The BIG Maze – National Building Museum

National Building Museum

The National Building Museum in Washington, DC, is one of our favorite places in the city. It has been since the kids were very young. It’s a great escape from crowds of tourists, it’s got a fantastic kids play area (Building Zone), and…well…it’s drop-dead gorgeous. It looks like something a giant would’ve built.

This summer, the museum has constructed an enormous maze (60×60 feet), which is surprisingly still dwarfed by the museum’s massive columns (that never fail to impress, no matter how times we visit).

The maze is 18 feet high around the perimeter, but is slopes down to a mere 2-3 feet in the middle. This creates a unique experience while inside, allowing you to peek over the walls as you close in on the center.

This inventive design makes the maze something truly creative—it is essentially a work of art in itself.

National Building Museum

None of the kids tearing through the maze, though, were thinking about the aesthetics of its construction or of its artistic qualities. Nope. They were too busy having oodles and oodles of fun. Mine included. Oh, who am I kidding? Me included, too!

There’s something about mazes that is just inherently fun. I can’t resist them. Tourist and resident alike shouldn’t miss this. It’ll be there for another month.

Go. Just go. You’ll love it.

National Building Museum

The BIG Maze is open at the National Building Museum until September 1. Entry to the museum is free, but access to the maze requires an admission fee, which also covers the museum’s permanent and temporary exhibits. You can also go through the maze as many times as you like. My kids did it 6 or 7 times.

In addition to the Building Zone, Play Work Build is another wonderful exhibit (included with admission) geared toward kids. Filled with all manner of construction toys, it’s a place where kids’ imaginations can run wild.

Did I mention that we love this place? You will too.

In the middle!

In the middle!

Jamie is a publishing/book nerd who makes a living by wrangling words together into some sense of coherence. He's the founder and owner of The Roarbots and also a contributor to Syfy Wire,, and GeekDad. On top of that, he hosts The Great Big Beautiful Podcast, which celebrates creativity in popular culture, science, and technology by talking to a wide variety of people who contribute to it.