HARD HAT TOUR: Play, Lounge & Catch Fireflies on the LAWN at The National Building Museum's Summer Block Party
Summertime, summertime, sum sum summertime! Each summer, the National Building Museum hosts the exciting Summer Block Party installations, an innovative and interactive experience that highlights incredible feats of design and engineering in the building's magnificent Great Hall.
Since 2014, we've played hide-and-seek inside a giant maze, relaxed at the Beach and last year we hung out and "swam" in the pool at the Fun House. This year, we'll be chilling and playing croquet on the Lawn, the museum's upcoming summer exhibit that's fun for all ages.
Check out behind-the-scene pictures from my hard hat tour in the final countdown to Opening Day on July 4th!
NBM follows the "go big or go home" rule when it comes to their installations. The Great Hall features a vast, sloping green space made of recyclable materials built on a scaffolding superstructure. The green expanse is set on a graceful incline that will form clusters of communal lounging areas when it's completed in the next few days. Hammocks suspended from the 100-foot ceiling of the vast Great Hall will feature hidden speakers so you can gently sway while listening to recordings of summertime memories from celebs including Bette Midler, Venus Williams, Whoopi Goldberg and other actors, chefs, and architects.
NBM promises that The Lawn will bring quintessentially outdoor summer activities like croquet, bocce ball and dominoes to the great indoors. Visitors will even be able to enjoy ice-cold lemonade and other summertime treats. A recorded soundscape will bring the installation to life with the sounds of crickets chirping, bees buzzing and lawnmowers cutting the grass. They're also developing custom software for an augmented reality game that will let you "collect" and "release" fireflies, just like you would do outside on a summer night.
A scaffolding tower that reaches the height of the Museum’s third floor, is at the top of the lawn for visitors to climb, offering never-before-seen views of the Great Hall, column capitals, and sculptural busts lining the roof. The view from the top is incredible but probably best avoided if you're not a fan of heights. My knees were knocking the whole time I was up there!
The Lawn promises all the best things we love about summer but without the mosquitos!
Lawn will be open at the National Building Museum from July 4 until September 2. Tickets start at $10. DC. residents can visit Lawn for free with proof of residency during Ward Days. NBM plans to host movie nights, yoga, and meditation sessions, among other activities, in the space throughout the summer. Look at specific dates on the NBM calendar or the Lawn ticketing page.
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