Smithsonian announces reopening for National Zoo, Udvar-Hazy Center

The Smithsonian announced on Monday that the National Zoo, in D.C., and the National Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center, in Chantilly, Virginia, will reopen Friday, July 24.

They’re the first two of the Smithsonian’s facilities to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic. All other museums are still closed for the time being, the Smithsonian said in a statement.

“The safety and well-being of our staff, visitors and volunteers come first and are paramount, so we are taking a deliberate, phased and cautious approach to reopening,” Secretary of the Smithsonian Lonnie Bunch said in the statement. “Our goal is to be safe and measured in order to adjust and pivot as necessary.”

There are some new rules for those wanting to visit the zoo and the center: Free, timed passes will be required for entry; you can get them online here for the National Zoo and here for the Udvar-Hazy Center, or you can call 800-514-3849, ext. 1.

You can get up to six passes for each, and they can’t be sold or transferred. You can make ADA accommodation requests when you’re requesting your passes.

And, when you get to the zoo or the center, you’ll need to keep up physical distancing.

Face masks will be required for anyone over age 6 (and encouraged for anyone older than 2).

The Udvar-Hazy Center said to think about what you bring into the museum, because anything you bring will be thoroughly searched, which could slow things down.

The zoo will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Restrooms will be open, along with outdoor concessions and retail kiosks.

You can find out more about the changes at the zoo here, and at the Udvar-Hazy Center here.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

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