Kids & Families
Little minds can have a great time in a big space during a visit to the world’s sixth-largest Gothic cathedral.
We can’t wait to help your family explore this very special place! With plenty of kid-friendly features, including our new Explorer Packs, you’ll discover how you fit into America’s story and find your place in God’s embrace. Let’s get started!
Can’t make it in person? No problem! We have lots of resources available online to help you learn from a distance about the Cathedral’s art, architecture and those silly gargoyles.
Explore the Cathedral with your Family
Cathedral Explorer Packs
Our new Explorer Packs will help you find all the must-see spots for kids and families at the Cathedral. Grab your flashlight and see if you can find the hidden squirrels and butterflies, or scan the guide to listen to “Baby Shark” on a massive pipe organ. See if you can find a piece of the moon with your binoculars, or reach high to shake President Lincoln’s hand.
Ready to get started? It’s as easy as 1-2-3:
1. Parents should check the Cathedral calendar for upcoming General Sightseeing Hours; tickets can be purchased in advance to make things easier.
2. Grab your Explorer Pack from the Welcome Desk. It will have a toolbelt with all the tools you need, a special map, and an activity booklet designed for children ages 6-10.
3. Follow the pathway on the map to discover the enchanting world of our first theme, Sights and Senses. Move at your own pace and follow what interests you; touching is encouraged!
Special note for parents: Explorer Packs are free with admission and available during General Sightseeing Hours on a first-come, first-served basis. When you check out an Explorer Pack, you’ll be asked to leave something of value (keys, credit card or driver’s license) until you return the Explorer Pack.
Draw Your Story: Augmented Reality Experience
Tell your own story by designing your own stained glass window! As part of our Light in the Darkness project, we introduced an augmented reality app for visitors to use in-person at the Cathedral.
During your visit, grab a template from the Welcome Desk and sketch out your story. Then, head over to the window bay and use the app to “install your design” and share it!
Check out this video to help take you through the steps.
Interactive Stained Glass Exhibit
Explore the incredible details of artist Rowan LeCompte’s stained glass windows!
Using the touch screen kiosk located on the nave level, get an unprecedented close-up view of over 50 of LeCompte’s extraordinary windows! You can also watch behind-the-scenes videos and learn about the process of creating these works of art.
Kids & Family Visits FAQ
The LEGO® Cathedral Exhibit is temporarily closed to visitors. When we re-open the exhibit this fall, we hope you will come back to help us build the world’s largest cathedral made of LEGO® bricks!
Strollers are permitted and can be used throughout most of the Cathedral.
When entering and exiting, the visitor ramp entrance is located near the parking garage elevators (look for signs near the garage exit for help) and just past the main visitor’s entrance.
Elevators to the lower (crypt) level and 7th floor Pilgrim Observation Gallery are located on the main level.
Public restrooms are available in several locations:
- Down the stairs immediately inside the main entrance
- On the lower (crypt) level outside of Bethlehem Chapel
- Wheelchair-accessible restroom: on the main level by the entrance ramp
- Wheelchair-accessible restroom: lower (crypt) level
Baby changing tables are located in both public restrooms down the stairs immediately after the entrance, and in the wheelchair-accessible restroom on the main level.
Drinking fountains and water bottle-filling stations are located outside of the main entrance and ramp entrance restrooms, by the Information Desk, and on the 7th floor Pilgrim Observation Gallery.
Explore the Cathedral from Home
There’s lots to learn about the Cathedral from your home. We designed coloring sheets just for you, and there are lots of videos to explore about our stained glass windows, the mighty pipe organ and even what Darth Vader does all day.
If you can’t find something you’re looking for, let us know and we’ll do our best to help.