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Lineup times for some free museums

New Westminster...
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Lineup times for some free museums

We'll be in D.C. mid-August. I am trying to find out how long we might have to wait to get into the following on a Friday:

Library of Congress (early-mid morning), National Gallery of Art (early afternoon), Air & Space Museum (around 4pm)

I understand that if there is a wait at these particular places the only thing I can do about it is some time-shifting. Or see if the building has an entrance on the outside of the Mall ...

Washington DC...
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1. Re: Lineup times for some free museums

I doubt anyone could predict what you might face. If you don't have a backpack or other container, you probably will be able to walk right in to most places. It is the bag check that takes up most of the time. FYI, all the museums have at least two entrances; one on The Mall side and the other side. I don't know if one is usually more crowded than the other or not. I have never had a wait at the National Gallery of Art unless there was some very special exhibition inside.

New Westminster...
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2. Re: Lineup times for some free museums

That's as much certainty as anyone could hope for; thanks.

Olney, Maryland
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3. Re: Lineup times for some free museums

Among the government run and other free museums:

Here is more certainty: only three museums have lines to get in, and the line is rarely more than 10-15 minutes. That's Natural History, American History, and the Air & Space Museum. The Constitution Avenue side of the first two is almost always emptier; both sides of Air & Space are about equal, but not all that bad.

The others never have a line. The National Gallery has about 5 entrances (4 to the West building, one to the East, and they are connected by an underground moving sidewalk).

Also, the Archives could have a very long wait (like 40 minutes), or none at all. Just go to that one on a weekday.

You need to check the Library of Congress website, the Washington Monument website, the Holocaust Museum website, the Bureau of Engraving website, and the Capitol website: those may require timed tickets which you can get in advance. The Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials you just walk up to, no lines because there is basically unlimited space there.

Among the Private museums:

The International Spy Museum often has long lines and that's to pay about $20 per person. The Newseum may have short lines ($20) and the Crime & Punishment Museum, I think does not have lines, but it's a great $18 museum.

One final note: Bureau of Engraving and Printing is only open Mon-Fri. The Capitol is open for tours only Mon-Sat. Everything else is 364 days per year (excluding only Dec. 25).

Edited: 05 July 2011, 20:41
New Westminster...
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4. Re: Lineup times for some free museums

Once again TripAdvisor is the world's Junior Woodchuck Manual.

Thanks, this is just right.

Other readers: if you want to go to the Holocaust museum when it opens, get cracking on buying those tickets. Can't go wrong for a buck a head.

5. Re: Lineup times for some free museums

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