D.C. friends, go to The Beach.
I had the pleasure of spending the morning at The Beach at the National Building Museum with my assistant editor, Sam, on behalf of the magazine. She was on assignment and I … well, I tagged along to pose for photos and dive into the deep end. It was an opportunity I just couldn’t resist.
The Beach is the newest (and greatest) exhibit at The National Building Museum, a free downtown museum directly across from the Judiciary Square metro station. However, although the museum is free, entrance to the exhibit is $16, or $13 for students. To create The Beach, curators from Snarkitecture, transformed 10,000 square feet of the building’s main gallery into a white-washed shoreline, complete with lounge chairs, a snack cabana and a graduated wading pool filled with a sea of thousands of clear plastic balls.
Going to The Beach is a true D.C.-experience, as it was designed by local architects and serves unique snacks and drinks from local businesses (think mint chocolate covered Oreos, strawberry fruit pops and peach probiotic juice). Everything you need to spend a day at the beach is right there in the center of the city — just expect a little more plastic than you would at Ocean City.
While Sam and I made fools of ourselves as we jumped off the pier into the ball pit’s deep end (five feet — just as tall as me!) and then struggled to find our footing in the seemingly-endless “water,” little ones swam by with ease and delight as parents relaxed pier-side or dove in for the awesome photo-op. The wrist band that acts as your admission ticket is valid all day long, but staff members recommend a courtesy time of one hour. Be sure to arrive early, too. The museum opens at 10 a.m., and there were already at least 50 people in line for tickets when Sam and I arrived at 9:45.
There is plenty of stroller parking and cubby-space along the sand-like area, and many parents enjoyed reading or even napping in the lounge chairs. The Beach is one of those “only-in-D.C.” experiences that you just have to try.
The Beach itself looks something like this: (Image from the National Building Museum. Click to find out more.)
Sam and I in the water looked like this:
And from above, The Beach looked like this: (This image was taken at approximately 11 a.m., and you can see tons of people in the background still waiting in line, so arriving early is crucial.)
Sam and I had a great time acting like kids for the morning and representing our magazine at this awesome attraction. The Beach is here until September 7, so you better dive in soon!