The Capital Children's Museum in Washington DC has been renamed the National Children's Museum. The former Capital Children's Museum was founded in 1974 and located near Union Station. It was a leader in children's museums with close to 200,000 visitors annually. Visitors included children, parents, caregivers, and teachers.
It was decided a new building for the Children's Museum would be needed. At this same time it was also thought that the name should be changed to include a farther reach than just the Capital, thus the name National was chosen. The Capital Children's Museum is no longer open as a new building is being created. For now the National Children's Museum will be making the rounds on a regional and national basis. In other words the museum has traveling exhibits, programs, partnerships with organizations, and outreach programs. It has been known as the Museum without Walls because all exhibits are currently moving around rather than housed in a DC location.
The future of the Capital Children's Museum or rather the National Children's Museum will begin in 2013. The new location will be at Prince George's County's National Harbor. The building is taking $2 billion to create with 300 acres of land. The land includes waterfront development to help reform the banks of the Potomac as a gateway for kids and families to learn at the museum.
Since the museum has such a long history in Washington DC is has been imperative to have a little space for some of the exhibits. Right now the only thing open is the Launch Zone. The 2,700 square foot space was opened on April 25, 2009. Their hours are November 1 to March 31 Sunday 11am to 5pm, Monday through Friday 10am to 3pm, and Saturday 10am to 5pm. From April till the end of May the only change is Monday through Saturday 10am to 5pm. June to September will provide longer hours keeping the museum open until 7pm, except on Monday through Wednesday. September to the end of October will return the hours back to 10am to 5pm.
The Launch Zone is just a smaller version of the museum. It has a few of the top exhibits that cannot travel from the Capital Children's Museum. Since the new building is small they cannot take organized groups who have 5 or more. The new location is 112 Waterfront Street National Harbor, Maryland rather than in DC. There is parking onsite for those who wish to visit. The waterfront community provides a 15 minute drive from DC. One can also reach it by taking a water taxi. Public transportation such as the bus also makes the National Children's Museum a stop.
The only other option at the museum right now is the Ready Set Glow program. This program is between the DC museum and Boston. Children from both areas are encouraged to get outside in the evening to learn about Fireflies. They are able to count them, understand them, and do a little study all in the name of science.