FAQ – Visiting the Museum
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 event calendar 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 Wi-Fi access is available in most areas of the building. Look for the 'si-visitor' network.
To inquire whether a particular object is available for viewing, contact the museum’s Office of Curatorial Affairs.
Video cameras and flash photography are permitted in the museum with the exception of a few exhibitions (such as the Star-Spangled Banner) that are clearly marked.
Public use of a tripods, monopods, and selfie sticks are not permitted. News photographers and videographers need to make arrangements with the Office of Communications and Marketing by calling 202-633-3129.
The National Museum of American History has more than 1.7 million objects in its collection, and only a small fraction—perhaps less than 1%— is on view at any one time.
Admission is always free at the National Museum of American History. No tickets are required.
While you are welcome to nurse/bottle feed your child or pump anywhere you feel comfortable within the museum, we are pleased to offer the following two options which may afford more privacy and convenience:
- From 10 a.m.–4 p.m. most days of the week (the space is closed on Tuesdays) Wegmans Wonderplace is an option for anyone looking for a place to nurse, bottle feed, or pump. The bench in the back of the space is located directly next to an electrical outlet and a bathroom containing changing facilities. This option also allows for adults with multiple children to nurse, bottle feed, or pump while their other children play in Wegmans Wonderplace.
- The Museum's private Lactation Room is located on the second floor in the Welcome Center. This room is meant for single use only and includes a cushioned chair with arms, two small tables, a locking door, and an electrical outlet. Please note that this room does not have running water or diaper changing facilities, but both can be found in restrooms located close to the Welcome Center in the Museum's East and West wings.
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 Accessibility page.