Democracy Lab

Learn about the work of Congress in this hands-on education gallery. The collaborative activities in the gallery are designed for children between the ages of 8 and 14. Visitors of all ages are welcome.

Hours of Operation:

Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Hours are subject to change.

Please note: From October – February, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m.-12 p.m., the Democracy Lab may be closed to the public. Student Program participants may reserve the Democracy Lab at these times in conjunction with their reservations. For more information, visit the In Person Education page.

The Democracy Lab is in Exhibition Hall on the lower level of the Capitol Visitor Center.
The Democracy Lab is in Exhibition Hall on the lower level of the Capitol Visitor Center.

Planning Your Visit


Visitor Guidelines  

  • Visitors under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult (parent, guardian, teacher and/or chaperone) at all times.

  • Staff are available to assist and answer questions, but not to supervise children.

  • We welcome individual and family visitors on a first-come, first-served basis. Groups of 15 or more children must make a reservation in advance of their visit. 

  • Food and drink are not allowed in the Democracy Lab.

  • Photography is permitted.

A staff member will greet you upon your arrival. Large groups may not be able to enter together. We encourage you to explore Exhibition Hall if your group cannot be accommodated at the same time.

We recommend that you allow 15 – 30 minutes for a visit to the Democracy Lab to ensure that everyone has time to engage in all the activity stations.

Group Reservations

Groups of 15 or more children under the age of 18, including school and camp groups, must make a reservation to visit the Democracy Lab. The maximum group size per session is 40 individuals (children and chaperones). We ask that groups maintain a minimum child-to-adult ratio of 10 to 1 while in the Democracy Lab.

Reservations are available Tuesday and Friday at the following times:

  • 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

  • 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

  •  2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

  •  2:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Please contact to make your reservation or if you have questions prior to your visit.

Democracy Lab reservations do not include a tour of the U.S. Capitol. Please visit the Book a Tour page to make a tour reservation for your group.

For teachers interested in our Student Programs, learn more and register on the Students and Teachers page. Onsite programs are available Wednesdays and Thursdays from October through February.

Stay in the know
Want the most up-to-date information? Join our mailing list to stay in the know.