Admission and Timed-Entry Passes

Visiting our museums and zoo

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Stay home if sick. Timed-entry passes required. Wear a face covering.

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.

As you plan your visit, please remember to review government travel guidelines or restrictions. 

Free Timed-Entry Passes

Timed-entry passes are no longer available. The museums and zoo are temporarily closed.

Know Before You Go: Guidelines for Visiting

If Sick, Stay Home 

We’re 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

Visitors ages two and older are required to wear a face covering during their visit. Face shields are not permitted as a substitute for a face covering but may be worn over a face covering or mask. Face coverings or masks with an exhalation valve are not permitted.

Face coverings should be worn over the nose and mouth. Face coverings may be removed while eating or drinking in designated spaces.

Social Distancing

Please maintain a safe social distance of six feet or more between households or groups at all times. There will be social-distancing signage and directions throughout our facilities.


Please wash and sanitize hands frequently during your visit and practice good hygiene. Hand-sanitizing stations will be available throughout our facilities. 

Personal Belongings 

We encourage you to limit the number of personal belongings and bags you bring into our facilities as they will be subject to a thorough search. Limiting the items you bring will increase your speed through security checkpoints, helping us all maintain a safe social distance. Please note that we do not offer coat or bag storage.

    Reopening the Smithsonian

    Keeping Us All Safe 

    As the Smithsonian starts to reopen, safety comes first. We’re putting new safety measures in place to protect the health of our visitors, staff, volunteers, and collections based on guidance from the CDC and local governments:

    • We’re limiting the number of people in our museums, galleries, restrooms, elevators to allow for safe social distancing.
    • We’re requiring that visitors wear face coverings at all times.
    • We’re providing hand-sanitizing stations for visitors throughout our facilities and conducting more frequent and enhanced cleaning. 
    • We’re implementing safe social distancing, including one-way paths and directional guidance.
    • We’ve installed protective safety shields at bag-check screening stations and registers.
    • We’re evaluating our exhibits, interactives, and indoor spaces on a case-by-case basis. Some of these features may be closed or operate at limited capacity.
    • Our staff will stay home when sick, wear face coverings, practice social distancing, and wash hands and practice good hygiene.

    Tours & Programs

    • Your visit will be guided by way-finding signage to allow for social distancing.
    • All on-site public tours and programs are currently suspended.
    • The Smithsonian will continue to offer virtual programs and experiences. Please check our Online Events Calendar for specific dates and details.

    Please note: 

    COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that is believed to mainly spread from person-to-person contact. The Smithsonian is doing its part to mitigate transmission intensity, and we ask you, our visitors, to do the same and help us reduce the spread of COVID-19. You must follow all posted instructions while visiting the Smithsonian, including instructions about wearing face coverings and social distancing. Despite these measures, the risk of contracting COVID-19 could increase by visiting the Smithsonian. By visiting the Smithsonian, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.  

    The Smithsonian reserves the right to modify its hours of operations, capacity, or visitor guidelines as circumstances require and to deny entry or access to any person who fails to follow these guidelines or whose conduct puts Smithsonian staff, visitors, or property at risk.