The National Children’s Museum’s new location in Oxon Hill, Md., will open its doors to the public on Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, NCM announced Oct. 1. The Museum estimates that the 18,000 sq. ft. space located at National Harbor in Prince George’s County, Md. will serve approximately 480,000 children and families onsite annually, with 80 percent of visitors hailing from the Washington, D.C. region.
“Both our local and national communities have been waiting for this day for a long time,” said National Children’s Museum President & CEO Willard Whitson. “We are so thrilled to finally be opening a museum that is solely dedicated to children and families in the D.C. area and beyond”.
The National Children’s Museum’s two main exhibit areas support NCM’s mission to inspire children to care about and improve the world. The 3 & Under gallery, specifically designed in partnership with Sesame Workshop for the developmental needs and interests of the Museum’s youngest visitors, encourages children to explore their ever-widening world through safe, creative play and interaction. Our World introduces visitors to the responsibilities and rewards of both global and community citizenship through three key areas: Map Zone, My Town and World Cultures. Both 3 & Under and Our World include staff-led programming designed to enhance each experience. A 130-seat theatre offers additional programming and productions.
The Museum will be open seven days per week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. between Labor Day and Memorial Day, and will remain open two hours later during the summer months with hours from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Standard admission is $10 per child or adult, and there is no cost of admission for infants age 1 or younger. Group rates are also available. The Museum will begin offering school field trips and birthday party packages in mid-winter 2013.
Museum memberships will go on sale Saturday, Oct. 6 from 12-4 p.m. at JumpOFF!, NCM’s fifth annual free outdoor jump-roping festival that will take place steps away from the new space. Memberships offer families year-round free admission as well as other benefits.