Smithsonian museums to fully reopen by end of August

Media Credit: Jack Fonseca | Contributing Photo Editor

The National Museums of Natural History and African Art, the National Air and Space Museum and the National Postal Museum are among the eight facilities opening in the District this summer.

By Jun 1, 2021 8:56 PM

The Smithsonian Institution will reopen all of its museums in the District by the end of August.

The Smithsonian will open eight facilities in D.C. from June through August, completing a full return across all museums in the District following two shutdowns that closed its locations during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a press release issued last Wednesday. The museums opening this summer include the National Museums of Natural History, African Art and the Asian Art Freer Gallery, the National Air and Space Museum, the National Postal Museum, the Smithsonian Institution Building, the Anacostia Community Museum and the Hirshhorn Museum.

The Smithsonian shut down all of its museums at the onset of the pandemic last March and again last November after reopening between July and October. Last month, the Smithsonian began a phased reopening of eight museums, including the National Zoo and the National Museum of American History, and the remaining eight museums in the District will reopen on a staggered schedule during the next three months, according to the release.

The release states the National Museum of Natural History will reopen June 18, followed by seven other facilities that will open throughout the summer, concluding with the the National Postal Museum August 27. The Smithsonian will also open the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum and the National Museum of the American Indian in New York City this summer, according to the release.

To enter most museums, interested museum visitors will need to reserve free, timed-entry passes, which will become available one week prior to each location’s opening, the release states. The passes are required at all museums that are currently open, but they won’t be used at the Anacostia Community Museum and the National Postal Museum, according to the release.

The release states all museum visitors two years and older must wear face coverings while indoors and should stay home if they feel sick or unwell. Smithsonian officials said they will also monitor and limit the number of people at the museums, install hand sanitizing stations, clean facilities and enforce social distancing guidelines with “one-way paths and directional guidance” to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

This article appeared in the June 4, 2021 issue of the Hatchet.

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