Get free ‘timed passes’ to Smithsonian’s newest museum

WASHINGTON — The fast-approaching opening of the Smithsonian Institution’s latest museum has gained a lot of interest, and while entry is free, eager attendees had to sign up for “timed passes” that became available Saturday morning.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture opens Sept. 24. after a dedication ceremony that President Barack Obama is scheduled to attend.

At 9 a.m. Saturday, a limited amount of passes for the opening weekend as well as dates through October became available online and by phone. But by noon, all passes for opening weekend, as well as the next several weekends, were all booked.

Many weekday passes through October were still available.

The museum is issuing timed passes to ease the rush of visitors and to help keep “a secure, safe and smooth flow of people into the museum,” according to the museum’s website.

One person is allowed to request up to six passes. Visitors will be admitted at 15-minute intervals and can stay as long as they like.

To request by phone, call 800-514-3849 or 919-653-0443 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. Passes are also available online.

Starting Sept. 26, same-day passes will be available in person at the museum. The museum will also release timed passes for October, November and December. Timed entry to the museum will continue indefinitely.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Teta Alim

Teta Alim is a Digital Editor at WTOP. Teta's interest in journalism started in music and moved to digital media.

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