A People’s Journey, A Nation’s Story

Welcome to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture

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On Friday, September 18, the National Museum of African American History and Culture will reopen to the public.  

As we begin a gradual, phased reopening for the Museum,  we’re putting safety first  with new measures in place to protect everyone’s health.  Free,  timed-entry passes will be required for entry. Please review the important information below as you plan your visit.

Visiting the Museum

Open Wednesday through Sunday
11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., except Dec. 25

The Museum will be closed to the public on Monday and Tuesday during the initial reopening phase.  
Museum Address
1400 Constitution Ave NW,
Washington, DC 20560
Ph. 1-844-750-3012
Admission is free. Timed-entry Passes are required.

All visitors, regardless of age, must have a free, timed-entry pass to enter the Museum. Visitors will be able to secure up to six passes maximum for personal use only. Passes may not be sold or transferred. Passes will be available on a 30-day rolling basis.

More info about passes

Timed-Entry Passes

  • All visitors, regardless of age, must have a free, timed-entry pass to enter the Museum. 
  • Visitors can acquire  timed-entry  passes by reserving  them  online or by phone at 1-844-750-3012. 
  • Visitors will be able to secure up to  six  passes maximum for personal use only. 
  • For the safety of our visitors and staff, groups larger than six are strictly prohibited. 
  • All children (under the age of 18) must be accompanied by an adult chaperone. At least one adult chaperone is required to accompany up to five children. 
  • Passes may not be sold or transferred. Passes are valid only for  the  issued  date and  time and void if altered. 
  • Visitors  can  choose  to print timed-entry passes at home or show their timed-entry  passes on  their phone or other mobile device.
  • Printed  and digital  passes will be scanned at the entrances of the Museum on Madison Drive. 

Schedule Your Visit


Safety Measures

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

We’re requiring that visitors, ages six and older, wear face coverings at all times. Face coverings are also strongly recommended for visitors between the ages of two and six, per CDC guidelines. Face shields or any kind of face covering or mask with an exhalation valve are not permitted. Face coverings should be worn over the nose and mouth. Face coverings may be removed while drinking water. Please note that water fountains will not be available.

Social Distancing 

We’re implementing safe social distancing, including one-way paths and directional guidance. Please maintain a safe social distance of six feet or more between individuals or household groups of six or less at all  times. There will be social-distancing signage and directions throughout our facilities.

Number of Visitors

We’re limiting the number of people in our Museum, galleries, restrooms, and elevators to allow for safe social distancing.   

Hand-sanitizing  Stations

We’re providing hand-sanitizing stations for visitors throughout our facilities and conducting more frequent and enhanced cleaning. Please wash and sanitize your hands frequently during your visit and practice good hygiene.

Personal Belongings 

We’ve installed protective safety shields at bag-check screening stations and register. 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 will increase your speed through security checkpoints, helping us all maintain a safe social distance. Please note that we do not offer coat, bag, or locker storage at this time.


Museum Guide 

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.

Galleries & Interactives   

  • Most seated theaters, including the Oprah Winfrey Theater and Corona Pavilion, remain closed to visitors.
  • Larger objects such as the segregated Southern Railway Car and Edisto Island Slave Cabin remain closed to visitors.
  • Some exhibitions and interactives, including the Reflection Booths, Genealogy Database, Arc Interactive, São José Interactive, Green Book, Power of Place, Neighborhood Record Store, and In the Studio, remain closed to visitors.
  • Some galleries that remain open are designed with narrow entrances and pathways, as well as low ceiling heights, in order to create an intimate and close experience for visitors; the Museum requires visitors to follow one directional flow in these areas and posts signage accordingly for adequate social distancing.

Entering & Exiting the Museum

  • Visitors will be able to redeem their pass up to 30 minutes before their scheduled entry time. Please do not arrive before the entry time on your pass.
  • Printed and digital passes will be scanned at the entrances of the Museum on Madison Drive.
  • Visitors with free, timed-entry passes will be able to enter the Museum until 3:00 p.m.
  • Visitors are required to use the exit located on Constitution Avenue when leaving the Museum.

Dining & Shopping

The Museum’s store and Sweet Home Café will remain closed during the initial reopening stages.

Frequently Asked Questions

Review the Visit FAQs for more information about planning your visit and what to expect when you arrive at the Museum.

Visit FAQs

Tours & Programs

All on-site public tours and programs are currently suspended. The Museum will continue to offer virtual programs and experiences. Please check  our upcoming events for specific dates and details.

Upcoming Events

Download Our Mobile Apps

Download our mobile apps as a complement to your Museum visit and as a way to discover some of the many stories found in our collection.

Download Mobile Apps

COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that is believed to mainly spread  from  person-to-person contact. The Smithsonian  is doing its part to mitigate transmission intensity, and we ask you, our  visitors,  to do the same and help us reduce the spread of COVID-19. You must follow all posted instructions while visiting the Smithsonian, including instructions about wearing face coverings and social distancing. Despite these measures, 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.