Plan Your Visit

Flag-folding at the National Museum of American History

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:

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 return to public view October 19, 2018.

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.

Online Tours and Information in Selected Languages

Audio Tours

The following multimedia tours are available via touch screen rental devices:

  • A general museum tour for adults, lasting about an hour, guides visitors to 26 stops throughout all three floors. Also available in Spanish and Mandarin.
  • A family tour, designed for kids 6-12 and their adults to take together, features the theme “People who make a difference.”
  • A preschool tour of the first floor is also designed for multi-generational groups to take together, and includes a fun interactive element at each stop.
  • A guided tour through our new exhibits about The Nation We Build Together, located on 2 West, offers colorful narration from our curators and other thought leaders including Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell. Also available in Spanish.

Daily Programs

From interactive carts to spotlight tours, there are experiences for you to encounter every day.  

Exhibitions

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.

Learning Spaces

Draper Spark!Lab and Wegmans Wonderplace are great spaces for young learners. Note that these spaces are open 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and closed on Tuesdays. 

School Group Field Trips

We offer an exciting array of programs and materials.

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.

Museum Renovation

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.