Join the Capitol Visitor Center and our neighbors for the first-ever Capitol Hill Day, with grounds tours, demonstrations, talks and activities that will appeal to visitors of all ages. Dive into the history of this remarkable building. Visit our neighbors’ front steps for more outdoor activities throughout the day at the Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument, the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian National Postal Museum, and the U.S. Botanic Garden.
Check back as more events are added to the schedule.
All events are weather permitting.
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Find out Who Built the Capitol? and How a Bill Becomes a Law.
Location: Education carts at the Capitol Visitor Center entrance.
From Edison light bulbs to LED, learn how electricians have lit the Capitol through history.
Location: Capitol Visitor Center Entrance.
Learn about the restoration of the historic trolley stops and how the Capitol’s wood workers create the gavels used in the House of Representatives.
Location: House Trolley Stop
Capitol Visitor Center Education Activity: Design an original gavel in recognition of the gavel George Washington used to lay the Capitol cornerstone.
With marbling, paint, stencils, gilding and more, see how the paint shop keeps the Capitol beautiful.
Location: Capitol Visitor Center South Entrance.
Activity: Try your hand at gilding, just like the paint shop does in the Capitol.
Sheet Metal Shop
Think your roof requires maintenance? Wait until you see how our team keeps the U.S. Capitol’s copper roofing in tip-top shape. See a soldering demonstration.
Location: Capitol Visitor Center North Entrance.
See images of the restoration work on the U.S. Capitol over the years and learn about the types of stone used and the protective process that extends the life of the stone. Meet the company that is creating new carvings to enhance the U.S. Capitol.
Location: Across from the House Trolley Stop, near the House restoration scaffolding.
Capitol Visitor Center Education Activity: Be a Capitol Column Sculptor and create your own Capitol columns.
Talks and Tours
9 a.m. – 3 p.m. U.S. Capitol Grounds Tours. Meet at the Capitol Visitor Center entrance.
Explore the beautiful U.S. Capitol Grounds every hour on the hour. The Capitol Grounds & Arboretum staff will lead the 10 a.m. tour. Visitors will learn how the staff care for and preserve the landscape envisioned by Frederick Law Olmsted and will see the modern-day approaches used to serve the Capitol Hill community.
10 a.m. – 1 p.m. The Cannon Renewal Project
Stop by the “trolley stop” on the House side of the Capitol Grounds (off the northeast corner of New Jersey Avenue and Independence Avenue) to learn about the renewal of this historic House Office Building.
10 a.m. and 2 p.m. George Washington’s Gavel
George Washington used the gavel on display in Exhibition Hall to lay the cornerstone for the U.S. Capitol. Learn about the history of Washington’s gavel. Who else has used the gavel? And, what is it used for today? Meet at the entrance of Exhibition Hall.
Capitol Hill Neighbors
10 a.m. – 2 p.m. The Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument (https://www.nps.gov/bepa)
Enjoy hands-on activities highlighting the history and nature of the Capitol Hill neighborhood.
10 a.m. – 2 p.m. The U.S. Botanic Garden (https://www.usbg.gov/)
Explore the USBG’s fascinating history, its garden and resources. Learn more about the mission and how it relates to conservation and the importance of protecting plants. Check out the chocolate cart and make a chocolate flower pin and learn about the vanilla orchid and Thomas Jefferson’s vanilla ice cream recipe.
Noon. U.S. Capitol Historical Society Walking Tour (https://uschs.org)
See the neighborhood and historic sites described in “Creating Capitol Hill: Place, Proprietors, and People,” the U.S. Capitol Historical Society's latest publication. Explore the streets around the Capitol as you learn about the circumstances and compromises that were necessary to create a permanent seat for the federal government. From structures still standing to those long-since destroyed, discover how hundreds of acres of wooded farmland became one of the most important communities in the nation. Meet at the Capitol Visitor Center entrance.
The Folger Shakespeare Library (https://folger.edu/)
Explore the world’s largest Shakespeare collection which sits in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol with fun activities throughout the day for all ages: Create your own version of “Macbeth” and its famous witches and spells in an interactive family program on the front lawn; Take a selfie with beloved Shakespeare bas reliefs; Tour the Folger and its national landmark building at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. and the Reading Rooms at Noon; Picnic with Puck on the west lawn; See the Folger collection at “Form & Function: The Genius of the Book,” on view from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m..
10 a.m. – 2 p.m. The Library of Congress (loc.gov/events)
The Library of Congress will engage neighbors with a story time and other activities inside the historic Thomas Jefferson Building and on the front plaza. This is a great opportunity to visit the Library’s Baseball Americana exhibition!
10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Smithsonian National Postal Museum (https://postalmuseum.si.edu/)
Experience the amazing history of personal communication, the U.S. Postal Service, and stamp collecting at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum just a few steps from Capitol Hill and across the street from Union Station. Explore what happens when the Post Office cannot deliver your mail through our Dead Letter Office activity. Take a selfie with Mr. and Mrs. Zip. Get a temporary tattoo of America’s most famous stamp, The Inverted Jenny. Additional activities will be offered on NPM’s terrace from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. The museum is open from 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.