Here’s what you can expect when you visit us and what our buildings and businesses will be asking from you to keep everyone safe. Always follow CDC protocols for mask-wearing and social distancing and obey museum or businesses individual guidelines and requirements.
The Smithsonian Institution reopened many area museums in May 2021. Hours for individual museums have been shortened and will vary by museum. An additional six DC Smithsonian museums located on the National Mall + Smithsonian Castle Visitors Center will open at various dates this summer.
To enter DC museums you must show free, time-stamped online tickets and wear masks.
Here are the museums opening soon in summer 2021 (along with the Smithsonian Castle Visitor’s Center). All are located on (or very close to) the National Mall. Their exact expected reopening dates are indicated. Free online time stamped tickets (6 tickets per group) will be available one week before the reopening date. Scroll down this post to review the list of Smithsonian museums already open:
Re-opening this summer:
National Museum of Natural History – reopening Friday, June 18
National Museum of African Art – reopening Friday, July 16
National Museum of Asian Art Freer Gallery – reopening Friday, July 16
National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall– reopening Friday, July 30
The Smithsonian Castle (National Mall Visitors Center) – reopening Friday, July 30
The Hirshhorn Museum – reopening Friday, August 20
The National Postal Museum – reopening Friday, Aug 27
The National Gallery of Art – East Wing- reopening mid-June 2021
Mall museums already re-opened:
• National Air & Space Museum at the Udvar-Hazy campus in Chantilly, VA.
• National Portrait Gallery: 8th St, NW at G St, NW
• Smithsonian American Art Museum: 9th St, NW at G St, NW
• The Renwick Gallery: 17th St, NW at Pennsylvania Ave, NW (across from White House)
• National Museum of African American History & Culture: 15th St, NW & Constitution Ave, NW.
• National American Indian Museum: 3rd St, SW, at Independence Ave, SW.
• The Smithsonian National Zoo: 3100 Connecticut Ave, NW
• The National Gallery (West Building) of Art: 600 Constitution Ave, NW.
• National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden: with patio food service at Pavilion Cafe
• Fords Theatre and Museum: 511 10th St, NW
• The Holocaust Museum: 100 Raoul Wallenberg Place, SW
Many private museums near the Mall are NOW OPEN as well as many exquisite Washington DC gardens and historic houses.
All outdoor Memorials and Monuments in and around the Mall are OPEN – most outdoor Memorials and Monuments are open 24/7. Keep in mind that our efficient METRO is open – as well as bus routes and Circulator buses. (Mask are required on all public transportation).
ASIDE FROM THE MUSEUMS AND HISTORIC SITES NEAR THE NATIONAL MALL, HERE’S MORE OF WHAT IS OPEN TODAY- NOTE: MANY PRIVATE MUSEUMS REQUIRE PAID TICKETS AND RESERVATIONS:
Private Museums and Gardens-
Hirschhorn Sculpture Garden: open – on the Mall
The Smithsonian’s Enid Haupt Garden: open – near the Smithsonian Castle on the Mall.
The International Spy Museum: open (walkable to the Mall)
The Museum of the Bible: open (walkable to the Mall)
Victura Park at the Kennedy Center: open (includes an outdoor patio with foodservice open Friday through Sunday (walkable to the Mall)
Artechouse (gallery): open – where art, science and technology intersect (walkable to the Mall)
Planet Word: open – an innovative language experience – walkable to the Mall
The National Museum of Women in the Arts: open – walkable to the Mall
National Building Museum: open – a very large historic property dedicated to architecture and design at Judiciary Square METRO
The Phillips Collection: open – a private museum located near Dupont Circle and Dupont METRO stop.
Dumbarton House (plus garden): open – historic house museum near Georgetown
Tudor Place: open – historic mansion and garden once owned by the granddaughter of Martha Washington in Georgetown.
Monuments and Memorials (listed from east to west on the Mall)
The United States Capitol:
Presently the Capitol building, including the Capitol Visitors Center and Capitol grounds, are closed. This area is entirely enclosed by a fence. The perimeter of the fence may change but presently the fence is located to the west of the Capitol lawn directly at the Grant Memorial which is open.
The Grant Memorial:
Open 24-7 features an enormous bronze sculpture of Civil War Battles and an equestrian statue of General Grant who became the 18th President of the United States.
The Dwight D Eisenhower Memorial:
Open 24-7. Dedicated to General Dwight D Eisenhower who led the Normandy Invasion that ended World War II in Europe. The Memorial features restrooms (closed around 9PM), a Park Ranger station and gift shop.
The World War I Memorial:
DC’s newest Memorial, opened in March 2021 – located at 15th St, NW, and Pennsylvania Ave, NW, near the Willard Hotel.
The Washington Monument on the Mall:
Presently the elevator to the top of the 555-foot-tall Monument is closed but the Washington Monument grounds are open 24/7. The hill on which the Washington Monument is located offers spectacular views of the entire Mall and the Federal City.
World War II Memorial: 17th Street & Independence Ave, SW is open 24/7.
It is dedicated to the States and Territories that were in the Union at the end of World War II and helped the Allies win the war. It features bathrooms (closed around 9PM) as well as an enormous fountain. The WWII Memorial offers excellent views of the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial.
The Martin Luther King, Jr Memorial:
Overlooking the Tidal Basin and easily walkable from World War II Memorial. The MLK, Jr Memorial is open 24-7. It features an elegant bas-relief statue of Martin Luther King, Jr as well as quotes from the Civil Rights leader’s speeches and books. There are restrooms and a gift shop located across the street.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
A 4-acre memorial on the Tidal Basin dedicated to the first and only US President to serve 4 terms. There are many fountains enhancing this Memorial which will possibly be turned on by summer. Restroom and gift shop at mid-point.
The Jefferson Memorial:
Located on the far south side of the Tidal Basin, open 24-7. It is a 15-minute walk along the Tidal Basin from MLK and FDR Memorials. This memorial offers views of the White House and, seasonally, paddle boats on the Tidal Basin. The Jefferson Memorial features an elevator as well as restrooms and a gift shop. Parking is about 2 blocks away.
The Lincoln Memorial:
Located at the far west end of the Mall on the Potomac River. It is open 24-7 and features restrooms (usually open until 9PM) an elevator and small, lower level museum as well as a book shop in an alcove near the Lincoln stature. A Park Service Food Kiosk is nearby. The Lincoln Memorial is located on the west end of the Reflecting Pool and offers excellent opportunities for views and photos of DC and the Mall.
The Korean War Memorial:
Features 19 seven-foot-tall statues of US soldiers in battle gear – reminiscent of a platoon. It is located about 4 blocks west of the Martin Luther King Memorial to the south side of the Reflecting Pool. It is presently being enlarged to include a wall that will feature the names of those killed in action. Because of the construction, there may be occasional closures of some parts of this Memorial
The Vietnam Memorial:
Located to the north of the Reflecting Pool. It can be entered by paths from Constitution Avenue, NW, or from the Reflecting Pool / Lincoln Memorial. The main feature is a 300+ foot-long wall containing the names of every US soldier killed or missing in the Viet Nam War. There are two other important features: a statue of a group of soldiers in battle gear gazing over at the wall of names of their fallen comrades and an in-the-round statue dedicated to the nurses who lost their lives in the Viet Nam War.
Albert Einstein Memorial:
Located directly across Constitution Ave from the Viet Nam Memorial on the grounds of the National Academy of Science. Einstein is featured seated – holding papers containing his famous equations. At the foot of the stature is a map of the universe on the date of its dedication. Many school-age children can often be found sitting in Einstein’s lap as parents take photos.
Monuments and Memorials in Northern Virginia
Arlington National Cemetery (600 + acres):
The cemetery is located directly across the Potomac River from the Lincoln Memorial. At the cemetery, there are 400,000+ gravesites. Presently Arlington National Cemetery is open, but visitors must pass through security similar to airport security. There is a tram that runs approximately every 15 minutes. Most visitors stop at the gravesites of John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy plus visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers where they watch the Changing of Guard. There are restrooms in the Arlington National Cemetery Visitors Centers but at present, the gift shop is not open.
Iwo Jima / Marine Corps Memorial:
Open 24-7, features six US Marines raising the US flag over the battlefield at Iwo Jima, a critically important World War II battle. There is a circular park area surrounding the Memoria
The Air Force Memorial:
Now open from 8 am to 8 pm. It contains three main features: there are three 200+ foot tall arcs that are visible from the surrounding area. These arcs are artistic representations of the contrails of the US Air Force’s Thunderbirds as they fly in the “Bomb Burst” formation. There is also a statue of an Honor Guard from the US Air Force – don’t miss the female soldier in the Honor Guard. Also, there is an engraving on a glass wall depicting the “Missing Man Formation” flown by the Air Force to honor fallen pilots. There are restrooms; a guard will allow visitors to park temporarily in a lot that runs alongside the Memorial.