National Zoo

National Zoo, 7 Smithsonian Museums to Reopen in May

You’ll need free, timed tickets to visit the Smithsonian museums and National Zoo — and a special pass to visit the zoo's new panda cub.

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Put on your masks and walking shoes: The National Zoo and seven other Smithsonian facilities in the D.C. area are set to reopen in May.

Here’s the schedule:

Wednesday, May 5: The Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

Friday, May 14: the National Museum of African American History and Culture; the Renwick Gallery; National Portrait Gallery and the American Art Museum.

Friday, May 21: National Museum of American History, the National Museum of the American Indian and the National Zoo.

You’ll need free, timed tickets to visit these spots after they open. Passes are available beginning Friday, April 23 for the Udvar Hazy Center. For other museums and the zoo, check one week before they officially open.

Visitors of all ages need passes. Go to or call at 1-800-514-3849, ext. 1 to get your tickets. Everyone can reserve up to six passes per day for each site.


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It's a big moment for panda fans, too: You'll finally be able to try and see the zoo's new cub, Xiao Qi Ji.

Spring weather is here — and the National Zoo's panda cub, Xiao Qi Ji, is also enjoying the weather. For the past few weeks, he’s been exploring more of the outdoors. Credit: National Zoo

Visiting the pandas will require a visit to the Asia Trail once you're at the zoo. That's where you can pick up a special timed entry pass, which is free. Batches of passes will be released throughout the day, the zoo said.

More information about viewing the pandas will be released in the coming weeks, the zoo said.

Expect added health and safety measures at all Smithsonian facilities, plus a face covering requirement for visitors over 2.

Some galleries or exhibits may be closed.

Hours will be:

  • Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: open daily 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
  • National Museum of African American History and Culture: open Wednesday to Sunday 11 a.m.–4 p.m.
  • Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery, both located at Eighth and G streets N.W.: open Wednesday to Sunday 11:30 a.m.–7 p.m. Visitors will use the G Street entrance.
  • Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, near the White House: open Wednesday to Sunday 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
  • National Museum of American History: open Friday to Tuesday 11 a.m.–4 p.m.
  • National Museum of the American Indian: open Wednesday to Sunday 11 a.m.­–4 p.m. National Zoo: open daily 8 a.m.–4 p.m.
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