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Tip Sheet


  • 9:00am-11:00am


  • The National Museum of American History (NMAH), America on the Move exhibition and Star-Spangled Banner exhibition. America on the Move exhibition and Star-Spangled Banner exhibition.


  • The museum is located on The National Mall and Constitution Avenue, between 12th and 14th Streets, NW, Washington, DC.
  • The museum opens to the public at 10:00 a.m.

  • METRO:

  • The Metro stations closest to the museum are the Smithsonian or Federal Triangle Stations on the Blue/Orange Line, both about one block from the museum. For a Metro map and additional information, visit Metro's website.


  • The National Museum of American History has no public parking. There are a few metered spaces on the streets adjacent to the museum. There is a pay parking lot at the Ronald Reagan International Trade building on the corner of 14th Street and Pennsylvania, NW, about one block from the Constitution Avenue entrance. For additional information on parking, visit the website.

  • Sensory Tip Sheet

    Coming to the Museum/Historic Lobby (Level 2)

    1. Enter museum at the Constitution Avenue entrance between 12th and 14th streets.

    2. You will be greeted by a Security Guard.

    3. The Security Guard will check all bags.

    4. You and your child will have to walk through a security scanner.

    5. The Lobby is a large open space and can be loud if crowded.

    6. The Lobby has display cases along the walls filled with a variety of artifacts.

    Life-size wagon and 1965 Mustang on display in center of lobby.

    Helpful resources: Museum Security Rules and Routines Social Story ; Waiting Social Story

    America on the Move

    1. Visual Stimulation:

  • Life-size train engine, horse and buggy, cars, buses, ship engine room, market place, and train station.
  • Find Bud activity.
  • Videos.
  • Map of Route 66 with flashing images.
  • Flashing red arrow on motel sign and flashing turn signals on cars and trucks.
  • Dark alcove with video showing movie scenes involving cars.

  • 2. Auditory Stimulation:

  • Intermittent sounds throughout exhibit (i.e. train engine noises, fog horn, bells, tugboat engine noise, 'L' train conversations, and sirens).
  • Music playing in background.
  • Sounds of cars from video.

  • 3. Tactile Opportunities:

  • Touch figures, barrels, railroad spikes, and fruits and vegetables in market place, and pavement samples.
  • Pull open packing boxed to reveal content.
  • Touch screen interactive games.
  • Seating in train station, 'L' train, and in car video viewing area.
  • Lift handles for Q&A.

  • 4. Movement Opportunities:

  • Overall, the gallery is filled with narrow winding exhibits.
  • Stairs and ramps.
  • Simulated ride on 'L' train.
  • 5. Smelling Stimulation:

  • Smell chocolate and oranges in market place.

  • Helpful Resource: America on the Move Sensory Guide ; America on the Move Social Story ; America on the Move Website ; A Display is Like a Chapter Book Social Story ; In a Museum I May See Social Story ; Museum Noises Social Story

    Star-Spangled Banner

    1. Visual Stimulation:

  • Dim lighting throughout exhibit. Brightest lighting is located at entrance and exit of exhibit.
  • Information videos.
  • Visual artifacts and pictures on walls.

  • 2. Auditory Stimulation:

  • Changing sounds throughout exhibit.
  • Noises of war in entrance hall.
  • A variety of renditions of the Star-Spangled Banner in exit hall. (Vocal and instrumental)

  • 3. Tactile Opportunities:

  • Limited tactile interaction. Most artifacts are behind glass.
  • Touch screen interactive.
  • Tactile star and flag.
  • Bomb fragment.

  • 4. Movement Opportunities:

  • Small area.
  • Can be crowded.
  • Helpful Resources: Star-Spangled Banner Social Story ; Star-Spangled Banner Website ; Star-Spangled Banner Sensory Guide

    Take a Break Spaces

    1. Quiet space for you and your child to relax or attend to sensory needs while exploring the National Museum of American History.

    2. Open space for movement.

    3. Sensory toys available such as crash pillow, fidgets, tunnel, etc.


    1. Automatic toilet flush, on/off sinks, and hand dryers.

    2. Loud and powerful hand dryers.

    3. Loud toilet flush.

    4. Family care restrooms are located on the 2nd floor to the left of the exit of Star-Spangled Banner (adjacent to American Stories) and on the 1st floor across from the exit of America on the Move.