Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Seven Museums to Reopen in May

The Smithsonian announced Friday that it will be reopening seven of its museums along with the National Zoo starting early May, a long-awaited and eagerly anticipated decision since the closing of all of its facilities in November 2020 due to COVID-19.

The first facility to reopen will be the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center on Wednesday, May 5. On Friday, May 14, the Smithsonian will be reopening its National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Portrait Gallery, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and its Renwick Gallery. Lastly, the National Museum of American History, the National Museum of the American Indian and the National Zoo will reopen on Friday, May 21.

The facilities will be operating at a closely monitored capacity limit and on-site public tours and events will be temporarily suspended.

The Smithsonian advised in a press release that “visitors will need to reserve free timed-entry passes for all locations” as a part of its reopening safety measures. Visitors are able to reserve a maximum of six passes and groups larger than six are prohibited.

Pass reservations for the Udvar-Hazy Center are now available online and other locations will begin offering passes a week prior to their scheduled reopening date. The Smithsonian also advised that National Zoo visitors must purchase a parking pass online in advance if planning to drive to the location.

Museum cafes will not be reopening in May. However, the National Zoo’s restaurants and food trucks will be open to the public.

Additional visitor information for all locations and pass reservations can be found on the Smithsonian’s website.

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About Abby Espiritu

Abby Espiritu is a senior journalism major at the University of Maryland. She is currently an intern at Montgomery Community Media.

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