Plan Your Visit
Special message to visitors
As a public health precaution due to COVID-19 (coronavirus), all Smithsonian museums in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area and in New York City, including the National Zoo, will temporarily close to the public starting Saturday, March 14.
Many programs have been postponed or canceled. Learn more.
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, stores & audio tours
- Foreign language information
- Frequently asked questions
Temporary Closings and Other Notices
- No additional announcements at this time.
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.
Online Tours and Information in Selected Languages
- Recorridos e Información
- Visites et informations
- Führungen und Informationen
- Экскурсии и информация
- الجولات والمعلومات
- 투어 및 정보
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.
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.
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.
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.
We offer an exciting array of programs and materials.
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.