Visiting Tips

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 John L. Plueger Family Welcome Center.

Add Time to Your Visit: Give yourself ample time to visit the Museum. Lines to enter the Museum parking lot tend to be longest during peak season (March - August), holidays, weekends, and on special event days. Please allow extra time for entry and parking.



Minimize Carry-Ons: All visitors must pass through security screening upon entry. The fewer carry-on 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.



Stow Your Baggage: The Udvar-Hazy Center has lockers in two sizes. The smaller lockers accommodate small bags (such as backpacks) and coats; the larger lockers are 12" wide, 15" deep, and 29" tall, and accommodates most carry-on size bags. A 25 cent deposit is required and the quarter is returned after the key is replaced. If you have baggage that does not fit in the lockers provided, you will be asked to carry your bags with you.


What to Wear

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.


Go Mobile

Go Mobile: Learn more about the historic aircraft and space artifacts on display in the Museum with stories from our experts, first-hand accounts, and videos of these amazing objects in flight! Try out COPILOT on your mobile device by going to



No Food and Drink: Food and drink are not permitted in the Museum. There is no dining area beside the Museum restaurant, so if you bring food, you must consume it outside. Only bottled water is permitted in the Museum.



Please Take Photos!: You are welcome to take photos for personal use (and share them on Flickr!). However, the use of tripods, monopods, and selfie sticks is prohibited with the exception of their use by the media or press which requires prior approval. For professionals, please see our photography and filming policy.



Wheelchairs: A limited number of non-motorized wheelchairs are available on a first-come, first-served basis; please ask at the John L. Plueger Family Welcome Center. We do not provide strollers or motorized wheelchairs.



Strollers: Strollers are not allowed in the Donald D. Engen Observation Tower. You can leave your stroller in the stroller parking area outside the elevator on the ground floor.


Using Elevators and Escalators

Take Care on Ramps and Overlooks: The Udvar-Hazy Center has long ramps and high overlook walkways. Please use care and do not allow children to play on them. Never carry children on your shoulders.


Buy Tickets Early

Buy Tickets EarlyIMAX tickets can sell out during busy months or when popular films are showing. We recommend you buy tickets in advance online. For evening films, parking is free after 4:00 pm.


Print Maps

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.


Feel Secure

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

First Aid: First Aid is available. Please contact the nearest security officer or the John L. Plueger Family Welcome Center for assistance.