Security Screening

We're committed to your safety and have security measures in place to keep you and our objects protected. When you arrive at the Museum you can expect a full security screening similar to what you might experience at the airport, except you can keep your shoes and belts on.

Here's What to Expect

  • X-ray: Bags, jackets, briefcases, purses, containers, and pocket contents will go through our X-ray machines.
  • Metal Detector: You will be asked to go through a metal detector. For those who are physically unable to do so, you will be hand-screened with an electronic wand.
  • Security Personnel: Keep in mind, our professional staff is here to help you.

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. You can help expedite your entry into the Museum by reviewing our list of prohibited items in advance and emptying your pockets before going through our screening station.

The following items are NOT PERMITTED in the Museum:

  • tripods
  • monopods
  • selfie sticks
  • guns
  • knives
  • pen knives
  • pets
  • food and drinks
  • scissors
  • aerosol cans
  • tools
  • smoking
  • placards, signs, or banners

The following items are PERMITTED in the Museum:

  • service animals
  • mobility aids (canes, walkers, etc.)
  • strollers
  • cameras
  • bottled water

See the Smithsonian's security policy for the most up-to-date information.