News Releases

New Options for Visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture Starting Dec. 19

December 12, 2016

To best serve the public during the winter months, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) will introduce new ways of obtaining passes for entry to the museum. Starting Monday, Dec. 19, the museum will make the following changes:

  • The museum will no longer distribute same-day, in-person passes at 9:15 a.m. daily.
  • A limited number of walk-up passes will be available starting at 1 p.m. on weekdays.
  • No walk-up passes will be available on weekends due to high visitation.
  • Same-day, online, timed passes will be available only through the museum’s website,, beginning at 6:30 a.m. daily.
  • Non-commercial group visits of 10 or more, including student groups, will now be available for scheduling up to one year in advance by visiting

On Jan. 4, 2017, NMAAHC will issue advance timed passes for April 2017. Advance timed passes will be available online starting at 9 a.m. by visiting or by calling 866-297-4020. Advance timed passes for May 2017 will be available starting Feb. 1, 2017.

“The safety, security and comfort of our visitors are of utmost importance to us,” said Lonnie Bunch, founding director of the museum. “We are honored to have welcomed more than 600,000 visitors since opening. We are committed to reviewing and making the appropriate changes to ensure that as many people as possible can visit the museum.”

Beginning Monday, Dec. 26, and continuing through Friday, Dec. 30, the museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. to accommodate high visitation during the holiday season.

The museum will be open on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, but there will be no same-day online passes or any walk-up passes.  

Passes are required for entrance into the museum and will continue indefinitely. Passes may be printed or displayed on a smartphone. There is no limit on the amount of time visitors spend inside the museum. 

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Media only   
Abby Benson 
202-633-9495 or 202-633-7344

Fleur Paysour
202-633-4761 or 202-633-7344

Museum exterior