Our museum is temporarily closed to support the effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. Read a message from our director, and check our website and social media for updates.

Plan Your Visit

Flag-folding at the National Museum of American History

Special message to visitors

The National Museum of American History continues to be closed to support the effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. No re-opening date is available at this time.

The Smithsonian's National Zoo and the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia, are open to the public. Free, timed-entry passes are required for entry. All other Smithsonian museums remain temporarily closed.

Meanwhile, enjoy the museum virtually through a variety of tours and online exhibitions.

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:

Visitor Guides

Audio Tours – Now available online!

While the museum is closed, try our multimedia tours online for free. Available for desktop or mobile devices in English and en Español.

  • A general museum tour brings 26 of our favorite objects to life with commentary from our curators.
  • A family tour, designed for kids 6-12 and their adults to take together, features the theme “People who make a difference.”
  • A guided tour through our 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.

Online Tours and Information in Selected Languages

Print Self-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.

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.

    Daily Programs

    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.

    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. 

    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.

    School Trips

    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.