The Smithsonian Institution Building (“The Castle”) in Washington, D.C., at dusk. Photo: Ken Rahaim, Smithsonian

Smithsonian museums in the Washington, D.C., area and the National Zoo will adopt a new schedule starting Tuesday, Jan. 18, until further notice. This newly modified schedule follows a temporary schedule implemented through Monday, Jan. 17. The National Museum of Natural History, the National Museum of American History and the National Museum of African American History and Culture will remain open five days a week, and most museums will be open on weekends.

The Smithsonian recently announced reduced days and hours of operation for its Washington museums for the period of Jan. 5¬–Jan. 17 in anticipation of unprecedented staff shortages due to COVID-19. Smithsonian leadership evaluated operations, staffing needs and public visitation patterns during these two weeks. This newly modified schedule reflects the continued need to reduce operations due to ongoing staff shortages while accommodating the needs of the public by opening more museums on weekends.

Starting Tuesday, Jan. 18, the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia, and the Smithsonian Institution Building (“The Castle”) will be open seven days a week. The National Museum of Natural History, the National Museum of American History, the National Museum of African American History and Culture will be open five days a week. Other museums in Washington and the National Zoo will adopt a Thursday–Sunday schedule. The National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall, the National Postal Museum and the Anacostia Community Museum will be closed to the public until further notice.

This modified schedule allows the Smithsonian to continue to reposition key staff across its museums as needed while offering the public more opportunities to visit its museums. Museums may have limited public entrances, and some exhibition spaces may be closed during this period. The public can find updated information on what to expect during their visit on museum websites. During the next few weeks, Smithsonian leadership will continue to assess the situation and staffing needs and adjust the schedule as needed.

The schedule going into effect Jan. 18 is as follows:

Schedule Beginning Jan. 18
National Museum of Natural HistoryOpen  OpenOpenOpenOpen
National Museum of American HistoryOpenOpenOpen  OpenOpen
National Museum of African American History and CultureOpen  OpenOpenOpenOpen
National Air and Space Museum (National Mall)Closed
Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait GalleryOpen   OpenOpenOpen
Renwick GalleryOpen   OpenOpenOpen
Smithsonian Institution Building “The Castle”OpenOpenOpenOpenOpenOpenOpen
Hirshhorn MuseumOpen   OpenOpenOpen
National Museum of the American IndianOpen   OpenOpenOpen
National Museum of African ArtOpen   OpenOpenOpen
National Museum of Asian ArtOpen   OpenOpenOpen
National Postal MuseumClosed
Anacostia Community MuseumClosed
Arts and Industries BuildingOpen   OpenOpenOpen
National ZooOpen   OpenOpenOpen
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center (Chantilly, Va.)Open  Open  OpenOpenOpenOpenOpen

All museum hours, including an at-a-glance look at the days individual museums are open, are available at Smithsonian museums continue to enforce several COVID-19 safety protocols, including requiring all visitors ages 2 and older to wear a mask during their visit. Information on the Smithsonian’s COVID-19 policies and updates to museums’ hours of operation are available at

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