If the sweltering July heat has you wishing for cooler days, consider taking a trip to the National Building Museum’s ICEBERGS exhibit. The newly opened installation, which was built from re-usable construction materials and designed by landscape architects, puts D.C. visitors into a glacial ice field that occupies over 12,540 feet of the museum. Featuring slides, an undersea bridge, and plenty of open spaces to chill (pun intended!) with iceberg-shaped bean bags, ICEBERGS invites families to experience the grandeur and the awe-inspiring qualities of icebergs without having to leave a major urban center.

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ICEBERGS builds on construction themes such as geometry and representation, all of which which are presented in a hands-on, kid friendly way at the museum — and the exhibit also presents an opportunity for families to explore issues including climate change and melting icecaps. The icebergs are comprised of triangular octahedrons and pentahedrons, some of which hang suspended like polar stalactites. To demonstrate how much of these dangerous and wondrous floating ice mountains are often hidden underwater, a blue net covers much of the exhibit, giving the feeling of being submerged in a cool and watery world. Visitors can take in the view at 56 feet from the tallest iceberg or head under the sea, all while learning fun facts about icebergs and participating in one of the many programming activities while ICEBERGS is on exhibit, such as the “Save Jack!” event, which has visitors working together to stay afloat on shrinking icebergs and take on a scavenger hunt. Museum-goers can also grab a tasty shaved ice snack to chill out even more. ICEBERGS will run until September 2nd.


Photos © Timothy Schenck