Tag Archives: DC Kids Events

The Big Build: A Huge Day of Hands-On Fun at the National Building Museum


There’s a lot of good stuff going on this coming weekend, but there’s one event in particular I highly recommend clearing some time for: The Big Build at the National Building Museum.

On Saturday from 10am to 4pm, the annual festival will give budding builders an opportunity to start honing their skills as they work alongside professionals, including architects, designers, builders, artisans, and trades people. The Great Hall will be full of different work stations where guests of all ages aren’t just welcome, but encouraged, to try their hands at all kinds of construction techniques.


We are big fans of The Big Build, having been a few times over the years. It’s one of those events where kids (and grown-ups!) can spend hours engaged in various activities and discovering new things. We’ve built sculptures from pipes, carved stones, practiced spackling, created mosaic tiles, learned how to use a variety of tools, and so much more.



The interactive building fun continues this year with plenty of ways guests can get their build on. They can climb aboard cranes and tractors, build a brick wall and a log cabin, plant a tree and autumn plants, carve stone, compete in a nail driving contest, and create a hardware wind chime to take home. And new this year are a scavenger hunt, a chance to create a sidewalk chalk cityscape, a children’s play, and a book reading and signing of Urban Animals of Washington, D.C. by author Isabel Hill.


To top it all off, there are always goodies to bring home, too. Along with crafts they design, guests can pick up “hard” hats (they’re actually plastic), stickers, and other building-themed tokens from the day.

The Big Build takes place this Saturday, September 21, from 10am to 4pm. Admission is free. For more information, visit the National Building Museum website.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by the National Building Museum, however, I only promote activities, events, and services that I sincerely enjoy and think would appeal to KFDC readers.

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Filed under All ages, Annual, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Museums, Weekend

The 2nd Annual USA Science & Engineering Festival

Ready for blast off at the first Science & Engineering Festival


The Weekend Round-Up won’t be posted until Friday, but I’m going to give you a little advance insight about this weekend:  There is a LOT of great stuff for kids and families going on. And, generally, I don’t push one event over another, as I know that kids have varying interests, and parents also have their own preferences when it comes to activities with their children.

BUT, I’m going to offer my two cents this time: Go check out the 2nd Annual USA Science & Engineering Festival.

If your child has any inkling of interest in science and engineering, likes to do hands-on experiments, see fascinating live demos, or talk first-hand with the experts, then chances are very good that they will dig this event. (And so will you, parents.)

Over 3,000 interactive exhibits and 150 stage shows will highlight all kinds of science-related topics in fun, engaging, exciting ways.  Attendees can discover the science of Harry Potter magic, the mathematics of jump roping, the physics of superheroes, the chemistry of Thanksgiving Dinner, the engineering of baseball bats and balls, the science behind special effects in movies, trends in Global Warming, renewable energy sources of the future, and much, much, much more…

Like operate state-of-the-art robots; laugh with science comedians; watch mesmerizing demos by science magicians and mathemagicians; converse with astronauts, Nobel Laureates, storm chasers, science celebrities like Bill Nye the Science Guy and the MythBusters; fly a fighter jet simulator; enter a virtual reality environment; be a CSI agent; make a virus out of marshmallows and toothpicks.

WHEW! And that’s just a small sample.

We attended the first Science & Engineering Festival when it took place on the National Mall about a year and a half ago.  Owen, who was 4 at the time, couldn’t get enough.  There were hundreds of booths set up offering so many interesting things to do it was impossible to try them all. And while it was crowded, there was so much available, we never had a problem finding something that was easily accessible and fun for him.

Making moon craters

Conducting electricity

Operating aquatic robots

With one successful Festival under its belt, I bet this year will be even better.

The 2nd Annual USA Science & Engineering Festival will take place at the Washington Convention Center this Saturday, April 28 10am – 6pm, and Sunday, April 29 10am – 4pm.  The closest Metro stop is Mt. Vernon Sq/7th St-Convention Center on the Yellow/Green line. Parking is available in nearby garages or on the street. Admission is FREE.

*Be aware that it will be crowded (but I still highly recommend it)!

*I’ll be attending on Friday as a field trip chaperone with Owen’s class and will try to post highlights before Saturday.  I’ll likely just post to Facebook, so if you don’t already follow, go like the KidFriendly DC page.


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Filed under All ages, Annual, DC, Educational, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Spring, Weekend