Things to Know Before You Go
We have compiled this list of tips to make your visit to the Museum easier and more enjoyable. Staff are also available to answer your questions at the Welcome Center.
Add Time to Your Visit: Give yourself ample time to visit the Museum. Lines to enter the Museum tend to be longest during peak season (March - August), holidays, and weekends.
Limit the Number of Bags: All visitors are screened through metal detectors upon entry. The fewer items you bring inside the Museum, the faster your entry (and visitors behind you). Before you visit, please review the list of prohibited items, which include pocket knives and tripods. Visitors carrying prohibited items will not be allowed inside the Museum, so please leave them at home or in your car.
Dress Comfortably: A visit to the Smithsonian usually involves a lot of walking. Wear comfortable shoes and layers of clothing.
Connect to our WIFI: Connecting to our WI-FI is easy. Just choose SI-VISITOR, open a web browser, and accept the terms of service.
Wheelchairs: A limited number of non-motorized wheelchairs are available on a first-come, first-served basis; please ask at the Welcome Center. We do not provide strollers or motorized wheelchairs.
Use the Escalators: Elevators are for visitors with disabilities and families with strollers. Other visitors should use stairs and escalators. Do not take strollers on escalators, and please keep children from playing on them to avoid injury.
Download and Print Maps & Guides: The Museum has a limited number of printed maps to provide visitors, so we recommend you print floor plans at home before coming to the Museum.
Ask for Help: Security officers are located throughout the building to protect the Museum, its collections, and most importantly, our visitors. Please feel free to ask them for assistance.
First Aid: The Museum has a First Aid office and a nurse on duty. Please contact the nearest security officer or the Welcome Center for assistance.