The Smithsonian Museums will reopen this summer. Here’s what you need to know:



After several months – or in some cases since March 2020 – closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Smithsonian museums and art galleries in Washington DC and New York City will soon be open to the public thanks to staggered reopening dates and timed entry passes. Seven popular Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo reopened in May 2021, with ten more expected to reopen in June, July, and August. Here you can see what opens when and what else you need to know to plan your visit.

Smithsonian Museum reopening dates

The following Smithsonian museums and galleries are currently open to the public with reduced hours:

The following Smithsonian museums and galleries will reopen with reduced hours this summer:

Timed tickets and pandemic protocols

While admission to all Smithsonian museums in Washington DC and the National Zoo is free, as is most in New York, you’ll need to reserve a timed admission pass in advance through your desired museum’s website – these are each available a week before the scheduled entry Reopening and can also be booked by calling 1-800-514-3849 (extension 1). Regardless of age, everyone needs a pass to participate if necessary. However, you can print it out or present a digital version on your phone. For the time being, keep groups small – you can only book up to six passes per accommodation per day – and make sure there is one adult per group of children and teenagers under the age of 18.

Those visiting the National Zoo can choose from a free time pass – however, if you’re traveling by foot, bike, DC Metro, or taxi or rideshare, you’ll need to provide one for each person in your zoo group, including infants – or a paid parking pass that costs $ 30 and covers parking and time passes for everyone in your vehicle.

At this point in time, all guests ages two and over must wear a mask in Smithsonian museums and galleries. However, if you are fully vaccinated – as in, it has been at least two weeks since your last dose of vaccine – you can remove them outdoors. Visitors are invited to use hand sanitizing stations and must maintain social distance by staying at least three feet away from people outside your group. Note that some restaurants may be closed or have limited service at this time. So check the website in advance to avoid disappointment.



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