For Families

Youth and family programs at the National Portrait Gallery are designed to “inform, involve, and inspire” the visitor. Programs allow visitors to have an interactive gallery experience and an opportunity to create an original work of art inspired by the gallery experience.

Facing History: Girl Scout Programs

The National Portrait Gallery offers exciting interactive programs that allow Girl Scout Brownie, Junior, and Cadette troops an opportunity for an educational and culturally enriching museum experience while earning points toward Girl Scout Legacy badges and Girl Scout Journey completions.

Learn more >>


Girl Scout with her art work

Story Time in our Explore! Family Space

Story time in our Explore!space immerses you in tales of artists, presidents, inventors, athletes, and more! Before or after story time, enjoy our family space where you can play and learn about portraiture. 2:00pm-2:30pm Tuesday-Friday. All ages welcome. No reservation required.

Check events calendar >>

Woman sitting on the ground reading to a toddler

Young Portrait Explorers

Toddlers up to age five and their adult companions are invited to become a Young Portrait Explorer and to discover the National Portrait Gallery through history and art. The activities include looking at a portrait or two, listening to a story, and participating in a hands-on activity. Class size is limited to 25 participants. Parents and guardians must remain with their children. Gather in G Street lobby at 10:15 a.m. The program will begin promptly at 10:30 a.m.

See Schedule and Register >>

Father and son working on an art project

Family Days

Family Day programs at the National Portrait Gallery are interactive, fun, hands-on, and informative and include such elements as story time, a gallery self-guide (scavenger hunt), arts activities, and dance and musical performances.

NPG partners with the Smithsonian American Art Museum for several annual family day events, such as Presidential Family Fun Day each February and Baseball Family Day each summer. Family Days are free and open to the public; no reservations are necessary.

Check events calendar for upcoming Family Days >>

Kids doing crafts at a family day

Portrait Discovery Kits

What could be cooler than being a “portrait detective” at a national museum?  Borrow one of our discovery kits and let your child’s imagination run wild.  The Discovery Kits include “Historian Guides,” “Seek and Find” cards, and a “Compare and Contrast” activity. Kits may be checked-out Saturday and Sunday at the Portrait Gallery Education Center on the first floor (room E151). Please return kits before 4:00 PM. The kits are appropriate for children aged 4 to 14.

Schedule of upcoming Portrait Discovery Kits >>


Portrait Discovery Kit

Portrait Story Days

On select Saturdays and Sundays throughout the year, young visitors and their families may drop in to listen to a story about a famous person from history and create a special piece of art in the Portrait Gallery’s Education Center.

Upcoming Portrait Story Days >>

Portrait story days art activity

Open Studio Fridays

*Not in session June 28th- August 30th.*

Discover your inner artist. Create an original artwork inspired by the Portrait Gallery collection while exploring a different technique or tool each week. Education Center, Room E151, Friday afternoons 1:00- 5:00 p.m.


Child drawing a portrait at Open Studio Fridays