The Smithsonian is preparing for unprecedented staff shortages in the coming weeks due to the surge in COVID-19 cases. To accommodate these shortages, the Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C., and the National Zoo will operate on a modified schedule from Wednesday, Jan. 5, through Monday, Jan. 17, reducing the days of operation at some museums and closing two museums during this period.
Four of the most-visited museums on the National Mall—the National Museum of Natural History, the National Museum of American History, the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the newly reopened Arts and Industries Building—will remain open to the public five days a week.
The National Air and Space Museum and the Anacostia Community Museum will be closed through Jan. 17. The Smithsonian Institution Building (“The Castle”) and the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia, remain open daily. Additional museums in Washington will be open to the public for two to four days a week during this period.
This modified schedule allows the Smithsonian to reposition key staff across its museums as needed while ensuring that museums remain open to the public each day of the week. Museums may have limited public entrances, and some exhibition spaces may be closed during this period to reduce the number of on-site staff needed. The public can find updated information on what to expect during their visit on museum websites. During these two weeks, Smithsonian leadership will assess the situation and staffing needs and adjust the schedule as needed.
Click here for the complete schedule for Jan. 5–17. The National Zoo will be closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays and will be open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. All museums open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted.