Walk-Up Wednesdays in May

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture has announced Walk-Up Wednesdays for the entire month of May 2018. Individuals who walk up without timed entry passes may enter the museum on a first come first served basis Wednesdays, May 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30. Walk-up entry is subject to building capacity. The museum already has issued advance timed passes for the entire month of May. Individuals who already have advance timed passes will receive priority entry. The museum is launching Walk-Up Wednesdays in May as a pilot to test no-pass entry. For more information on the Museum's passes policy, see our Timed Entry Passes page. 

The following visitor guidelines will apply for Walk-Up Wednesdays in May:

Pass Holders

  • People who have already reserved timed passes are encouraged to bring them because pass holders will receive priority entry; and
  • Individuals with advance timed entry passes for Wednesdays in May may enter at any time after the time stated on their passes that day.

Group Visits

  • The museum will continue to require advance reservations for commercial tours and groups of ten or more; and
  • All groups are required to present passes to gain entry to the museum.

Same-Day Online, Timed Entry Passes

  • Same-day, timed entry passes will be available every day in May except on Wednesdays;
  • Same-day timed entry passes are available online beginning at 6:30 a.m. ET daily until all passes are distributed;
  • Visitors may reserve up to four same-day passes at a time; and
  • Same-day passes cannot be reserved by phone.

Walk-up Passes

  • Visitors can also gain entry to the museum with weekday walk-up passes every weekday in May except on Wednesdays;
  • A limited number of walk-up passes (one per person) are available starting at 1 p.m. on weekdays. Walk-up passes are available on the Madison Drive side of the building; and
  • Same-day walk-up passes are not available on Saturdays or Sundays due to high visitation.

Entry to the museum is always subject to building capacity. If the museum is nearing capacity, all visitors, including veterans, active duty personnel and first responders, will be asked to wait until the museum has room to accommodate new visitors.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you eliminating advanced timed passes?

Timed entry passes are required to enter the museum every day except Wednesdays in May. People who have already reserved timed passes for Wednesdays in May are encouraged to bring them because pass holders will receive priority entry.

Will Sweet Home Café and the museum shop have longer hours?

Sweet Home Café and Museum Shop hours will remain the same.  Sweet Home Café is open 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. every day. The Museum Shop is open 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. every day.

How does Pass Free Wednesdays in May affect your policy for Veterans or First Responders?

On Wednesdays in May, veterans, active duty personnel and first responders who walk up without timed entry passes may join the walk-up entry line to enter the museum on a first come first served basis.

Will the museum allow large groups and tours to enter without reservations during Pass Free Wednesdays in May?

The museum will continue to require advance reservations for commercial tours and groups of ten or more. All groups are required to present passes to gain entry to the museum.

What happens when the museum reaches capacity?

Entry to the museum is always subject to building capacity. If the museum is nearing capacity, all visitors will be asked to wait until the museum has room to accommodate new visitors.

Will you be able to accommodate all visitors who come on Wednesday?

Entry to the museum is always subject to building capacity. We hope to grant entry to most visitors who visit on Wednesdays in May. 

In addition, visitors have the following options for visiting the museum every day in May except on Wednesdays: 
•    Same-day timed entry passes are available online beginning at 6:30 a.m. ET daily until all passes are distributed;
•    Visitors can also gain entry to the museum with weekday walk-up passes every weekday in May except on Wednesdays;

Will there be long lines to get in the building? How long will I need to wait?

Visitors may find long lines if the building is at or nearing capacity. Individuals with timed entry passes to visit the museum on Wednesdays in May will be given priority entrance. Individuals without timed entry passes will be allowed to enter the building as capacity allows.

For all other questions about Walk-Up Wednesdays in May, please call 202-633-1000.