Some DC museums set to reopen next month

Several museums and the National Zoo are set to reopen next month, the Smithsonian Institution announced Friday.

The museums, which have been shuttered since last fall when they closed their doors amid spiking coronavirus cases in the D.C. region, will reopen in waves. And for the first time, visitors to the National Zoo will be able to get a glimpse of the zoo’s new panda cub, Xiao Qi Ji.

Up first is the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, which is part of the National Air and Space Museum, and is located in Chantilly, Virginia. That museum will reopen May 5.

Next is the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Portrait Gallery, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum and its Renwick Gallery on May 14.

Finally, on May 21, the museums set to reopen are the National Museum of American History, the National Museum of the American Indian in D.C. and the National Zoo.

All visitors will need to have free time-entry passes, which can be reserved online. Passes will become available starting a week before the scheduled opening dates. Passes for the Udvar-Hazy Center are available now. Passes for the giant panda exhibit at the National Zoo will require a separate free, timed-entry pass to maintain social distancing.

The Smithsonian said it will be “closely monitoring and limiting the number of people in each location,” and all visitors 2 and older will be required to wear face coverings.

Some of the museums will be operating with reduced hours. The hours are:

  • Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: open daily 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
  • National Museum of African American History and Culture: open Wednesday to Sunday 11 a.m.–4 p.m.
  • Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery, both located at Eighth and G streets N.W.: open Wednesday to Sunday 11:30 a.m.–7 p.m. Visitors will use the G Street entrance.
  • Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, near the White House: open Wednesday to Sunday 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
  • National Museum of American History: open Friday to Tuesday 11 a.m.–4 p.m.
  • National Museum of the American Indian: open Wednesday to Sunday 11 a.m.¬–4 p.m.
  • National Zoo: open daily 8 a.m.–4 p.m.

Holocaust Museum also set to reopen

On May 17, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum will also reopen to the public. There will be reduced visitation and temperature checks, and face coverings will be required. The museum will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. six days a week, and closed on Wednesdays.

Timed entry tickets will be required to be admitted.

The museum’s health and safety guidelines can be previewed online.

More Coronavirus News

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.

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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