There are few tougher tickets to get out there than to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. The museum, which is a part of the Smithsonian Institute, has welcomed more than 3.5 million visitors since opening in 2016.
Admission is free to the museum; however, it’s so popular that timed-entry passes are released the first Wednesday of the month and are for two months ahead. Meaning if you reserved a pass today, it will go online in June.
However, according to USA Today, for those wanting to visit this month, every Wednesday in April, the museum will let people who walk up enter the museum on a first-come, first-served basis without the pass.
“Walk-Up Wednesdays in April will help us to determine how to manage visitor demand,” said Lonnie Bunch III, the museum’s founding director, told USA Today. “We are honored and humbled to have struck such a chord with our visitors… We don’t want to disappoint our visitors by reaching capacity and having them wait in long lines for space to become available inside the galleries.”
One day, no pass needed
The NMAAHC Walk Up Wednesday trial run is allowing visitors to show up without a reservation or a pass starting at 10 a.m. on every Wednesday of April. No same day walk-up passes, which have been available since the museum opened, will be made available online at 6:30 a.m. on those Wednesdays.
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So, you’d best show up after 10 a.m. and be prepared to wait in line. Those with timed-entry passes that were reserved ahead of time will still get priority access and groups of 10 or more – such as school groups and – will have to go by the usual rules.
“The goal of this pilot program is to provide greater access for the public while maintaining the safety and security of our visitors,” Bunch said.