Plan Your Visit
Welcome to the National Museum of American History! The museum is open every day except December 25. Admission is free.
This page will help you begin planning your visit. For additional information, please see:
- Getting Here
- Food, shopping & other fun things
- Foreign language information
- Frequently asked questions
Temporary Closings and Other Notices
Information posted here is subject to change. Please check back for the latest status.
- Dorothy's Ruby Slippers from The Wizard of Oz have been removed from view for conservation work. They will be off display for a significant period of time so that they can be studied, stabilized, and preserved to prevent future deterioration. While the Ruby Slippers are gone, visitors to our American Stories exhibition will be able to see the famous hat and whip belonging to Indiana Jones, played by actor Harrison Ford.
Visiting with Groups
Every year, groups from around the country come to Washington, D.C. to participate in events and activities. We welcome everyone to explore the museum, and we have restrooms, water fountains, and dining facilities available if needed.
Please note that all visitors must go through a brief security screening at the entrance. For groups participating in First Amendment activities, please note that the Smithsonian does not allow visitors to bring signs or banners into the building. You can check out our visit tips and security policies for more detailed information, and if you have additional questions, please contact us via the Contact Us link at the bottom of this page.
Visit the Information Desks
Start your visit at our information desks located near the entrances to help you plan your day at the museum. Here you can find out what programs are happening that day or pick up a map. If you have a specific question or need assistance, ask one of our friendly visitor services staff.
Print, Web, and Audio Guides
Free self-guides are available below to download in .pdf format. Selected guides are also available for pickup at the information desks. PLEASE NOTE: Items may have been moved or taken off display. Please ask at the information desk if you need assistance.
- Highlights (all ages)
Short on time? Want to see our most iconic objects? This guide will take you to a few of our most popular objects. Download highlights guide.
- HerStory! (all ages)
Discover stories celebrating women. Guides available in English and en Español.
Online Tours and Information in Selected Languages
- Recorridos e Información
- Visites et informations
- Führungen und Informationen
- Экскурсии и информация
- الجولات والمعلومات
- 투어 및 정보
Audio Tours of The Nation We Build Together (2 West)
Allow our curators and other experts to guide you through our new exhibits about The Nation We Build Together, located on 2 West. This tour offers colorful narration from our curators and other thought leaders including Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell. The touch screen rental devices are easy to use, and will help deepen your appreciation for this country and its people.
From interactive carts to spotlight tours, there are experiences for you to encounter every day.
Visit the Star-Spangled Banner, the flag that inspired the national anthem. Other exciting displays feature diverse topics from technology to politics to popular culture.
School Group Field Trips
We offer an exciting array of programs and materials.
- Visit with your class
- Register your group
- Watch before you visit! A student orientation video
- Watch before you visit! A teacher orientation video
Security and Entrance Procedures
All visitors should be prepared for a security check upon entrance to the museum. Please note there may be a line to enter the building on busy days. To learn more and see a list of prohibited items and other museum policies, follow the link below.
Some areas of the museum are closed due to the ongoing renovation of our west exhibition wing, and some popular objects may be off display. Use the links below to check on the latest information.