Sure, the District itself is open for business, but as the term “Federal City” implies, most federally funded locations are shuttered during the government shutdown. Here's what you need to know.
WASHINGTON — Sure, the District itself is open for business, but as the term “Federal City” implies, most federally funded locations are shuttered during the government shutdown, which has been in effect since Dec. 22.
Not even the National Park Service website is being updated.
“During the federal government shutdown, this website will not be updated and may not reflect current conditions. Some national parks may remain accessible to visitors; however, access may change without notice. Some parks are closed completely. Some visitor services may be available when provided by concessioners or other entities. For most parks, there will be no National Park Service-provided visitor services, such as restrooms, trash collection, facilities, or road maintenance.”
WTOP has an FAQ about what to expect during the shutdown.
The Zoo’s famous panda cam has also been turned off, but the animals are still being fed and cared for, reports NBC Washington.
As of Tuesday morning, WTOP’s Alejandro Alvarez reports that it’s mostly news crews outside the National Zoo and tourists who are confused about why it’s not open.
Aside from a handful of tourists muttering “this sucks” and “what the hell” at the shuttered National Zoo this morning, there was this boy who came back twice, as if he expected the gates to suddenly open again. @WTOP#GovernmentShutdownpic.twitter.com/KyJYRcndy9
Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo are closed as of Tuesday — even their social media accounts will be unstaffed. That includes the National Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Museum of Natural History. Several galleries are also among those closed.
Due to the #GovernmentShutdown, Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo are closed. We will update our operating status as soon as the situation is resolved. We do not plan to update social media other than to inform you of our operating status.
If you’re looking for restrooms, they can be found at the World War II Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial (on the south side) and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.
Unlike the Smithsonian sites, most of the private museums and attractions (which charge entrance fees) are open, including the National Geographic Museum, the Newseum, the Phillips Collection and Madame Tussauds.
The Newseum (which is offering free admission to federal workers)
National Building Museum
Hillwood Estate, Museum and Garden
Washington National Cathedral
People will still be able to see the city’s monuments and memorials and the National Mall, but visitor centers and park ranger talks won’t be available.
“You’ll still have access to the those things. You’ll still have an opportunity to get on a Segway, get on a bicycle or walk through the city,” said Elliott Ferguson, president and CEO of Destination DC, the city’s official tourism organization.
The winter months tend to be a slow period for major conventions and meetings in the nation’s capital, but Ferguson could not rule out the possibility that some visitors to D.C. may have postponed trips because of the partial shutdown.
“We’re keeping our fingers crossed that this government shutdown will be a short-term thing, and we’ll be able to get back to business as usual,” Ferguson said.