Love the beach but hate the sand? Head to the National Building Museum

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Photo by angela n.

 

With its Corinthian columns inspired by Michelangelo, and a Great Hall modeled on Rome’s Palazzo della Cancelleria, the National Building Museum atrium is one of DC’s most majestic and elegant spaces. It has hosted inaugural balls from President Cleveland through President Obama, and now, in perhaps its most photogenic role yet, it is the site of a hugely popular ball pit.

The National Building Museum’s immersive art installation “The Beach” covers 10,000 square feet, including a 50-foot-wide shoreline, and an “ocean” of almost one million translucent plastic balls. The umbrellas, chairs, walls, and balls are all monochromatic, but when the Beach is filled to capacity with 400 people in their bright summer clothes, it’s a photo op as dazzling as Times Square.

Although the ocean is only three-and-a-half feet at its deepest, we heard several laments about dropped phones, keys, and shoes sinking straight to the bottom. So be careful with your camera!

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Photo by angela n.

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Photo by angela n.

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Photo by angela n.

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Photo by Tim Brown

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The Beach is open until September 7. Queues can be lengthy (Up to a couple hours, according to the website). So try going early, and buy tickets online ahead of time. Online ticket sales end August 24 in order to accommodate all current ticket-holders by September 7. Tickets are also available in person each day on a first-come, first-served basis. Once you’re inside, you can stay as long as you like that day.

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angela n.

angela lives in DC. When she is not working or taking pictures, she is very busy binge-watching the panda cam. All opinions are her own.