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African American Museum Washington Tickets

Washingtons Best Museum Cafe

How to Get FREE Tickets to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture

The lowest rung on the food ladder was once the museum cafeteria. But in recent years the Smithsonian has changed the rules.

Not only is the new National Museum of African American History & Culture the toughest ticket in town, but its Sweet Home Cafe is equally celebrated. The food, an extension of the exhibits, provides a literal taste of African-American culture. The restaurants four dining stationsNorth States, Creole Coast, Agricultural South and Western Range recognizes a tasty heritage with dishes like buttermilk fried chicken, and shrimp and grits. Or try Son-of-a-Gun stew, popularized by Black cowboys.

Lines form for the fried chicken, ribs, and shrimp and grits, but for something different try the pan-fried trout stuffed with cornbread and greens. And for dessert, you owe yourself a sweet potato tart, which tastes like grown-up pumpkin pie. Its an educational experience, after all.

How To Get Timed

Timed-entry tickets are made available online up to three months in advance of a visit date. Visitors can apply for newly released dates on the first Wednesday of each month at 9 a.m. These advance passes can be claimed both online and by telephone. Museumgoers can obtain same-day passes online starting at 6:30 a.m.

Notable Items In The Collection

The Smithsonian Institution listed the number of items in the museum collection in 2012 as either more than 18,000 pieces or more than 25,000 pieces.CBS News reported in May 2015 that the collection size had grown to 33,000 objects, although this had risen to more than 40,000 objects by May 2019. About 3,500 items are on display to the public.

Items obtained by the museum initially were received, conserved, and stored at the Smithsonian Museum Support Center in Suitland, Maryland. Dozens of permanent curatorial staff and temporary contractors accessed the items, repaired them, and conserved them in a temperature- and humidity-controlled environment. RenĂ©e Anderson, the NMAAHC’s head of collections, oversaw the effort. After artifacts were selected for display, graphics and labels for each item were manufactured. Display cases for each item were also purchased, and exhibiting mounts or specially designed cases handcrafted for particularly fragile, important, or unusually sized objects. Museum officials said all artifacts and displays will be moved into the new museum in the summer of 2016, along with the museum’s 175 full-time employees.

In November 2016, NBA player LeBron James donated $2.5 million to support the museum’s exhibit on the accomplishments of boxer Muhammad Ali.

As of September 2016, notable items in the collection included:

Pre-20th century

20th and 21st centuries

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Full Day African American Heritage Tour

Groups of 20 or more can receive motor coach transportation in a newer model, fully-equipped bus for a full day. This includes a three to four hour tour with an African American Tour Specialist as well as tickets to the NMAAHC (African American Museum in Washington DC. Some of the tour stops and drive by locations are listed below on this page.

TYPICAL ITINERARY

  • Motor Coach will Pick Up Your Group at Your Hotel
  • Washington DC Tour with Guide Specialist
  • Take Group to NMAAHC after Tour. Tickets May be Provided
  • Motor Coach Meets group at NMAAHC at End of Day
  • Return Transportation to Group Hotel

Your Group will Enjoy Use of a Fully-Equipped Motor Coach for up to 9 hours. You will also have an African American Heritage Tour Guide for around four hours plus Free Tickets into the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Availability for Buses, Guides and Museum Tickets are limited. Please call for information at your earliest convenience.

What Your Group Will See

Select Participants And Date

No weekday passes needed for NMAAHC

Meet on the corner of 9th and Pennsylvania NW, outside the north side of the National Archives Building and across the street from the Archives Metro Station. For GPS devices, use the address 800 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Please arrive no later than 10:15 AM.

FromUS$ 64per person

Our last day, we took the 3 hour tour, thinking it would be OK – it was fabulous! Just the right amount of walking, a bathroom with us, with a fantastic tour guide who was extremely knowledgeable and hilarious! Our only issue was trying to find the right tour bus, since so many take off from the same spot. Arrive more than 15 minutes early so you can find your bus! Our tour person at 10:30am April 16 was a lady around 5’4″ so she held a neon orange baton in the air so we could find her in the crowds and it really was helpful. At the Abraham Lincoln Memorial, too many people to know where she was, but you could see that baton! She was also great with the many kids that were on the bus who at first was fussy and talking loud. She not only engaged them by having them participate in Q& A, she had them wanting to participate! I learned so much & had fun doing it! I hope next year we come back, we get the same guide and do the all day tour!

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The Wildly Popular Smithsonian Museum Is About To Become Easier To Visit

Have you been waiting to visit the National Museum of African-American History and Culture as you watch the elusive timed-entry passes sell out online? Getting into the popular museum just became easier.

This month, the museum will start allowing visitors without passes on weekdays as part of its off-peak season. The museums new guidelines created the peak and off-peak times for 2019, expanding the hours visitors can walk in without the highly-coveted timed-entry passes.

Visitors can now walk in at any time during the museums hours on Mondays through Fridays from 10 AM to 5:30 PM. Entry didnt begin until 1 PM in previous years and during the peak season in the summer.

A representative for the museum says that the museum hasnt seen any increases in walk-in visitors this month yet, in comparison to past years. The representative credits the typical fall in visitation to the start of the off-peak season.

For those working during the week, weekend visitors still need to obtain a timed-entry pass on the museums website ahead of time. The off-peak season will end in February, and visitors will need either a timed-entry pass or a same-day pass starting in March.

The museum advertised the off-peak times in the last copy of the Washington Posts Express paper, which folded Thursday.

Insider Guide To The Smithsonians Nmaahc One Of The Worlds Top African American Museums: App Cafe Tickets And More

UPDATE: The museum is now open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Timed-tickets are required.

From the moment it opened in 2016, the Smithsonians National Museum of African American History and Culture has been one of the citys top draws and one of the worlds top African American museums. For years, it required a reservation, and although it has become a little easier to visit, you generally need to plan ahead.

If you wonder if its worth the time, effort and hassle, the simple answer is absolutely.

First download the NMAAHC app. The multi-level galleries take visitors from the horrors of slavery to the glory of the Olympics. The meticulously researched exhibits follow the literal journey of African-Americans across the Middle Passage, through Plantation society, the Jim Crow era, the modern civil rights movement, and the Obama Presidency.

Its a thrilling, exhausting and deeply moving experience, and alone makes a visit to Washington worthwhile.

If you make a purchase through an affiliate link, we may receive a commission. Read our disclosure policy here.

If youre short on time, consider a guided tour covering Washingtons rich African-American history, including the King Memorial and a reserved ticketed entry to the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

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National Museum Of African American History And Culture Tours And Activities

The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum in the United States devoted to the African American experience. Its unique architectural structurewrapped in an ornamental bronze-colored metal latticehouses 12 galleries and 13 interactive exhibits. The 36,000-object collection tells the American story through the African American lens, covering themes from history, politics, religion, slavery, and segregation to music, sports, fashion, and art.

National Museum of African American History and Culture

The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum in the United States devoted to the African American experience. Its unique architectural structurewrapped in an ornamental bronze-colored metal latticehouses 12 galleries and 13 interactive exhibits. The 36,000-object collection tells the American story through the African American lens, covering themes from history, politics, religion, slavery, and segregation to music, sports, fashion, and art.

National Museum Of African American History And Culture

National Museum of African American History and Culture opens in Washington, D.C.
National Museum of African American History and Culture

Exterior of the museum
Location
nmaahc.si.edu

The National Museum of African American History and Culture is a Smithsonian Institution museum located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., in the United States. It was established in December 2003 and opened its permanent home in September 2016 with a ceremony led by President Barack Obama.

Early efforts to establish a federally owned museum featuring African-American history and culture can be traced to 1915, although the modern push for such an organization did not begin until the 1970s. After years of little success, a much more serious legislative push began in 1988 that led to authorization of the museum in 2003. A site was selected in 2006, and a design submitted by Freelon Group/Adjaye Associates/Davis Brody Bond was chosen in 2009. Construction began in 2012 and the museum completed in 2016.

The NMAAHC is the world’s largest museum dedicated to African-American history and culture. It ranked as the fourth most-visited Smithsonian museum in its first full year of operation. The museum has more than 40,000 objects in its collection, although only about 3,500 items are on display. The 350,000-square-foot , 10 story building and its exhibits have won critical praise.

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Where And What Is The Smithsonian National Museum Of African American History

The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture is located at 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW on the National Mall. The four-level museum opened on Sept. 24, 2016, becoming the only national museum solely dedicated to the documentation of African American life, history and culture. This Smithsonian Institution museum is an architectural marvel that features numerous interactive exhibits.

The museum is currently open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. 4 p.m. The easiest way to get there is via Metrorail or the DC Circulator. The closest Metro stop is Federal Triangle on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines. The DC Circulators National Mall route is your best bus option, and it will be easy to continue your exploration of the National Mall afterwards. The facility is handicap-accessible.

No Ticket Weekdays September Through February

The biggest shift for 2019 museumgoers is that on weekdays, in the off-peak fall and winter months from September to February, no tickets are required. This policy goes into effect January 2019. The museums designated walk-up entry policy will be offered throughout the work week, Monday through Friday, but timed-entry passes or tickets will still be required on weekend days.

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Construction Of The Museum Building

The museum’s groundbreaking ceremony took place on February 22, 2012. President Barack Obama and museum director Bunch were among the speakers at the ceremony. Actress Phylicia Rashd was the Master of Ceremonies for the event, which also featured poetry and music performed by Denyce Graves, Thomas Hampson, and the Heritage Signature Chorale.

Clark Construction Group, Smoot Construction, and H.J. Russell & Company won the contract to build the museum. The architectural firm of McKissack & McKissack provided project management services on behalf of the Smithsonian, and acted as liaison between the Smithsonian and public utilities and D.C. government agencies. Guy Nordenson and Associates and Robert Silman Associates were the structural engineers for the project.

The NAAMHC became the deepest museum on the National Mall. Excavators dug 80 feet below grade to lay the foundations, although the building itself will be only 70 feet deep. The museum is located at a low point on the Mall, and groundwater puts 27.78 pounds per square inch on the walls. To compensate, 85 US gallons per minute of water were pumped out every day during construction of the foundation and below-grade walls, and a slurry of cement and sand injected into forms to stabilize the site. Lasers continually monitored the walls during construction for any signs of bulging or movement.

The 350,000 square feet building has a total of 10 stories .

Siting And Design Competition

Smithsonian National Museum Of African American History &  Culture Is ...

On February 8, 2005, with the site selection committee still deliberating, President Bush again endorsed placing the museum on the National Mall.

The site selection committee did not issue its recommendation until January 31, 2006a full 13 months late. It recommended the site west of the National Museum of American History. The area was part of the Washington Monument grounds, but had been set aside for a museum or other building in the L’Enfant Plan of 1791 and the McMillan Plan of 1902. The United States Department of State originally planned to build its headquarters there in the early 20th century, and the National World War II Memorial Advisory Board had considered the parcel in 1995. On March 15, 2005, the Smithsonian named Dr. Lonnie G. Bunch III to be the Director of the National African American Museum of History and Culture.

The design submitted by the Freelon Group/Adjaye Associates/Davis Brody Bond won the design competition. The above-ground floors featured an inverted step pyramid surrounded by a bronze architectural scrim, which reflected a crown used in Yoruba culture.

The Smithsonian estimated in February 2012 that museum would to open in 2015. Until then, the museum would occupy a gallery on the second floor of the National Museum of American History.

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Start With The History Gallery

You enter the main exhibit by heading down to subterranean three levels of concourse galleries. Symbolically it feels like descending into the hold of slave ship, with each subsequent step taking you deeper into the African-American legacy.

Theres so much information here that you could literally spend days absorbing the information.

Galleries include shackles, a slave auction block and Ku Klux Klan robes. A statue of Thomas Jefferson is flanked with bricks listing the humans he owned. Its all offered factually with extensive documentation, all of which makes the impact all the stronger.

But for many the emotional pivot of the entire museum is the casket of Emmett Till Jr. Visitors line up as theyre at a funeral home visitation to pay honors to the 14-year-old boy, who was brutally murdered in northern Mississippi. His mothers courageous decision to hold an open-casket funeral in Chicago, shocked the nation when images were published in Ebony magazine. Tills horrific murder, scholars believe, was the start of the modern Civil Rights movement, and for that we still owe Mamie Till our gratitude.

Now, decades later, its still a heart-rending experience. The curators included a contemplation area for reflection. Take a moment to do just that.

Finally, the galleries touch on modern history with election of Barack Obama and the start of the Black Lives Matter movement.

When you step back outside, youll feel like youve taken a journey. In reality, you have.

Black Heritage Tour Highlights

Stops on the Tour

  • African American Civil War Memorial

Drive-by Locations

  • And Many More

Our years of experience in Washington DC enables us to create tours which meet the needs of groups like yours every year. We know that Washington DC is a very special place for all types of groups so we take special care in arranging tours which help to enhance the experience of every group.

With great sites and attractions like the MLK Memorial, Frederick Douglass Home, The African American Civil War Memorial as well as the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC, your group is sure to enjoy an amazing tour. Complete the form on this page or call our toll-free number to receive more information 796.8763

Heritage Tour Sites and Attractions

While on Tour, your Group will see these Sites and Attractions as well as Many Others! Tickets to the National Museum of African American History and Culture are given to those who participate in our tours. These tickets are based on NMAAHC Ticket Availability.

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Sit Back Relax And Leave The Driving To Us

We have arranged for round trip transportation on lavatory equipped video buses so that you can start having fun right from the beginning of your trip. Buses are also used throughout the stay for all transfers to and from activities.

Individuals / Small Groups will be given an option to select a convenient pickup location from major cities in the following states at time of booking.

These are the general designated departure locations for individuals and small groups at this time. You will given the option to select your preferred departure location upon making a reservation for your tour. Pickup times vary depending on the tour and will be verified with you. Depending upon the event location, certain departure areas may not be available.

DC: Oxon Hill Park & Ride, 414 West & Indian Head Highway, Oxon Hill, MD

DE: Delaware Welcome Center Travel Plaza, 530 JFK Memorial Hwy., Newark DE

MD: Security Park & Ride, Ext. 94 off I-70, Baltimore, MD

NJ: Peter Francisco Park , Market & Ferry Streets, Newark, NJ

NY: Harlem State Building, 125th & 7th Avenue, NY, NY

NY: Brooklyn Academy of Music, 30 Lafayette Ave, Brooklyn, NY

NY: Grand Concourse & East 149th Street, Bronx, NY

NY: Parsons Blvd & Jamaica Ave, Queens, NY

PA: 30th Street Station Building, 3100 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA

PA: M L K High School, 6100 Stenton Ave, Philadelphia, PA

PA: Progress Plaza, Broad & Oxford, Philadelphia, PA

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