Last weekend Hazel's friend Levi had his birthday party at the National Building Museum. His dad is an architect so it seemed only fitting. I'd heard of the museum, and vaguely knew they had stuff for kids there, but I'd never gotten around to going, partially discouraged by the unknown parking situation. It was tight but we found a meter spot as someone was leaving. It's literally across the street from the Judiciary Square metro station, so maybe in the future we'd take the metro. As we entered the building, this is what we saw:
It was breathtaking. Cavernous. Palatial. I immediately envisioned bringing kids here on a cold or rainy day to run around, though the running part might not be allowed. Hazel was fascinated with the fountain and probably could have stood and watched it all day. But we were late for a party upstairs.
The party was great. Adorable. We started with building, of course.
And knocking down.
Then a NBM worker read us a book about trains, handed out engineer hats, and opened bins of craft materials for the kids to make their own train cars.
Then we sang Happy Birthday to Levi and ate cake and juice. The museum gave him a t-shirt from the gift shop, and everyone got pencils and patches to take home.
After the party we wandered around the museum a little. On the other side was this transportation street projection thing. It has sensors so when you stand on a bus, car or bike and then walk, the vehicle moves and stops with you. The girls were entranced. We probably hung out there for 20 minutes, and Hazel was sweating from running back and forth, and never tired of it. We finally had to pull her away, literally kicking and crying.
On the way out I popped my head in the Building Zone, a building playroom just for 2-to-6-year olds. We didn't have time to stay and play, but I put it on my mental list.
As you can see, I'm actually learning there are some cool things to do with kids in and around DC. And the parking and traffic so far have not even approached New York, so I'm getting braver and more confident to go into the city. Speaking of, check out my VGP post on Georgetown Cupcake - yum! And with spring and summer approaching, well, there's almost no end to the possibilities!