If you’re planning a trip to Washington D.C., one of the must-visit places on your list should be the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. With its vast collection of specimens and interactive exhibits, it’s a favorite among visitors of all ages. But with the ongoing pandemic, you might be wondering: is the Smithsonian of Natural History open?
The answer is yes! The museum reopened its doors to the public on May 14, 2021, after being closed for more than a year due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, there are some changes in place to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone.
To comply with CDC guidelines and local regulations, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History has implemented several safety measures. These include:
- Requiring all visitors over the age of two to wear face masks
- Limiting capacity to 5,000 visitors per day
- Encouraging social distancing by marking floors and pathways
- Providing hand sanitizer stations throughout the museum
- Increasing cleaning frequency in high-touch areas
Tickets and Hours
To manage capacity limits and ensure a safe experience for visitors, timed-entry passes are required. These passes are free but must be reserved online in advance. You can reserve up to six passes per order, and each pass admits one person for a specific entry time.
The museum’s hours have also been adjusted temporarily. It is open every day except December 25th from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.
While not all exhibits are available at this time, many popular ones are open for visitors to explore. These include:
- The Hope Diamond exhibit
- The Hall of Mammals exhibit
- The Ocean Hall exhibit
- The Hall of Human Origins exhibit
- The Butterfly Pavilion (tickets required)
It’s worth noting that some areas, such as interactive exhibits and touchable specimens, may be temporarily closed for safety reasons.
Plan Your Visit
If you’re planning a visit to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, here are some tips to make the most of your experience:
- Reserve your timed-entry passes online in advance
- Check the museum’s website for updates on safety measures and available exhibits
- Wear comfortable shoes as there is a lot of walking involved
- Bring a water bottle and snacks as food options are limited at this time
- Be prepared to follow all safety guidelines, including wearing a face mask and practicing social distancing
The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History is open and ready to welcome visitors once again. While there are some changes in place to ensure everyone’s safety, there are still plenty of exhibits to explore and learn from. So if you’re in Washington D., make sure to add it to your itinerary – it’s an experience you won’t forget!