Founded as the Capital Children’s Museum (CCM) in 1974, the Museum served Washington, D.C.-area children and families for 30 years from CCM’s home in northeast Washington.
In 2003, when the need was identified for a nationally recognized cultural and educational institution designed especially for children, the United States Congress designated CCM as the National Children’s Museum.
Since CCM’s closing in 2004, the National Children’s Museum operated as a “museum without walls,” serving the region through community and school outreach programs, traveling exhibits and partnerships with other organizations. NCM also reaches hundreds of thousands of children and families annually by providing children’s programming for such events as the White House Easter Egg Roll, National Cherry Blossom Festival, Kids Euro Festival and Marine Corps Marathon. The Museum also hosts its own annual signature events: CycleFest and JumpOFF!
From 2009 to 2012, the Museum also operated the Launch Zone, a storefront space on Waterfront Street in National Harbor. Free-of-charge and open to the public seven days a week, the Launch Zone was extremely popular among tourists and local residents alike, engaging young visitors and their families with prototype exhibit components and programming.