School Field Trips
The National Museum of the American Indian is located on the National Mall at 4th Street and Independence Avenue, S.W., in Washington, D.C. The school group entrance is on Maryland Avenue near 4th Street.
Hours and Admission
The museum is open every day, except December 25, 10 AM–5:30 PM. Admission is free, but reserved group entry is highly recommended for groups of ten or more.
Schedule a Visit
Educators and students, the NMAI staff is glad you are planning to visit the museum.
All groups are strongly encouraged to reserve entry to the museum. Your reservation makes it possible for the museum to send you pre-visit ideas for your class, even if you do not want a guided tour. Teachers can reserve group entry and guided school tours by either submitting an online request OR by faxing/mailing a completed registration form to the museum. After registering, you will receive a confirmation letter before your scheduled visit. Bring this confirmation letter when you visit the museum. Pre-visit teacher resources, as well as "Self Guides" for those groups not scheduling a tour, will be sent to you with the confirmation letter, and are also available on this site.
Please note: Groups (e.g., school or home school classes, daycare, camp, or scout groups, etc.) are required to schedule entry time to the imagiNATIONS Activity Center. Groups may only register for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, in 30-minute increments (i.e., 10–10:30 AM; 10:30–11 AM, etc.). Groups must be preschool to 3rd grade only, and are limited to 30 students per timed entry, with a requirement of one chaperone for every five students. Registration requests must be made at least 48 hours in advance. To reserve a group entry time, contact Group Reservations at 202-633-6644. Please bring your confirmation letter on the day of your visit.
All school groups must be chaperoned. The museum requires that each teacher assign one adult for every ten students for grades 3 and up. Pre-K through second grade requires one adult for every five students. Chaperons are asked to supervise and remain with their groups at all times and in all locations, including the museum shops. The NMAI reserves the right to cancel programs for groups that are inadequately supervised and to ask unsupervised groups to leave the building.
Changes and Cancellations
All tours and other programs begin on time. Due to strict scheduling guidelines, groups with a scheduled tour that arrive more than 15 minutes late may receive abbreviated tours. If the group must change or cancel a scheduled tour or program, notify the Reservations Office as soon as possible by calling 202-633-6644 or 888-618-0572.
Nearby Metro Station
The closest Metro stop is L'Enfant Plaza, served by the Blue, Orange, Green, and Yellow lines. Exit from the upper platform, follow the signs directing people to the Smithsonian museums, and walk two blocks east (toward the Capitol Building) on Maryland Avenue. For more information, contact Metro at 202-637-7000 or go to the Metro website at www.wmata.com.
Bus Drop-Off and Parking Locations
NMAI allows bus drop-offs on Maryland Avenue only. All school groups enter the building through the Maryland Avenue entrance.
Metered public parking is available on nearby streets; a paid parking garage is located at 500 C Street, S.W. For more information, call 202-298-7054.
The museum is accessible to people with disabilities. All tours and programs can be adapted to accommodate visitors with special needs. To arrange a tour for a special-needs group, contact the Reservations Office at 202-633-6644 (TTY 202-633-6751) at least four weeks in advance.
Visitors should be prepared for a security check upon entrance to the museum. Please note there may be a line to enter the building on busy days. Security policies and a list of prohibited items are available on the Security page.
Group Entrance Procedures
All school groups must use the NMAI's south entrance on the Independence Avenue side of the building. Upon arrival, groups will be asked to present their confirmation letter. Group size must be in accordance with the number of people specified in the confirmation letter.
Food may not be brought into the building, and lunch storage is not available. Groups are strongly encouraged to keep lunches on their buses and to picnic on the National Mall. The Mitsitam Cafe (Mitsitam means "Let's eat!" in the Native language of the Delaware and Piscataway peoples) offers Native foods found throughout the Western Hemisphere, including the Northern Woodlands, South America, the Northwest Coast, Mesoamerica, and the Great Plains. Each food station features cooking techniques, ingredients, and flavors found in both traditional and contemporary dishes. For information about group rates, contact 866-868-7774 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hand-held, video, and flash photography are permitted in the museum except where restrictions are posted. Tripods are not permitted without prior permission.