NMAI Washington, DC

Welcome!

We’re pleased to welcome visitors to the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC.

Entrance & Safety

Entrance to the museum is free; tickets are not required. Safety measures are in place to protect the health of visitors, staff, and volunteers based on guidance from the CDC and local governments. Visitors who do not adhere to safety policies and guidelines may be asked to leave or may not be admitted to the museum.

Washington, DC

Daily 10 AM–5:30 PM
except December 25

New York, NY

Daily 10 AM–5 PM
except December 25

Face Coverings

Masks are not required to visit the National Museum of the American Indian. Visitors may choose to wear a mask during their visit.

Security

The NMAI’s security measures ensure visitor safety and the protection of objects in the museum. Visitors are greeted upon entry to the building by Smithsonian security personnel who conduct a thorough but speedy hand-check of all bags, briefcases, purses, strollers, and containers. Visitors will walk through a metal detector or be hand-screened with an electronic wand by security personnel.

See prohibited and permitted items

The following items are PROHIBITED in the museum:

  •  tripods
  •  monopods
  •  selfie sticks
  •  guns
  •  knives
  •  pen knives
  •  pets
  •  food and drinks
  •  scissors
  •  aerosol cans, including pepper spray and mace
  •  tools
  •  smoking
  •  placards, signs, or banners

The following items are PERMITTED in the museum:

  •  service animals
  •  mobility aids (canes, walkers, etc.)
  •  strollers
  •  cameras
  •  bottled water

Refer to the Smithsonian’s security policy for the most current information.

The National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC The National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC The National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC The National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC

What’s Open

The museum’s main exhibits, museum store, and Potomac Atrium are open, while some group activity spaces are temporarily closed. Food service is available in the museum.

See what’s open and closed

Open

  • Exhibitions
  • imagiNATIONS Activity Center
  • Lelawi Theater
  • Mitsitam Cafe
  • Potomac Atrium
  • Roanoke Museum Store

Temporarily Closed

  • Espresso Bar
  • Rasmuson Theater
imagiNATIONS Activity Center in Washington, DC imagiNATIONS Activity Center in Washington, DC imagiNATIONS Activity Center in Washington, DC imagiNATIONS Activity Center in Washington, DC

imagiNATIONS Activity Center

Open 10 AM–4:30 PM, Tuesday–Sunday

The interactive, family-friendly imagiNATIONS Activity Center provides young visitors a lively space with a wide variety of learning experiences. The cultural and scientific knowledge of Indigenous peoples reflects a tradition driven by innovation that is both unique and universal. Today many of their innovations and inventions are part of daily life for millions worldwide. Visitors to the center may explore some of these ingenious adaptations through a variety of play-based interactives. Recommended for ages 10 and younger.

Mitsitam Cafe

Open daily 11 AM–4 PM

“Mitsitam” means “Let’s eat!” in the Native language of the Delaware and Piscataway peoples. The museum’s Mitsitam Native Foods Cafe enhances the museum experience by providing visitors the opportunity to enjoy the indigenous cuisines of the Americas and to explore the history of Native foods. The Cafe features Native foods found throughout the Western Hemisphere. Each of the five food stations—Contemporary Native; Mountains and Plains; Native Comfort; Oceans, Sea and Streams; and The Three Sisters—depict regional lifeways related to cooking techniques, ingredients, and flavors found in both traditional and contemporary dishes. Selections include authentic Native foods, such as traditional fry bread, as well as contemporary items with a Native American twist.

Mitsitam Cafe in Washington, DC Mitsitam Cafe in Washington, DC Mitsitam Cafe in Washington, DC Mitsitam Cafe in Washington, DC
Museum Store in Washington, DC Museum Store in Washington, DC Museum Store in Washington, DC Museum Store in Washington, DC Museum Store in Washington, DC Museum Store in Washington, DC

Museum Store in Washington, DC

Open daily 10 AM–5:30 PM

Architecturally warm and inviting, the Roanoke Museum Store presents Native American artistry from the past and present, illustrating how different artists interpret cultural traditions and art forms. The store features jewelry, textiles, and other works by Native artisans; souvenirs; and children’s books and toys. Selected books, music, and gifts are also available via our online bookstore and the Smithsonian Store. The name “Roanoke” reflects the importance of waterways to Native commerce, a reference to the shells once used as currency by local Native peoples.

Vendors

To propose Native American arts, crafts, or media for the museum’s stores in Washington, DC, and New York, complete and submit a Vendor Product Proposal.

Getting Here

Walk, Bike, or Taxi

The entrance to the museum is at Third Street and Maryland Avenue, SW, facing the US Capitol Building.

Public Transportation

The nearest Metro station is L'Enfant Plaza (Blue/Orange/Silver/Green/Yellow lines). Exit toward Maryland Avenue/Smithsonian Museums. Walk two blocks east (toward the US Capitol Building) on Maryland Avenue. Bus lines are 30, 32, 34–36—Friendship Heights/Southern Avenue. Visit Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority or call 202-637-7000 for more information.

Driving and Parking

The museum does not have parking. Metered public parking is available on surrounding streets and there are several commercial parking facilities convenient to the museum.

Accessibility

The museum is accessible to people with disabilities. The following resources are available to visitors. Additional resources, including interpretive tours, will resume when onsite programming and tours resume.

Arriving and Parking

Visitors with vehicles displaying the international symbol of accessibility may park in the two spaces available for this purpose located adjacent to the museum on the northeast corner of Jefferson Drive and Fourth Street, SW.

Wheelchair Accessibility and Availability

Entrances to the museum have ramps to accommodate visitors in wheelchairs. All levels of the museum, including exhibition spaces and public facilities, are accessible by elevator. Wheelchairs are available on a first-come, first-served basis at the security desks located near both entrances.

Visitors who are blind or have low vision

The museum is a location for the Aira Access mobile information and verbal description service. Visitors can download the free Aira app on a smartphone, connect to the museum’s free Wi-Fi, and use the app to speak to an Aira agent courtesy of the Smithsonian. Visit Aira Access for more information.

Smithsonian Accessibility Program

The Accessibility Program supports the Smithsonian in making all visitors feel welcome by providing consistent, effortless access to the Institution’s programs, collections, and facilities. For more information on Smithsonian accessibility policies and programs, visit Access Smithsonian, or contact 202-633-2921 (voice) or access@si.edu.

FAQs

Do I need a ticket to visit?

Entrance to the museum is free; tickets are not required.

Are visitors required to wear a face covering?

Masks are not required to visit the National Museum of the American Indian. Visitors may choose to wear a mask during their visit.

Are there visitor limits in the museum?

The museum monitors crowd levels throughout the day. We appreciate your patience and understanding if you are asked to wait to enter the museum or an area within the museum.

How do I bring my organized group to the museum in Washington, DC?

For assistance, please call Group Reservations at 202-633-6644 or 888-618-0572; TTY (non-voice) 202-633-6751. You may also email nmai-groupreservations@si.edu.

Is the entire Washington, DC, museum open?

See What’s Open for information.

Does the museum in Washington, DC, have wheelchairs available?

Wheelchairs are available for visitors. See Accessibility for more information.

Does the museum in Washington, DC, have parking?

The museum does not have parking. Metered public parking is available on surrounding streets and there are several commercial parking facilities convenient to the museum. See Getting Here for more information.