News & Politics

The African American History Museum Is Already the Smithsonian’s Third-Most Popular Museum

The African American History Museum Is Already the Smithsonian’s Third-Most Popular Museum

Six weeks after it opened, the National Museum of African American History and Culture remains the toughest ticket to get in Washington. Free timed passes, which the Smithsonian has been releasing in batches, are “sold out” through next March, though some entrepreneurial ticket-holders still try to sell them on Craigslist.

The museum, which opened to the public September 24, drew about 72,000 visitors, according to the Smithsonian Institution’s statistics. To put that in perspective with the institution’s other sites, it was instantly the third-most popular Smithsonian facility in DC measured by weekly visitors. At this pace, it should see nearly 3.8 million people pass through its doors in its first year, more than any other Smithsonian site except the National Air and Space Museum and National Museum of Natural History.

Most Popular Smithsonian Museums in DC Over the Last Decade

Through September, Natural History and Air and Space were holding on to their spots as the two most popular Smithsonian museums, positions they’ve held consistently over the past decade. The National Museum of American History has been a distant third for most of that period, except for between January 2007 and November 2008, when it was closed for extensive renovations. The National Zoo and the Smithsonian “castle” round out the top five.

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Web Fellow

Mandy is a web fellow at Washingtonian. She is a senior at Missouri School of Journalism. She focuses on reporting and visualizing news stories, in an effort to tell data-heavy stories in a more interesting and interactive way. Feel free to shoot Mandy an email or @ her at Twitter for ideas and thoughts.