October 2015

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Summer Camp

for campers entering grades 3-5

Explore and create at the National Building Museum! Experience the world we build for ourselves in new ways with hands-on activities, projects, and challenges. This summer, we are offering three, two-week programs for campers entering grades 3–5 in the fall. Join us for one, two, or three unique sessions of full-day summer camp at the National Building Museum. Campers will enjoy design challenges, exploring the Museum, and more!

Registration for Summer Camp is now open. Register your camper now!

Camp Sessions
Electives and Family Showcase
Hours and Cost
More information
Frequently Asked Questions

Help us send a deserving child to our Summer Camp program. Support our "Send a Kid to Summer Camp" fund.

Camp Sessions

Campers learn about perspective in a city drawing exercise

Session I: World Architects, July 6–17, 2015 - SOLD OUT

Have you ever wanted to explore the world? Take a journey without leaving Washington, D.C. as you explore the structures and landscapes of different countries. Maybe you will build a pagoda, design a park, or make an adobe brick. Working together with their counselors and professionals in the field, campers will create their own global community and cultural landscape based on their discoveries.

Session II: City Builders, July 20–July 31, 2015 - Only Four Spots Left!

Have you ever thought your neighborhood could use something new and fun? Do you know someone who deserves their own statue? Become a designer and maker as you plan, create, and build everything from schools to parks to monuments. With the help of city planning professionals, campers first explore what is needed to build a great community and then work on creating a model of their dream city!

Session III: Engineering Challenge, August 3–14, 2015 - SOLD OUT

How did that building get to be so tall? Why don't bridges collapse when cars drive over them? Put questions like these to the test by constructing your own buildings, bridges, towers, and domes. Campers will hear from professionals in engineering and building design as they experiment with different materials and building strategies. Take part in two weeks of challenges where you'll get creative to solve problems and invent the unexpected.


Each afternoon campers select one design-based elective of their choice. This gives campers the opportunity to meet campers outside of their group and work with different counselors. Electives are ever-changing and often repeat. If your camper does not get his or her first choice there are often other opportunities to participate.

Sample electives might include:

  • LEGO® City Building
  • Stained glass exploration
  • Art Deco Club
  • Terra Cotta Tile Making
  • Designing with Food
  • Engineering Squad
  • Much more!

Family Showcase

Each camp session culminates in a design presentation, exhibition, or perfomance called Family Showcase. This event is held at 3 pm on the last day of each session, and gives campers a chance to show off their projects while families meet the staff.

Camp Hours

Monday–Friday, 9 am–3 pm.

Early drop-off begins promptly at 8:30 am. Please do not arrive earlier as camp staff will not be available to greet you. Campers should pack a non-refrigerated lunch; a mid-morning nut-free snack is provided.

Extended care is available from 3–5:30 pm for an additional fee. Activities include crafts, games, and building challenges. A snack is provided. We do not offer extended care on the last day of each session due to the Family Showcase. At this time, we are unable to offer a per-diem extended care rate.


Per session: $650 for Museum Members (Family level & above), $700 non-members. A $100 non-refundable deposit per camper, per session is due on registration. Full payment is due by June 14, 2015.

Extended care: $150 per camper, per session. Extended care is not available on a per-diem basis. 

Become a member while registering for camp to register early at the reduced rate and receive complimentary admission to select family programs, birthday party savings, Museum Shop discounts, free admission to Museum exhibitions, and more. 


More information

Have more questions? Visit the frequently asked questions page or email family@nbm.org

Summer Camp Updates

Sign up for updates on potential openings and recieve early notice about next year's camp sessions.

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If you respond and have not already registered, you will receive periodic updates and communications from National Building Museum.


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Learn More!

Read our camper interviews to learn what alumni from previous summer sessions have to say about their experiences at the National Building Museum.

Meet our instructors and staff.

View a sample daily schedule.