Skip navigation
Share this page

General Museum Tips


All visitors must go through the security process at the entrance of the museums, which includes a hand check of bags and walking through a metal detector. If your child has difficulty waiting quietly in line, plan accordingly and bring fidgets, music headphones, or a manipulative toy.

SOCIAL STORIES: Waiting in Line and Museum Security Rules and Routines


Items such as markers, colored pencils, silly putty, play dough, food and drinks are not allowed in the museum.


If your child is sensitive to sound, consider bringing noise-cancelling headphones or earplugs.


There are computer interactives in many of the exhibition areas. If the computers distract your child, use the Sensory Map to make a note of where these interactives are located so that you may avoid them.


For some objects in the museum, an alarm will go off if someone gets too close to the object. We want your child to be able to roam freely through the museum, but please do not cross barriers protecting objects.
SOCIAL STORY: Keeping People in the Right Place


Make sure your child is wearing, or has identification with him/her, including a contact cell phone number.
The museums are quite large. If your child should wander away from the exhibition area, the cell phone number will enable staff to be able to contact you immediately. Please keep the contact's cell phone ON. Also, you may want to include with the identification information a strategy for what staff can say or do to keep your child calm while we locate you (for example; sing, suggest s/he play with a particular toy, etc.).


Bathrooms are located throughout the museums. Some museums have a Family/Companion Care restroom. Please inquire at the Information Desk or look at the museum's map to find bathroom locations. Most museum bathrooms have automatic flush toilets, on/off sinks, and hand dryers. The hand dryers are very loud and powerful. The automatic flush on the toilet can be loud.

Museum Tips and Maps

National Air and Space Museum

  • Tip Sheet
  • Floorplan Map

  • National Museum of American History

  • Tip Sheet
  • Sensory Map

  • National Postal Museum

  • Tip Sheet
  • Sensory Map

  • National Museum of Natural History

  • Tip Sheet
  • Floorplan Map