National Museum of African American History and Culture

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About National Museum of African American History and Culture

Did you know that The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted exclusively to telling the stories and documenting African American life, history, as well as culture.

This free admission Smithsonian museum was opened to the public in 2016, and to date has collected over 40,000 artifacts to celebrate this history legacy!

It's a museum that is open to all, and where anyone is welcome to participate, collaborate, and learn about African American history and culture, making it an important destination for kids on any visit to Washington DC.

The museum is filled with a number of exhibits that tell the stories, each wonderfully laid out with informative panels.

Exhibits include Changing America, telling the story of how the modern Civil Rights Movement achieved many victories. However, these victories didn't mean the end of the struggle for freedom. Here kids can learn all about how African Americans have continued to pursue goals of equity and justice, and discover how the definition of African American identity has also continued to evolve throughout the years.

The Defending Freedom, Defining Freedom exhibits discusses the end of slavery and how African Americans hoped to attain full citizenship. However, rather than obtain this freedom they hoped, they were met with segregation. A fascainting exhibit about these challenges for equality.

Another exhibit you'll discover is the Slavery and Freedom exhibit, documenting how 500 years ago saw the emergence of the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade and how it transformed Africa, Europe and of course the USA. Kids can learn how the USA that we know today was forged by slavery, and what this means.

Also at the National Museum of African American History and Culture you can find changing exhibits, so you can always go back and learn something new. 

A fascinating, eye-opening and important museum within Washington DC, and one that can start thoughtful discussions with the older children. 

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Adults Free!

Children Free!

Last Update 2023

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National Museum of African American History and Culture FAQ’s

I’m Hungry! Can I get food at National Museum of African American History and Culture?

The Sweet Home Café offers the very best version of classic dishes with locally-sourced ingredients! Four distinct stations each tell the story of the regional offerings, so perfect for those rumbling tummies

Any top tips when visiting?

Spring and summer are peak visitation time. Visit in the winter or fall months for less crowds.

Does National Museum of African American History and Culture have a gift shop?

The Museum Store is worth popping in before you leave. You can pick up a host of history and educational books, plus merchandise and more!

Teachers corner

So many learning opportunities! They create programs and resources for students in grades 3-12 (ages 8-18) that are designed to encourage multiple perspective-taking and build critical thinking skills. They also offer tours and experiences for adults too!

Does National Museum of African American History and Culture have healthy eating or Vegan options?

The cafe has plenty of healthy options! (You can even pick up their cookbook!)

Is National Museum of African American History and Culture fully accessible?

The Museum is accessible for visitors with limited mobility via escalators, elevators and ramps. Service animals are permitted on the Museum grounds and in the building. They also provide ASL interpretation for public programs and scheduled docent tours.

Any additonal information?

The museum's Visitor and Guest Services team has developed pre-visit stories for families who have children with cognitive or emotional disabilities.

The pre-visit stories help prepare children for the situations they might encounter when visiting the museum and address what to expect, museum rules, and safety information.