Staff and workmen carried duct tape and tools and made sure the giant atlas was hinged just right Friday morning in the half-hour before the National Children’s Museum at National Harbor opened its doors, returning to the Washington area after more than eight years.
Then, promptly at 10 a.m., a blue-shirted museum guy made it official: “We’re opening,” he called out and dozens of of staffers burst into applause. A line of families streamed through the doors, and all of a sudden the place got loud and busy.
The $6.7 million, 18,000-square-foot space, filled with maps, plastic foods, construction gear and interactive touch screens, felt like a play-date invitation waiting to be answered.
“I just got goose bumps,” said Michal Miller, a museum spokeswoman. It was a reaction shared by some parents who thought this day would never come.
Chris Garber of Alexandria, her husband, Andrew, and sons Ben, 3 and Luke, 2 were among the first to arrive. “We kept hearing: ‘Oh, it’s coming soon, it’s coming soon,’ but I was doubtful. I’m just glad it finally did,” Garber said.