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.
All visitors ages two and older are required to wear a mask while visiting the museum, 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. Face coverings or masks with an exhalation valve are not permitted.
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.
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 have limited locker storage available for small bags and items.
We are committed to visitor safety and have security measures in place to keep you and Museum objects protected. When you arrive at the Museum you can expect a full security screening similar to what you might experience at the airport, except you can keep your shoes and belts on.
Help speed your entry into the Museum by having your bags open and ready for inspection, and empty your pockets before going through the screening station.
Check the Smithsonian's security policy for the most up-to-date information.
The Security Office is located on the Ground Floor in the north (Constitution Avenue) lobby next to the elevators.
Limited bagged lunch seating is available in the Atrium Café. Bagged lunches must be stowed away at all times while visiting the museum and must only be eaten in the Atrium Café on the Ground Floor. The museum has no refrigerated storage for lunches. Please call the NMNH Groups hotline at 202-633-7515 for questions about group dining.
Pets (except service animals) are not permitted in the museum. Emotional support animals are not permitted in the museum.
The Smithsonian permits still and video photography for noncommercial use only in its museums and exhibitions, unless otherwise posted. For the safety of our visitors and collections, the use of tripods, monopods, and selfie sticks is not permitted at any time. Working members of the media who need to use a tripod or monopod must obtain permission from the museum’s Press Office and must be escorted by a museum staff member while in the building.
Notice: Visitors may be filmed, photographed, or recorded by the Smithsonian for educational and promotional uses, including for posting on the Smithsonian’s and other public websites.
The museum provides free Wi-Fi access; choose the "si-visitor" network on your device. No password necessary. This is a public, unsecured network.
Smoking is prohibited in all Smithsonian facilities. This includes e-cigarettes.
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