Plan Your Visit

Masked visitors look at a museum display

Welcome to the National Museum of American History! The museum’s world class collection of over 1.7 million objects helps tell the complex history of our nation.

Please note, as part of our safety measures to protect everyone’s health:

  • All visitors ages two and older are required to wear a face covering.
  • Beginning Jan. 22, visitors 12 and older must show proof of vaccination for indoor dining in our cafe.

See more information below.


Open Friday through Tuesday, except December 25, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Admission is free and no tickets are required.

Closings and special notices:

For additional information, see:


The museum is located on the National Mall at Constitution Avenue, N.W., between 12th and 14th Streets, Washington, D.C. View in Google maps.

Museum entrances are located on Constitution Avenue on the first floor and Madison Drive (National Mall) on the second floor. Due to ongoing staffing shortages, the Constitution Avenue entrance is closed until further notice. Please follow signs to the nearest entrance. The building is still operating at a reduced capacity to better support social distancing. There may be a short wait to enter the building.

Know Before You Go: Guidelines for Visiting

We ask that all visitors, including those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, follow these safety measures to protect everyone’s health. Visitors who do not adhere to safety policies and guidelines may be asked to leave. 

If Sick, Stay Home

We’re asking all visitors who are sick or feel unwell to please stay home. If you are at increased risk of severe illness, you may also want to consider staying home. 

Face Coverings

All visitors ages two and older are required to wear a face covering while visiting Smithsonian museums and indoor spaces regardless of vaccination status. Face coverings may be removed while eating or drinking in designated spaces. 

Face coverings should fit properly, covering the nose, mouth, and chin with no large gaps on the outside of the face, and they should have at least two layers. Face shields are not permitted as a substitute for a face covering but may be worn over a face covering or mask. Bandanas, single-ply gaiters and face coverings, or masks with an exhalation valve are not permitted.

Proof of Vaccination for Indoor Dining

Per a Washington, D.C., mandate for indoor dining, to enter the museum's cafe:

Beginning January 22: visitors 12 and older must show proof of having had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Beginning February 15: visitors 12 and older must show proof of full vaccination: one or two doses depending on the type of vaccine.

Note: Visitors placing to-go orders from cafes will not be required to show proof of vaccination, nor is it required to enter the museum.

Acceptable forms of proof of vaccination include:

  • A CDC-issued vaccination card (or a photo of the card)
  • Record of immunization from a health-care provider or public health authority
  • A COVID-19 verification app (e.g., VaxYes, Clear, Excelsior, MyIR)
  • World Health Organization Vaccination Record

Visitors 18 years and older must also show photo ID, such as:

  • State-issued driver’s license or limited purpose driver’s license
  • Any other state-issued identification card
  • Passport
  • DC One Card
  • Student ID
  • Permanent resident card

Visitors may dine in without showing proof of vaccination if they provide documentation of a medical exemption (such as a doctor’s note) or a religious exemption (such as an attestation form); both exemptions must be accompanied by a negative result from a PCR or antigen test taken within the past 24 hours.

Social Distancing

We encourage visitors to maintain a safe social distance of six feet or more between households or groups.  


Please wash and sanitize hands frequently during your visit and practice good hygiene. Hand-sanitizing stations will be available throughout our facilities. 

Personal Belongings

We encourage you to limit the number of personal belongings and bags you bring into our facilities as they will be subject to a thorough search. Limiting the items you bring and leaving prohibited items at home will increase your speed through security checkpoints, helping us all maintain a safe social distance. Please note that we do not offer coat or bag storage. 

Staff Safety

We’ve installed protective safety shields at bag-check screening stations and registers. Our staff will stay home when sick, wear face coverings, practice social distancing, and wash hands and practice good hygiene.

What's Available During Your Visit

Currently Available Amenities

  • The Jazz Cafe (1 Center); opens at 11 a.m.
  • Main Museum Store (1 Center) and Mall Store (2 Center); open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Lounge; 2nd Floor, East Wing
  • Simulators
  • Learn more about available amenities


FULLY CLOSED Exhibitions

CLOSED Amenities

After Your Visit

COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that is believed to mainly spread by person-to-person contact. The Smithsonian is doing its part to mitigate transmission, and we ask you, our visitors, to do the same and help us reduce the spread of COVID-19.  Despite our best efforts, the risk of contracting COVID-19 could increase by visiting the Smithsonian. By visiting the Smithsonian, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.  

The Smithsonian reserves the right to modify its hours of operations, capacity, or visitor guidelines as circumstances require and to deny entry or access to any person who fails to follow these guidelines or whose conduct puts Smithsonian staff, visitors, or property at risk.