R.J. Bernard, 5, checks out the fire truck at the National Children’s Museum, which opened Dec. 13 at National Harbor. (Bill O'Leary/WASHINGTON POST)

The Washington area has so many museums that it’s easy to forget that for more than eight years, one was missing. That was remedied last week with the opening of the National Children’s Museum’s new facility at National Harbor.

While smaller than its well-known neighbors to the north — Port Discovery in Baltimore and the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia — the space garnered praise from Style’s Lonnae O’Neal Parker who said it “felt like a play-date invitation waiting to be answered” and KidsPost’s Christina Barron who wrote that it is a place where “kids can learn not just by looking but by playing with everything.”

But of course the only testimonials that matter are those of the children who have crawled, romped and raced around the museum, which was located in Northeast Washington from 1974 until 2004. Judging from their faces, it is going to be a hit.

The museum includes a "Sesame Street"-themed area for toddlers and two activity areas for school-aged children. It is scheduled to expand outdoors in 2014.