The District is starting to return to its old self.
As vaccines go out and the world tiptoes cautiously towards a return to normalcy, inquiring minds want to know: what about the museums? COVID-19 cases are dropping in the District, and like cherry blossom buds signaling spring, museums are reopening to signal a nearly-normal summer on the horizon.
According to Washington.org, the District's official website, "The city is currently in Phase Two of recovery, which allows many businesses to reopen. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that a recent pause during Phase Two has ended, which allows ... museums to reopen with no more than 250 people allowed per floor and no guided tours. The Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden and Enid A. Haupt Garden remain open. Outdoor spaces for museums may allow greater access ... Food service cafes and retail are allowed to open in line with industry standards."
Still, the District notes, some degree of caution is still necessary. "The Mayor strongly encourages residents and visitors to be cautious and to limit their exposure to other people so as to limit the spread of COVID-19 ... Employees and patrons should socially distance and wear face coverings at all times ... Guided tours and large group tours are not allowed."
Here's a comprehensive list of open/reopened museums:
- The National Gallery of Art's Sculpture Garden is open with daily hours of 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and limited capacity. A further phased reopening of the museum is to come.
- The Hirshhorn's Sculpture Garden is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., while the plaza and building remain closed. For more information, visit the Hirshhorn's website.
- The National Museum of Women in the Arts plans to reopen on March 3. Visit the museum's website for more information.
- Glenstone has reopened its outdoor grounds and dining. Hours are Thursday - Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit Glenstone's website for more information.
- George Washington's Mount Vernon is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., non-members should buy tickets online, guests and staff are required to wear face coverings, and must social distance.
- ARTECHOUSE is open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Make sure to read its safety protocols before planning a trip.
- O Museum in The Mansion is open for lodging, outdoor dining, and shopping; the garden is open for reservations as well.
- Lincoln's Cottage has reopened for self-guided tours from Wednesday through Monday. Advance tickets are required.
- International Spy Museum is now open on weekends and holidays. You must get advance tickets and abide by social distancing guidelines and mask requirements. Read more safety info.
- Museum of the Bible is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets, face masks, and social distancing required. Use complimentary styluses on touchscreens. Read more "Thou Shalts."
- Big Bus Tours is offering tours from Thursdays - Sundays. For more information, visit its website.
- The Phillips Collection plans to reopen on March 6 with its new centennial exhibition, Seeing Differently: The Phillips Collects for a New Century.
- Dumbarton House has reopened as of March 5. Hours are Friday - Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit Dumbarton House's website.
Are you excited for the museums to reopen? Let us know in the comments.