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, all visitors ages two and older are required to wear a face covering as part of our safety measures to protect everyone’s health. 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:


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.

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. 

While You’re Here

As the Smithsonian reopens, safety comes first. We’ve put safety measures in place to protect the health of our visitors, staff, volunteers, and collections based on guidance from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and local governments:  

  • We're requiring that all visitors ages two and older wear face coverings regardless of vaccination status (see details above). 
  • We’re providing hand-sanitizing stations for visitors throughout our facilities and conducting more frequent and enhanced cleaning. 
  • We’re recommending that visitors maintain a safe social distance between households or groups.  
  • We’ve installed protective safety shields at bag-check screening stations and registers.  
  • We’re evaluating our exhibits, interactives, and indoor spaces on a case-by-case basis. Some of these features may be closed or operate at limited capacity.  
  • Our staff will stay home when sick, wear face coverings, practice social distancing, and wash hands and practice good hygiene. 

When You Leave

For additional information, see:

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

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.