By Ryan Velez
Posted January 11th 2019
The National Museum of African-American History and Culture (NMAAHC) is a destination that just about every black person should try to visit, with a combination of exhibits that illustrate the struggles that our people have had in this country as well as our cultural contributions to it. At least, if you could get a ticket. Would-be visitors have had to roll the dice on timed passes or get tickets well in advance, at least until now.
Two years after the landmark opening of the latest addition to the Smithsonian Museums, NMAAHC is starting a program called “walk-up weekdays.” This allows museum-goers to finally be able to walk up to the museum without having to get advance passes. This had been tried earlier in April or May, but only on Wednesdays. However, before you start packing your bags, it’s important to note there are still going to be some hitches.
For example, if the museum manages to reach its capacity, you may still have to wait in line, as there’s still a first-come, first served policy. In fact, this may backfire for some people, as timed passes will no longer be distributed for weekdays. So, for example, if you were going to be in D.C. for a weekend afternoon and are aware months in advance, it’s no longer possible to get a ticket for that time and walk in. You would have to wait with everyone else if there are lines. In addition, those who are trying to take weekend trips are still subject to the same rules—either get a ticket months in advance or try your luck at 6:00 am the day of your visit to get a pass for the day.
Note that this September pilot program, which will ultimately determine if passes are still needed, won’t apply to groups, who still need to get passes no matter when they come.
With all this in mind, some people who have yet to visit may be wondering why there’s a need to go through all this just to see a museum. Part of is because people spend so much time inside, six hours on average, so the passes were created to try and regulate the entry of people.
More information on the National Museum of African American History and Culture here.