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Smithsonian Museum Washington Dc Hours

Smithsonian Museum Of Natural History Private Guided Tour

Smithsonian museums, National Zoo cut back hours due to staffing shortages

From CA$104.15

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  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experiences start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experiences local time.

Vaccine? Quarantine? Masking?

Planning Your Visit To The Natural History Museum

The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History opened in 1910 to invoke discovery and education of the natural world. Its green dome and immense size are signatures, as well as the 140 million-plus natural science specimens and cultural artifacts that the museum contains.

The Museum of Natural History is centrally located in Washington, DC on the National Mall. Like all Smithsonian Institution museums, admission is free. Its regular hours are 10 a.m. 5:30 p.m., but hours are extended during the spring and summer with a closing time of 7:30 p.m. The museum is open every day of the year except Dec. 25. The most convenient way to reach the museum is via public transportation. Public parking is scarce, but there are parking spaces available for visitors with disabilities. If using Metrorail, take the Orange or Blue lines to the Smithsonian station and use the Mall exit. If taking Metrobus, use the 32, 34 or 36 routes.

The History Of The Museum

Tracing its roots back to the founding of the institution, the museums collection was initially housed in the Smithsonian Castle. Then known as the National Museum Building, the Arts and Industries Building was constructed in 1881 to house the institutions growing number of exhibits. As the collection outgrew its second home, building, Congress authorized the construction of a larger structure. Opening in 1910, it was the first Neoclassical-style building to be erected on the north side of the National Mall. The buildings green dome is an iconic landmark along the Mall.

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National Gallery Of Art Hours

The National Gallery of Art is not a Smithsonian museum. It is its own institution. However, it is also on the National Mall, and admission is also free. The National Gallery is open from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday to Saturday, and 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM on Sundays. The Cascade Cafe is open from 11 00 AM to 3:00 PM Monday to Saturday, and from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Sundays.

National Museum Of Natural History

List Of Smithsonian Museums
National Museum of Natural History

Main facade
1910 111 years ago

The National Museum of Natural History is a natural history museum administered by the Smithsonian Institution, located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., United States. It has free admission and is open 364 days a year. In 2016, with 7.1 million visitors, it was the eleventh most visited museum in the world and the most visited natural history museum in the world. Opened in 1910, the museum on the National Mall was one of the first Smithsonian buildings constructed exclusively to hold the national collections and research facilities. The main building has an overall area of 1.5 million square feet with 325,000 square feet of exhibition and public space and houses over 1,000 employees.

The museum’s collections contain over 145 million specimens of plants, animals, fossils, minerals, rocks, meteorites, human remains, and human cultural artifacts, the largest natural history collection in the world. It is also home to about 185 professional natural history scientiststhe largest group of scientists dedicated to the study of natural and cultural history in the world.

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Smithsonian Castle Opening Hours

The Smithsonian Castle is not a museum per se. Inside you will find the information center for the Smithsonian Institution. You will also find a cafeteria, a gift shop, restrooms and a few sample exhibits. Opening hours 8:30-5:30

In addition to the Jefferson Memorial, here are some things to do while visiting DC.

Museum Hours And Information

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Museum Of Natural History

Address: 10th St. & Constitution Ave. NW | Museums of Natural History Hours: 10:00 AM 5:30 PM

The National Museum of Natural History is a free Smithsonian museum that is dedicated to inspiring curiosity, discovery, and learning about the natural world. Its the 2nd most visited museum in the world after the Louvre in Paris, making it both the most visited natural history museum in the world and most visited museum of any type in North America. The museums exhibits and research programs document 126 million specimens of plants, animals, fossils, minerals, rocks, meteorites, human cultural artifacts, and insects, including 30 million insects pinned in tiny boxes and 4½ million plants pressed onto sheets of paper. This is the top-rated of the Washington DC museums.

The Museum of Natural History is one of the free Washington DC museums.

Hall Of Human Origins

Smithsonian Museums Kept Clean During Coronavirus Outbreak

The David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins opened on March 17, 2010, marking the museum’s 100th anniversary. The hall is named for David H. Koch, who contributed $15 million to the $20.7 million exhibit.

The Hall is “dedicated to the discovery and understanding of human origins,” and occupies 15,000 square feet of exhibit space. This exhibit includes 76 humans skulls, each of a different species, eons apart. Each of these species is a human, signified by the Homo genus name. One species that can be found in this gallery is the Homo heidelbergensis, which lived 200,000700,000 years ago. In addition, there is a female skull from Homo floresiensis, a human species that possibly only went extinct just 17,000 years ago. The exhibit includes an interactive human family tree that follows six million years of evolution, and a “Changing the World” gallery that focuses on issues surrounding climate change and humans’ impact on the world. The Hall’s core concept idea is “What Does It Mean To Be Human”, and focuses on milestones of human evolution such as walking upright, bigger brains, and symbolic thought.Also covered is the Smithsonian’s significant research on the geological and climate changes which occurred in East Africa during significant periods of Human Evolution. The exhibit highlights an actual fossil Neanderthal and replicas created by famed paleoartist, John Gurche.The exhibit has been criticized for downplaying the significance of human-caused global warming.

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Museum Of American History

Address: 14th St and Constitution Ave NW | Museum of American History Hours: 10:00 AM 5:30 PM

The National Museum of American History is a free Smithsonian museum that highlights the social, political, cultural, scientific and military history of the United States. One of the featured items on display is the original Star-Spangled Banner the actual flag that the national anthem was written to after Francis Scott Key saw it still waving at Fort McHenry during the War of 1812 against the British signifying that, after a long night of battle, America wasnt defeated. Exhibits demonstrate other significant moments and periods of American history, and some of the fun national treasures on display include Abraham Lincolns top hat, Dizzy Gillespies angled trumpet, and Dorothys ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz.

The Museum of American History is one of the free Washington DC museums.

Some Museums Are Asking For Proof Of Vaccination Anyway

While museums dont have to require proof of vaccination, the Mayors order allows businesses to set stricter entry requirements. The Phillips Collection began asking for proof of vaccination for visitors 12 and older in November, though it also accepts negative same-day tests. Most visitors show photographs of their Centers for Disease Control and Preventionvaccine cards on their smartphone a process that Jennifer Mitchell, the museums media relations manager, says takes about 10 seconds for the staff to verify that the card and ID are the same. The longest part of the process usually involves people searching for their vaccination card.

The Kreeger Museum has a similar policy to the Phillips Collection. Both specify that the result of a self-administered test, such as one of the citys rapid antigen tests, is not acceptable. On Jan. 6, Planet Word began requiring all visitors 12 and older to show proof of full vaccination.

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List Of Smithsonian Museums And Galleries In Washington Dc

If you are planning a visit to Washington DC, you will find this list of Smithsonian museums helpful. The Smithsonian offers eleven museums and galleries on the National Mall, and plus six other museums and the National Zoo in the greater National Capital Area. This list also includes two museumes in New York City.

The admission is free to:

1. National Air and Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

Highlights: Space Shuttle Discovery B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay Concorde, Lockheed Martin SR-71 Blackbird Boeing Stratoliner.

Hours: 10:00 a.m. 5:30 p.m. daily, closed December 25.Location: 14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway, Chantilly, Virginia

2. National Air and Space Museum

Highlights: 1903 Wright Flyer Spirit of St. Louis Bell X-1, an Apollo lunar module, How Things Fly activities and demonstrations, IMAX® films shown on a five-story-high screen

Hours: 10:00 a.m. 5:30 p.m. daily, closed December 25.Location: Independence Avenue, 6th Street SW

3. National Museum of African American History and Culture

Highlights: Harriet Tubmans hymnal Nat Turners bible A plantation cabin from South Carolina Guard tower from Angola Prison Michael Jacksons fedora and works by prolific artists such as Charles Alston, Elizabeth Catlett, Romare Bearden, and Henry O. Tanner.

Cant Get A Pass To Enter The Smithsonian What Else To Do In Dc


Washington DC has some of the most amazing monuments and memorials that you will find anywhere in the world. Visiting the monuments on your own requires a great deal of walking and a lot of time. Your best option to see all the memorials in only 2-4 hours is to take a private tour of the monuments with Nonpartisan Pedicab.

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The Smithsonians National Zoo

Viewing of the Zoos newest panda cub, Xiao Qi Ji, will be limited for social distancing purposes and will require a separate free timed-entry pass. Visitors can obtain a free pass for Asia Trail / Giant Pandas when they arrive at the Zoo. Passes will be released throughout the day. As a reminder for the public, Xiao Qi Ji is still young and sleeps a lot during the day. Xiao Qi Ji along with his parents can be viewed on the Zoos live panda cams.

Know Before You Go: Guidelines For Visiting

We ask that all visitors, including those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, follow these safety measures to protect everyones health. Visitors who do not adhere to safety policies and guidelines may be asked to leave.

If Sick, Stay Home

Were 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.

Face Coverings

All visitors ages two and older are required to wear a face covering while visiting Smithsonian museums and indoor spaces 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. Bandanas, single-ply gaiters and face coverings, or masks with an exhalation valve are not permitted.

Social Distancing

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.

Personal Belongings

While Youre Here

When You Leave

  • Stay connected with us! @amhistorymuseum on and , or .

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Best 14 Washington Dc Museums

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Washington, D.C. has dozens of wonderful museums that will appeal to virtually any traveler’s interests. From large publicly funded institutions to small historic homes, get ready to learn a great deal and find some welcome surprises when you visit many of DCs museumsand bonus, all of the Smithsonian Institution museums are blissfully free to the public.

There is something for everyone at this world-renowned museum. Natural history appeals to all ages and there are so many artifacts that you cant possibly see them all in one visit. The dinosaur exhibits are fascinating and great for kids. The Family Hall of Mammals is especially fun to explore as well as the Sant Ocean Hall. Then there’s the cinematography and scenery in the IMAX films that’s so stunning you’ll wish you had time to see them all.

Visiting Tips: This is the most popular Washington, D.C. museum for families. Arrive early in the morning to avoid crowds. Purchase IMAX tickets in advance or as soon as you arrive. If you are visiting with kids, be sure to see the Discovery Room where there are lots of hands-on activities. Allow at least 2-3 hours.

Visiting Tips: Free Timed Passes are required for the permanent exhibit. Timed passes are distributed for the same day on a first come, first served basis. Allow 2-3 hours.

Heres What You Need To Know About Visiting Museums In Dc Right Now

Smithsonian Institution Natural History Museum Mammals exhibit in Washington D.C.

Washingtons museum scene continues to feel the effects of the pandemic, with some museums closed and others requiring vaccination to enter. Meanwhile, some popular attractions are shuttered for renovations. Heres everything you need to know about visiting museums in 2022. Remember: Masks are required to be worn inside all buildings.

This story will be updated.

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Natural History Museum Must

African Elephant

In the rotunda as you enter from the National Mall, you’ll see a 12-ton, 14 foot tall African elephant. Learn about it as you can walk around it to see if from all angles.

Hope Diamond & Dom Pedro Aquamarine

The highlights of the gem collection, these two stones are both beautiful and rare. The Hope Diamond is a 45 carat, deep blue diamond. The Dom Pedro Aquamarine is a new addition. It is the worlds largest faceted aquamarine gem at 10,363 carats.

Butterfly Pavilion

This ticketed part of the museum features live butterflies and exotic plants. Admission is free on Tuesdays but tickets are on a first come, first served basis. The tropical environs allow you to see different varieties from all over the world.


Not just a chance to see some of the artifacts that you’d find in an Ancient Egyptian tomb , this exhibit focuses on the science behind it. With hi-res images and scans, you can look inside the mummies.

Teddy Roosevelt’s White Rhino

The Northern White Rhino is extinct in the wild and only survives in captivity. This specimen has been on display since 1913. It was part of President Theodore Roosevelt’s trip to Africa as part of a Smithsonian expedition in 1909-10. It is the only Roosevelt specimen still on display. You can find it in the Kenneth Behring Family Hall of Mammals.

Check out our DC Tourism Guide, with budget advice, travel guides, and information about local Washington DC attractions

Canden Arciniega

Visiting The Smithsonian Natural History Museum In Dc

The Natural History Museum is one of the most popular museums in Washington DC. If you’re picturing a T-Rex in the middle of the entrance, that is the Natural History Museum in NYC – we have an elephant in the rotunda. The dinosaurs are in the back. As part of the Smithsonian Institute, the National Museum of Natural History has a prime location on the National Mall and three levels of wonder.

After visiting the museum, why not explore American history in person with one of our National Mall tours? They start just 5 minutes away!

The Natural History Museum is OPEN! Timed tickets are required through Monday July 19.Not sure what to see? We also offer private tours of the museum. Find out more here.

Getting to the National Museum of Natural History

Parking Near the National Museum of Natural History

Street parking is very limited in the area, and it is a popular site to visit, so be sure to budget some time to find a spot. There are free parking spaces open to the public along Jefferson and Madison Dr, but the competition for these is fierce. A lot of the on-street parking is limited to 2 or 3 hours, so check nearby signs before you leave your vehicle.

The National Museum of Natural History has partnered with SpotHero to help visitors easily find and reserve parking spots in the area. Use their website to view all of the available parking facilities and find cheap deals!

Do I need a ticket for the Natural History Museum?



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