Smithsonian Museums to Visit Without Timed Passes — Starting July 20


Heads-up, mamas! Starting TOMORROW, Tuesday, July 20, most of the Smithsonian’s museums will not require timed-entry passes for visiting. 

A scene from the National Museum of Natural History
The National Museum of Natural History. (Alejandro Barba via Unsplash)

That means if you wake up and suddenly need to see paintings of the first ladies at the National Portrait Gallery (believe me, I understand) — or you simply get to an afternoon and just can’t take the heat anymore (again, I’m with you) — you can head on over to a number of the Smithsonian’s locations. 

No Timed-Entry Starting July 20th

You can see an updated list of which museums are open — and which are requiring time entry passes — on the Smithsonian’s website. But here’s a sneak preview at the museums that will be dropping the timed-entry requirement on July 20:

The National Museum of African American History and Culture in D.C.
The National Museum of African American History and Culture will continue to require timed passes for entry. (Clark Van Der Beken via Unsplash)

Museums That Require Timed Entry

A few museums will still require timed passes for entry, including the:

The Smithsonian Institution Building (a.k.a. The Castle) on D.C.'s Mall.
The Smithsonian Institution Building (a.k.a. The Castle) on D.C.’s Mall is set to reopen on July 30.

Museums that are Currently Closed, but will Reopen Soon!

Also, look out for this: Several museums that have been closed — either due to the pandemic or for ongoing renovation work — also are scheduled to reopen within the next month.

Please keep in mind: While museums and other spaces around D.C. continue to reopen, some areas or facilities at each location (including children’s exhibits or cafes) might remain closed. Check each museum’s website ahead of your visit for the most up-to-date details.

Happy exploring! And if you can’t make it to your favorite locations this summer, don’t fret. Fall is a great time for Smithsonian-ing — check out tips for making it work.


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