FAQ—Visiting with Kids

Find answers below to questions parents and caregivers frequently ask about visiting the museum with children. For general information about the museum such as hours, locations, rest rooms, security procedures, and food service, see our Plan Your Visit section of the website and the FAQ for visitors.

Do you have any hands-on activities available at the museum?

We have two hands-on spaces, Spark!Lab and Wonderplace. Follow the links to learn more and see current opening days and times. In addition, many of our exhibitions include interactive features and spaces.

Do you offer any guided programs suitable for families?

We are not currently offering guided tours or other programs.

How long will it take to visit the museum?

Many visitors find that about two hours is the right amount of time. Take into account your family's interests and needs when arranging your day, and plan to take lots of breaks, especially if you have very young children.

I would like to arrange a visit for a group of school-age children. How can I do this?

We welcome students and young visitors to the museum! Please let us know you are coming by pre-registering your group. Please note that this is not a tour reservation, and you are welcome to visit at any time during public visiting hours without registering. As part of our safety measures to protect everyone’s health, we ask groups larger than 12 to break into smaller groups while touring the museum. All children (under the age of 18) must be accompanied by an adult chaperone. When accompanying children, one (1) adult can chaperone up to a maximum of five (5) children. See our Plan Your Field Trip page for more information.

Where can I get more information about visiting the Smithsonian with kids?

First, check our museum's Kids page. Visit the Smithsonian Institution's main website for more information about exhibitions, programs, and services available at other museums.

I still have questions about planning my visit. Is it possible to speak with a staff person at the museum?

Send your questions to us at NMAHVisitorServices@si.edu. A member of our staff will respond to your inquiry as promptly as possible, usually within three business days.

How can I prepare my child for a visit to the museum or keep the excitement from our trip alive once we get home?

You can plan your trip and build or maintain excitement about history through the resources on our website. To learn more about what to expect at the museum, the hours, and location, use the Plan Your Visit page. To explore historical topics before visiting the museum, check out activities and book recommendations on the OurStory website.