The new temporary architectural installation at DC's National Building Museum is at once incredibly awesome and my worst nightmare. I know I tend to think of myself as more laid-back than I actually am, but The Beach turned me into a germaphobic, claustrophobic lunatic convinced that my children were going to suffocate under a sea of clear plastic balls. It was not a pretty afternoon for me.
My kids, on the other hand, LOVED it. We had to wait almost an hour to get in (word is that 10 a.m. is the best time to go), but they jumped and played with the building materials set out next to the admission line. So, really, I guess I had to wait an hour to get in. Once we got our turn, those two took off into the crowd and jumped on in to the water -- just like they do at the actual beach. I tried to keep them close (or at least close to each other), but they insisted on diving under the "water" and trying to swim. They played for a solid hour straight and I had to drag them out at closing time.
We never even got to chill on the beach chairs or sample an ice pop from the Union Kitchen snack bar, but they looked deeeelish. If my kids ever persuade me to go back, I think I'll grab one and set up under an umbrella. And avert my eyes.
Notwithstanding my own issues, the installation is pretty cool and worth a visit. The BEACH is at the museum until September 7th. Admission to the exhibit is $13/non-member youth and $16/non-member adult; $5/member youth and $10/member adult. All tickets include membership to the entire museum. You can save yourself a bit of time by purchasing tickets ahead online right here.