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Tours and Tickets

Unfortunately, the US Capitol building, the Pentagon, the FBI Headquarters, the Bureau of Printing and Engraving, and the Supreme Court are all closed due to the pandemic. The White House is currently closed to tours by order of the President. Despite this, we are offering our assistance in securing Smithsonian timed entry passes for the museums that are currently open, as well as sending you updates via email as more museums and historical sites announce their reopening.

We apologize for the historic, unprecedented closure of public buildings across the nation’s capital. While you may not be able to get inside them this trip, there are so many other places to visit and enjoy.

Federal Institutions that are currently open:

U.S. National Arboretum

The U.S. National Arboretum enhances the economic, environmental, and aesthetic value of ornamental and landscape plants through long-term, multi-disciplinary research, conservation of genetic resources, and interpretative gardens and exhibits. IN addition to their global collection of flora, they have the original east columns of the U.S. Capitol that were replaced in 1958, as well as a pair of bald eagles.

Smithsonian Institutions that are opening on May 5th:

National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

While the iconic Air and Space museum on the National Mall remains closed, the Udvar-Hazy Center by Dulles Airport in Virginia sports hundreds of historically significant air- and spacecraft, along with thousands of small artifacts all under an open, hangar-like setting.

Notable items in their collection: Space Shuttle Discovery; B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay; Concorde, Lockheed Martin SR-71 Blackbird; Boeing Stratoliner.

Smithsonian Institutions that are opening on May 14th:

National Museum of African American History and Culture

The National Museum of African American History and Culture is a place where all Americans can learn about the richness and diversity of the African American experience, what it means to their lives, and how it helped us shape this nation.

Notable items in their collection: Harriet Tubman's hymnal; Nat Turner’s bible; A plantation cabin from South Carolina; Guard tower from Angola Prison; Michael Jackson's fedora; and works by prolific artists such as Charles Alston, Elizabeth Catlett, Romare Bearden, and Henry O. Tanner.

To see availability of timed-entry passes, click here.

National Gallery of Art—West Building & Sculpture Garden

Located on the northeast stretch of the National Mall, the National Gallery of Art serves as a center of visual art, education, and culture. Their collection of over 150,000 paintings, sculpture, decorative arts. Photographs, prints, and drawings spans the history of Western art and showcases some of the triumphs of human creativity.

Notable items in their collection: ‘Masterpieces of American Furniture from 1700-1830’; assorted works from Cezanne, da Vinci, Gauguin, Giovanni Bellini, Manet, Monet, Picasso, Raphael, Rembrandt, Renoir, Rousseau, Titian, van Gogh, Vermeer, among countless others.

National Museum of American Art & the National Portrait Gallery

Located in the old Patent Office Building where the Smithsonian first had a temporary display of works by American artists, the building was acquisitioned by the Smithsonian after the Patent Office’s closure and now houses three distinct collections.

Notable items in their collection: Early American Art, 19th and 20th–Century Art; Contemporary Art; Photography; Modern Folk and Self-Taught Art; African American Art; Latino Art; New Deal Art; and the Luce Foundation Center for American Art, an interactive public study center. Rotating exhibitions in the Lawrence A. Fleischman Gallery of the Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture.

Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Located just across the street from the White House, this branch of the Smithsonian American Art Museum dedicated to exhibiting American contemporary craft, celebrating makers taking both innovative and time-honored approaches to their work.  The Renwick Gallery is located steps from the White House in the heart of historic federal Washington. This National Historic Landmark was designed by architect James Renwick Jr. in 1858 and was the first building in the United States built specifically to be an art museum.

Notable items in their collection: Nick Cave's Sound Suit; Wendell Castle’s Ghost Clock; Karen LaMonte's Reclining Dress Impression with Drapery; Leo Villareal's Light Sculpture Volume. Additionally, they’ve just opened up a new invitational exhibition titled “Forces of Nature”: Nature provides a way for these invited artists to ask what it means to be human in a world increasingly chaotic and divorced from our physical landscape. Representing craft media from fiber to mosaic to glass and metals, these artists approach the long history of art’s engagement with the natural world through unconventional and highly personal perspectives.

The Renwick does not require timed-entry passes as it is a less-travelled museum, and its large salon rooms are easy to socially distance in.

Smithsonian Institutions that are opening on May 21st:

National Museum of American History

Devoted to the scientific, cultural, social, technological, and political development of the United States, the museum traces the American experience from colonial times to the present. The American History Museum’s collection contains more than three million historical objects—including the famed Star-Spangled Banner—and documents that explore the evolution of the American identity.

Notable items in their collection: Star-Spangled Banner; Washington’s uniform; Jefferson’s lap desk; Dorothy’s ruby slippers; American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith; Batmobile.

National Museum of the American Indian

The National Museum of the American Indian cares for one of the world’s most expansive collections of Native objects, photographs, and media, covering the entire Western Hemisphere from the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego. The museum’s sweeping curvilinear architecture, its indigenous landscaping, and its exhibitions, all designed in collaboration with tribes and communities, combine to give visitors from around the world the sense and spirit of Native America.

Notable items in their collection: Who We Are, an introductory film in the Lelawi Theater; The Great Inka Road: Engineering an Empire; Americans; Return to a Native Place: Algonquian Peoples of the Chesapeake; Imaginations Creativity Center.

National Zoo

Always free of charge and open 364 days a year, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo sits on 163 acres in the heart of Washington, D.C.’s Rock Creek Park. Founded in 1889, the Zoo is currently home to more than 2,700 animals representing more than 390 species.

Highlights: Giant pandas, Asian elephants, Sumatran tigers, Aldabra tortoises, Panamanian golden frogs, sea lions, orangutans, meet-a-small-mammal demonstrations, and Asian elephant training. (We have a new baby panda!)

In addition to the Smithsonian’s listed above, there are plenty of open-air memorials and gardens administered by the National Parks Service:

Constitution Gardens

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial

Korean War Veterans Memorial

Lincoln Memorial

LBJ Memorial Grove on the Potomac

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

Theodore Roosevelt Island

Jefferson Memorial

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall

Washington Monument* Elevator tours have been closed indefinitely by order of President Joseph R. Biden III.

World War II Memorial

President’s Park

Currently all NPS administered buildings and museums are closed indefinitely, but I will check back and update you as soon as they open up! Our staff can’t wait for your visit, and we are here to help you plan a memorable trip to the Nation’s capital in whatever way we can.