Smithsonian To Reopen National Museum of American History, National Museum of the American Indian Sept. 25
Credits: Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Phased Reopening Continues With New Safety Measures in Place

The Smithsonian will reopen two additional museums in Washington, D.C., to the public Friday, Sept. 25: the National Museum of American History and the National Museum of the American Indian, both located on the National Mall.

These locations will reopen with new health and safety measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They will have reduced days and hours of operation, and visitors will need to reserve free timed-entry passes for both locations.

Safety Measures

To protect the health of visitors and staff, new safety measures based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other sources will include:

  • Requesting that all visitors who are sick or do not feel well stay home.
  • Requiring that visitors ages 6 and older wear face coverings during their visit. Face coverings are strongly recommended for visitors ages 2 and older, per CDC guidelines.
  • Closely monitoring and limiting the number of people in each museum. Visitors will need to obtain a free timed-entry pass in advance of their visit. Beginning today, visitors can reserve passes online or by phone and select the desired date and time for their visit.
  • Implementing safe social distancing, including one-way paths and directional guidance where appropriate.
  • Providing hand-sanitizing stations for visitors and conducting enhanced cleaning throughout all facilities.
  • Establishing maximum capacity for restrooms to accommodate safe social distancing.

Museum cafes and retail shops will not be open at this time, including the Mitsitam Cafe at the National Museum of the American Indian.

All on-site public tours and events are temporarily suspended. Some exhibits, galleries, interactives, theaters or indoor spaces may be closed or operating at limited capacity. Children’s play areas will be closed, including Draper Spark!Lab and Wegmans Wonderplace at the National Museum of American History and the imagiNATIONS Activity Center at the National Museum of the American Indian. Detailed information for visitors is available on the museum websites.

Museum Hours and Information

National Museum of American HistoryNational Museum of the American Indian

  • : Open Friday to Tuesday with reduced hours of operation, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Visitors will enter through the entrance on Constitution Avenue, between 12th and 14th streets N.W. The National Mall entrance will be closed.
  •  in Washington, D.C.: Open Wednesday to Sunday with reduced hours of operation, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. The museum’s location in New York, the George Gustav Heye Center, remains temporarily closed to the public.

Timed-Entry Passes

Visitors will need to obtain a free timed-entry pass to enter both museums. Beginning today, visitors can reserve passes online at or by phone at 1-800-514-3849, ext. 1. An individual will be able to reserve up to six passes. Each visitor must have a pass, regardless of age. Visitors can choose to print timed-entry passes at home or show a digital timed-entry pass on their mobile device.

For the safety of visitors and staff, groups larger than six are strictly prohibited, and at least one adult chaperone is required to accompany up to five children under the age of 18.

Reopening the Smithsonian

All Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo temporarily closed to the public March 14 to support the effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. To date, the following locations have reopened to the public: the National Zoo; Smithsonian Gardens; the National Museum of African American History and Culture; the National Portrait Gallery; and the Smithsonian American Art Museum and its Renwick Gallery. The Sept. 25 reopening of these next two museums continues a gradual, phased reopening process for the Institution.

All other Smithsonian museums remain temporarily closed to the public, and the Institution is not announcing additional reopening dates at this time. Updates and information about the museums open to the public are available at