Frequently Asked Questions

IMAX Adventure

As a public health precaution due to COVID-19, all Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo are temporarily closed to the public. Outdoor gardens and exhibitions are open, no passes required.

Tickets can be purchased at any Smithsonian box office, online at or over the phone at 866.868.7774, TTY 202.633.8850. Please note that handling charges apply for tickets purchased online and by phone.  

  • National Air and Space Museum: Albert Einstein Planetarium and Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater lobbies
  • National Museum of Natural History: Rotunda, Johnson IMAX Theater lobby and Kiosk Store
  • Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center (Chantilly, VA): Airbus IMAX Theater lobby

Tickets may be purchased up to two weeks in advance. Groups of 10 or more may be able to purchase tickets earlier. Please call 866-868-7774, TTY 202-633-8850 for more information.

Yes. We do offer special rates for Smithsonian members. Click here for pricing information. Please note that tickets at the member rate may ONLY be purchased at a Smithsonian Theaters box office or through our telephone reservation system. Your membership card MUST be provided when purchasing member-rated tickets.

Smithsonian National Associate membership can be purchased from any of our theater representatives, both at the box offices and over the phone. You can also purchase online at

Yes. The Smithsonian offers discounts to groups of 10 or more for the IMAX Theaters, Einstein Planetarium, select restaurants, the National Museum of Natural History’s Butterfly Pavilion, and simulator rides. Please visit our Groups webpage, call 866-868-7774, TTY 202-633-8850, or email for more information or to book your trip.

Advance purchase tickets may be picked up at any Smithsonian Theaters box office. Please be sure to bring a photo ID and/or the credit card used to purchase the tickets. Identification is required for verification purposes.

Each museum will open doors for after-hours screenings.

  • National Museum of Natural History: enter on Constitution Avenue
  • National Air and Space Museum: enter on Independence Avenue
  • Steven F. Udvar Hazy Center: enter via the main entrance

The Smithsonian offers free parking after 4 p.m. at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. A $15 per car entrance fee is required for all cars entering before 4 p.m. Please visit for details. 

There is no public parking facility for Smithsonian museums on the National Mall. Limited 3-hour metered parking and commercial lots are available. Reserved parking near the museums can be purchased in advance through ParkWhiz.

  • National Museum of Natural History: 1 block from both "Federal Triangle" and "Smithsonian" (blue/orange lines)
  • National Air and Space Museum: 2 blocks from "L'Enfant Plaza" (orange/blue/green/yellow lines)
  • Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: no metro available
  • For additional metro routes, schedules, fares and assistance in planning your trip, visit the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority website.

IMAX is the ultimate film experience. Large frame film is projected onto specially designed screens that are several stories high to produce some of the most stunning live-action and computer generated visual images recorded. The theaters are also equipped with a state-of-the-art sound system.

The Einstein Planetarium is a domed theater that uses digital technology to provide audiences with spectacular visualizations of the universe. The theater presents both pre-programmed and live presentations designed to share the wonders of the universe.

The following accessibility services for visitors with disabilities are available upon request; inquire at any theater Box Office for appropriate devices. The newly instituted feature length IMAX films presented at Smithsonian Theaters do not yet provide for additional accessible services. As the reformatting of these films becomes more common we will request that our distribution partners provide these additional services to our visitors for future films.

The following accessibility services are available upon request for visitors with disabilities:
  • Rear Window Captioning in English for visitors who are deaf or hard of hearing. Individual devices are provided.
  • Amplification in English for visitors who are deaf or hard of hearing. Headphones provided by the theater.
  • Audio Description in English is provided for visitors who are blind or have low vision.

No. All tickets are for general admission.

Yes, the National Air and Space Museum's Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater offers translations in French, German, Japanese and Spanish for "To Fly!"