Visiting the Museum FAQs
We're so pleased you are planning a visit to your National Museum of American History! If you have a question that isn't answered below, please check our Plan Your Visit section of the site or submit your question now.
It is difficult to say how much time it would take to visit any of the Smithsonian museums. So much depends on the age and interests of those in your group. We recommend that you review our list of exhibitions and our list of events to get a sense of the kinds of activities you’d like to participate in during your visit. You may also wish to sign up for our free email newsletter for the latest information.
The Museum has a limited number of lockers available. The dimensions are:
Free WiFi access is available in the Constitution Cafe (first floor) and the Stars and Stripes Cafe (lower level).
The Museum is home to more than 3 million objects. The best way to find out if a particular object is available for viewing is to contact the Museum's Office of Curatorial Affairs by email.
Video cameras and flash photography are permitted in the Museum with the exception of a few exhibitions (such as the Star-Spangled Banner) and the Albert H. Small Documents Gallery) that are clearly marked.
Public use of a tripod is not permitted. News photographers and videographers need to make arrangements with the Office of Public Affairs by calling 202-633-3129.
The National Museum of American History has approximately 3 million objects in its collections, and about 5–8% of the collection is on view at any one time.
Admission is always free at the National Museum of American History. No tickets are required.
While we do not currently have any private nursing areas, there are a few quieter spots in the Museum that may be more conducive to nursing your child. On the second floor, West wing, just at the end of the First Ladies exhibition, there is a small seating area that is a bit quieter and off the main traffic pattern. Likewise, on the first floor, East wing, there are one or two seating areas at the end of the hallway that are less trafficked during the day. We also have family restrooms available, on the first and second floors.
We do allow backpacks in our Museum. We have a limited number of lockers available should you wish to store it, but it is not required. Visitors are permitted to bring in food and beverages in resealable containers inside a backpack or other bag. Food and beverages may not be consumed anywhere in the Museum except for the two designated cafeterias.
A limited number of wheelchairs are available free of charge for use while visiting the Museum. Visitors may ask for assistance from Security officers at either entrance.
Learn more on our Information for Visitors with Disabilities page.