Guidelines for Visiting
The following safety measures are in place to protect the health of our visitors, staff, and volunteers based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local governments. We ask that all visitors, including those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, follow these safety measures to protect everyone’s health.
Please note that we may adjust our safety guidelines based on changing CDC COVID-19 Community Levels. We encourage visitors to regularly check our website before their visit for the latest guidelines. Washington, D.C. is currently in the CDC’s Low Community Level category. During this time, we are implementing the following safety measures:
If Sick, Stay Home
We are asking all visitors who are sick or feel unwell to please stay home.
Visitors are encouraged to wash and sanitize hands frequently during their visit. Hand-sanitizing stations will be available throughout our facilities.
As of March 11, masks are not required to visit Smithsonian museums or the National Zoo.
While it will not be required, all visitors who feel more comfortable wearing a face mask during their visit are encouraged to do so.
Proof of Vaccination
Visitors are not required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter the museum.
Note: Special events and some after-hours programming may require guests to provide proof of vaccination.
The Smithsonian welcomes millions of visitors each year. We encourage visitors to maintain a safe social distance of six feet or more between households and groups when possible, but our museums get crowded, especially during peak visitation times. Visitors who wish to avoid crowds are encouraged to plan their visit during weekdays.
Please wash and sanitize hands frequently during your visit and practice good hygiene. Hand-sanitizing stations will be available throughout our facilities.
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.
Seating for bagged lunches is not currently available. Bagged lunches must be stowed away at all times while visiting the museum and must eaten outside of the Museum. The museum has no refrigerated storage for lunches.
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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