship, health and well being, and play. The mission of the National Children’s Museum is to inspire children to care about and improve the world.

Relocation: The museum closed its National Harbor location in January 2015 and is currently looking for a new permanent space in Washington DC.

  The lack of public transportation and limited accessibility to expanded program space created barriers to the museum fully serving the community. More details about the relocation will be announced at a later date.

Temporary Exhibits Open in 2015

The National Children's Museum has announced a partnership with the District of Columbia Public Library to open several "Exhibits on Loan" throughout the city until a new permanent museum site is secured. This collaboration with the DC Public Library, "Museum on the Move," is designed to bring the educational programs and resources directly to children across the Washington, DC area in 2015. The exhibits are geared to children ages eight and younger to showcase how people around the world eat, dress, work and live. Educational displays and interactive elements include puzzles, games and activities, as well as costumes, artifacts and other props for play.

National Children's Museum History

Founded as the Capital Children’s Museum in 1974, the museum served local families for 30 years in northeast Washington DC. The facility closed in 2004 and plans began to create a nationally-recognized cultural and educational institution designed especially for children.

The National Children’s Museum operated for several years as a “museum without walls” by serving the region through community and school outreach programs, traveling exhibits and partnerships with other organizations. The National Children's Museum opened at National Harbor in Prince George's County, Maryland in December 2012. Plans to expand were limited by the location and the museum is looking to relocate within the District of Columbia in 2015 in order to expand accessibility and to reach a greater number of children, families and tourists in the Washington, DC metro area.