A 50-foot slide, an “immersive sandbox,” interactive exploration, bubbles, blocks, lights. This sprawling 30,000-square-foot museum, opened in 2021, is designed to “spark curiosity and ignite creativity for kids and the young at heart.” Highlights include a cloud-inspired climbing structure and slide spanning three floors of the museum (for kids 5 years and up); a live green screen where kids get superpowers to control the weather; life-sized bubbles and an immersive digital space focused on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) activities through play. A few engaging exhibits during a recent visit: a Spotify-powered dance space, box car building and racing, a “batting cage” featuring Nationals’ helmets; an air-tube system that lets kids send a pom pom through and discover how everything is connected; and an air machine with inflatable balls to “shoot” a basket. 

Founded in 1974 as the Capital Children’s Museum, the museum operated out of an old nunnery behind Union Station for nearly 30 years before becoming a “museum without walls” for several years. Its newest location will hopefully be a more permanent home for the community-focused museum.

Advanced reservations are currently required; you’ll need to plan ahead and select one of two timed sessions to visit: either 9:30am to 12:30pm or 1:30pm to 4:30pm. The museum plans to open a cafe and coffee bar.