Wegmans Wonderplace

Young visitors in Wegmans Wonderplace

Wegmans Wonderplace is the first exhibition on the National Mall designed for children 0 to 6. This 1,700-square-foot interactive space provides the youngest historians with age-appropriate activities and experiences.

Our Mission

Welcome to Wegmans Wonderplace, where history is all around you! Wegmans Wonderplace welcomes curious kids ages 0–6 and their grownups to exercise their imaginations, wiggle their bodies, and explore with their hands. Wonderplace is built around the enduring wonders of childhood, the things kids are naturally curious about—blocks, animals, sounds--and branches out to make connections to the museum’s diverse collections and exhibitions. Our youngest visitors will cook their way through a kid-sized Julia Child’s kitchen, find the owls hiding in the Smithsonian Castle, and captain a tugboat based on a model from our collections. Through playful activities and creative displays of treasured artifacts, young children will get to know the faces, places, and stories of our country in engaging and age-appropriate ways. Wegmans Wonderplace will be a launching pad for a lifetime of learning!

Hours and free, timed tickets

Wegmans Wonderplace is open every day, except Tuesdays and December 25, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. We welcome visitors to explore our hands-on, self-directed activities on a first-come, first-served basis. Facilitators and docents are available to assist, engage, and experiment with our visitors, but are not responsible for supervising children. Please also note that children may not visit Wegmans Wonderplace without an adult.

Weekdays
On weekdays, admission to Wegmans Wonderplace is on a first come, first-served basis. There may be a brief wait to enter during busy times.

Weekends and Federal Holidays
On weekends and federal holidays, we use FREE, timed tickets to minimize wait time.

Tickets are available for 30-minute visits on a first-come, first-served basis.

No tickets are required for the first session from 10:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

To visit during a later half-hour session, visitors may pick up a ticket at Wegmans Wonderplace in 1 West. The last entry is at 3:30 p.m.

Rules

All children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

This space is for children ages 0-6 and those who accompany them.

Food and drink may not be consumed in the Wegmans Wonderplace (Nursing and bottle feeding is allowed).

Safety is our top priority. Visitors who intentionally compromise the safety of Wegmans Wonderplace or its occupants will be asked to leave.

Have fun!

Tips for a Great Visit to Wonderplace

Activities are all organized around themes, but there is no order in which they need to be completed. You can start anywhere! Ask a facilitator or docent if you have questions about how to get started or need assistance working with the activities.

Wegmans Wonderplace is designed to foster intergenerational and collaborative learning. Adults must stay with their children while in Wonderplace.

Facilitators and docents are available to assist, engage, and experiment with you, but they do not lead visitors through the activities. They also are not responsible for supervising children.

Food and drink are not allowed in Wegmans Wonderplace, though you may have bottled water. Nursing and bottle feeding are permitted.

Photography is permitted.

Some tips from the Museum Blog:

5 kid-tested ways to explore a museum exhibition (without touching)

Top tips for a rewarding museum visit with kids

Taking a toddler to the museum: Why bother?

Strollers, security, and snacks: A parent's guide to visiting the museum with kids

Escaping the parent trap: Facing tough topics with kids at the museum

Tips for visiting a museum with kids: Don't arrive empty-handed

Why you should take your little kids to a museum

Amenities

Wegmans Wonderplace features stroller parking, a small nursing area, and a family restroom.

Visiting Wegmans Wonderplace with a Group

The following applies to groups of 10 or more children, including school groups and camp groups:

Minimum Child-to-Adult Ratio:

  • 0- to 2-year-olds, 3:1
  • 3-year-olds, 6:1
  • 4- to 6-year-olds, 10:1

Wonderplace does not take group reservations or appointments, but we do appreciate prior notification of your visit. You may email wonderplace@si.edu to let us know you are coming.

Your group is welcome to visit at any time during Wonderplace’s public hours, but please be advised that due to space restrictions, we may not be able to accommodate your whole group at one time. We encourage you to have a plan in place to split your group, as necessary, to visit other areas of the museum with proper adult/chaperone supervision.

We recommend that you allow 15–30 minutes for a visit to Wonderplace to ensure your group has time to explore the activities in the space that are developmentally appropriate and interesting to group members.

Upon your arrival to Wonderplace, a docent or staff member will greet your group and assess how many children and adults can be admitted at that time.

If we can accommodate your whole group at once, the greeter will orient you to Wegmans Wonderplace and provide a brief overview of what you can do during your visit. We recommend splitting into smaller groups once inside to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to fully engage in the activities.

If the space is busy and we cannot accommodate your whole group, we will ask that you split into smaller groups and take turns visiting Wegmans Wonderplace.

Get Involved!

Do you love working with kids and their grownups? Find out about becoming a Wonderplace docent!

How to Get Here

Wonderplace is located on 1 West in the National Museum of American History: directions and parking information.

Exhibition Donor

The Museum recognizes the extraordinary commitment of Wegmans Food Markets, Inc., whose support made Wegmans Wonderplace possible.