Jump to a Section: Health and Safety      Security Screening      Accessibility       Amenities       Know Before You Go      

Health and Safety

The following safety measures are in place to protect the health of our visitors, staff, and volunteers based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local governments. We ask that all visitors, including those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, follow these safety measures to protect everyone’s health. 

Please note that we may adjust our safety guidelines based on changing CDC COVID-19 Community Levels. We encourage visitors to regularly check our website before their visit for the latest guidelines. 

  • If sick, stay home. We are asking all visitors who are sick or feel unwell to please plan to come another time.
  • Practice good hygiene. Visitors are encouraged to wash and sanitize hands frequently during their visit. Hand-sanitizing stations will be available throughout our facilities.
  • Masks are not required. Masks are not required to visit the Museum.  While it will not be required, all visitors who feel more comfortable wearing a face mask during their visit are encouraged to do so. 
  • Please practice social distancing. The Smithsonian welcomes millions of visitors each year. We encourage visitors to maintain a safe social distance of six feet or more between households and groups when possible, but our museums get crowded, especially during peak visitation times. Visitors who wish to avoid crowds are encouraged to plan their visit during weekdays.
  • Proof of vaccination is not required. Visitors are not required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination to visit. Special events and some programming may require guests to provide proof of vaccination. 

First Aid: Please contact the nearest security officer or staff at the Welcome desk for assistance.

Security Screening

We're committed to your safety. You will pass through a security screening on entering the building.  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. A Security Desk is located by the Museum entrance/exit.

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 minimizing bags 

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

Accessibility

The National Air and Space Museum is committed to ensuring all visitors feel welcome. Below are just some of the accessible services we offer.

For questions related to accessibility and museum resources, please contact us:
Phone: 703-572-4118 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EST
Email: NASM-VisitorServices@si.edu

Parking and Entrances: There are designated accessible parking spaces along the center walkway and a drop-off lane at the entrance of the Udvar-Hazy Center.

Exterior Access Ramps: Access ramps are located in front of the Museum's main entrance.

Interior Elevators: Elevators are available in several locations throughout the building.

Wheelchairs: Visitors are welcome to bring their own mobility devices. A limited number of standard and bariatric wheelchairs are available for use while visiting the Museum. Wheelchairs are provided on a first come, first served basis, and stationed to the right after entering the Udvar-Hazy Center. 

Service Animals: Service animals are welcome at the Museum. Emotional support, therapy, comfort, or companion animals are not permitted inside the Museum.

Restrooms: All restrooms are wheelchair accessible, and there is a family/companion care restroom on the main floor near the restrooms and wheelchair pickup area.

Braille and Tactile Guides: Guides are available at the John L. Plueger Family Welcome Center at the entrance of the Museum.

Pre-Visit Materials: Pre-visit videos are available to help prepare for situations one may encounter at the Museum, such as what to expect, museum rules, routines and other safety information. The Smithsonian Office of Accessibility also provides additional resources and general museum visiting tips for visitors of all ages. 

Shopping & Dining: All Museum stores, dining facilities, and water fountains are accessible. 

Tours and Public Programs

Advance reservations are not required for self-guided visits or to participate in any of our walk-in programs. Many of our tour guides are trained to give tours to children and adults with various disabilities.

Requesting Accommodation: Two-week advanced notice is requested to reserve an individual program or accessibility services. When requesting an accessibility service, please specify the mode of communication required (e.g., for sign language: ASL, PSE, or Signed English). 

  • For visitors who are blind or have low vision, we offer audio-described, docent-led tours, and discovery stations with models and tactile components. 
  • Sign language interpreters can be made available for public programs or evening lectures with advance notice. 

To reserve a tour or for more information contact the National Air and Space Museum's Reservation Office: 
Phone: (202) 633-2563 (from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday) 
Email: NASMTours@si.edu 

Theaters: The Airbus IMAX Theater features designated seating for visitors using wheelchairs and their companions and provides audio descriptions and/or rear-window captioning for most theater shows.

Other Resources:

  • Aira: This free app connects you with sighted agents who provides visual descriptions on-demand. Subscription is free when visiting Smithsonian and connected to our Wi-Fi. Learn more and download the app.
  • Morning at the Museum: a free, sensory-friendly program for families of children, teenagers, and young adults with disabilities who are neurodiverse, autistic, or have other sensory processing disorders or cognitive disabilities. On select dates, families are invited to visit a Smithsonian museum before the public opening for a special experience. To register for Morning at the Museum or to request information, email access@si.edu
  • Central Smithsonian Accessibility Office: Information, resources and visiting tips  for visitors to any Smithsonian museum is available through the Central Smithsonian Accessibility Office. 

Phone:
202-633-2921 (voice) 
202-633-4353 (TTY) 
202-633-4352 (fax)
Toll-free: 1-888-783-0001
Email: access@si.edu

Amenities

Food: We are very pleased to offer food service in the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center with a Shake Shack restaurant, open from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. The restaurant will serve all the Shake Shack favorites including burgers, hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, fries, frozen custard, shakes, and coffee. That includes two Udvar-Hazy exclusives, the Constellation Crunch Concrete and Out of This World Shake. In addition, pre-packaged salads and sandwiches are available as a quick pick option.

Explore the Menu

Please contact Smithsonian Enterprises Group Sales to set up group orders from Shake Shack. 

There are many food options within close proximity to the Museum. Visitors are permitted one parking reentry. If you wish to leave the property to eat, when exiting the parking lot, stay in the far-right lane and request a receipt for the $15 per vehicle parking fee from the attendant. When leaving for the day return to the attendant in the far-right lane and show them the receipt from your initial exit so you will not be charged again.  

Outside food and drink are not permitted inside the Museum. If you bring food, you must consume it outside. Only bottled water is permitted inside the Museum.

Store: Take home a piece of air and space history from the Museum Store or shop online.

Theaters: Purchase tickets in advance or at Theater box offices. 

Baby Care/Nursing Room: According to Va. Code § 2.2-1147.1, mothers have the right to breastfeed anywhere in public. For mothers who prefer privacy, baby care rooms can be found near every public restroom in the Museum.

Lockers: The Udvar-Hazy Center has lockers available to the public, for storage, at no cost to visitors on a first-come, first-served basis, in two sizes. The smaller locker will accommodate small bags (such as backpacks) and coats; the larger locker is 12" wide, 15" deep, and 29" tall, and can fit most standard checked airline luggage.

Know Before You Go

  • Download maps and guides
  • Reserve theater tickets early
  • Know our photography and filming policy
  • No food or drink inside the Museum. Water in a closed container is allowed. 
  • Smoking is prohibited. 
  • Free Wi-Fi is available.
  • Do not bring prohibited items into the museum. 

More Questions? Contact Us

Phone: 703-572-4118 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EST
Email: NASM-VisitorServices@si.edu