• December



Temporary closure of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC

Temporary closure of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. It will close on March 28, 2022, and will reopen later in the year, along with the first eight of our new galleries.

Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum Newsletter updates:

The Udvar-Hazy Center WILL remain open and operating daily from 10:00 am – 5:30 pm. Here’s what’s going on there.

  • Timed-entry passes are no longer required. We may ticket our larger on-site events (Innovations in Flight, Air & Scare).
    Face coverings are still required for all visitors ages 2 and older.
  • Our volunteers returned to the Museum last month and are back at the Welcome Center to answer questions.
  • Tours are once again available – but currently to groups of 10 or more with advance registration. Visitors in smaller parties or without advance registration have six chances to interact with our docents. We’ve kept the three video-conferencing stations at the Enola Gay, the SR-71 Blackbird, and Discovery. We also have three docents positioned at different parts of the Aviation Hangar to answer questions and tell stories in person.
  • Educational programming has resumed as well – for groups of ten or more with advance reservations. This includes the STEAM classroom labs, Discovery stations (also available to the public), GooseChase scavenger hunts, and student tours.
  • The Airbus IMAX® Theater is now open Wednesdays – Sundays. It shows our traditional “mission” style films during the day and has resumed screenings of the latest and/or greatest Hollywood films after hours. si.edu/theaters/airbus
  • The Donald D. Engen Tower has been open sporadically, dependent upon volunteer staffing. We are switching to make this a self-serve activity. I thought the elevator changes were going to be finished for today, but it looks like it may be a tad longer, but soon.
  • Coming soon – date TBD – Shake Shack. This will be the first Shake Shack in a museum. It will also feature “grab & go” items, such as salads, sandwiches, and snacks.
  • Simulators and the Virtual Reality experience are going full-swing.

Top Gun

The Airbus Theater will be showing the original Top Gun on select Sundays this month and next. We also have an online lecture next Tuesday night. Top Gun: Then and Now will be a panel discussion on the U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School. Chris Browne, our acting director and Top Gun alumnus, will be among the speakers.

Deck the Hangars!

This morning we started putting out holiday trees at the north end (Dulles side) of the Aviation Hangar. Over the next week or so, different Museum departments will be decorating the trees, which will be on display through New Years. We also have some artifact displays coming, but I don’t have all the details and dates for those yet – soon.

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