National Zoo And Smithsonian Museums Closed For Now

The partial government shutdown has now made its way to the National Zoo and the Smithsonian museums. Tourist sites will be closed until sufficient funding can been secured.

NBC4 posted what’s open or partially open:

National Parks

The National Park Service says that some parks are open to visitors, but access could change without notice. Websites will not be updated. Many services, including restrooms and visitors centers, may be closed. Educational programs will be canceled.

Park roads, lookouts, trails and open-air memorials will mostly remain accessible to the public, according to Department of Interior guidelines.

Because of an agreement with a third-party concessioner, several restrooms on the National Mall will be open. According to an NPS spokesperson, you can find open restrooms near the following areas:

  • Lincoln Memorial (south side)
  • Thomas Jefferson Memorial
  • Tidal Basin between the Martin Luther King, Jr. and Franklin Delano Roosevelt memorials, Washington Monument grounds (at 15th Street, between Madison Drive and Jefferson Drive)
  • West Potomac Park (between Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial)
  • The World War II Memorial

Food kiosk and concessions operated by Guest Services, Inc., will stay open, except at the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion and the retail operation located in the basement of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.

Eastern National will continue to operate bookstores at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Washington Monument Lodge and the Old Stone House in Georgetown.

Mayor Muriel Bowser arranged for D.C. sanitation crews to pick up trash from bins on the Mall.

Some areas of Rock Creek Park will remain accessible, the park posted on Facebook.

National Gallery of Art

The museum may close Jan. 3 if a budget deal isn’t passed in time.

Local Governments

Local government services in Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland won’t be affected by the shutdown.


Metro and bus routes continue to run despite the funding lapse.

Library of Congress

The library remains open.

The Kennedy Center

All performances will go on as scheduled, and you can shop in the gift shop during certain hours. The building’s public hours will be curtailed.

Ford’s Theatre Performances

Performances of “A Christmas Carol” went on as planned but have now wrapped up with the end of the holiday season. The Aftermath Exhibits in the Center for Education and Leadership are open for daytime visits. The historic site, which includes the theater, museum and Petersen House, are closed to visitors.

East Potomac and Langston golf courses

The Langston and East Potomac golf facilities are open. 

Glen Echo Park

Despite being owned by the National Park Service, Glen Echo Park will remain open during the shutdown because of its new agreement with Montgomery County, the park said on its website. 

Marinas on National Park Land

All marinas on National Park land in the D.C. metro area will remain open, including Belle Haven, James Creek, Columbia Island, Washington Sailing Marina and Fort Washington Marina.

Here is a list of what’s closed:

Smithsonian Museums and the National Zoo

The Smithsonian museums were open through Jan. 1 but are now closed until funding is appropriated. That includes the American History Museum, the Renwick Gallery, the Air and Space Museum and the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia.

Although the National Zoo is now closed, staff charged with taking care of animals will report to work, the Smithsonian said.

The final day for the National Zoo’s holiday display, ZooLights, was Jan. 1.

National Archives

All facilities are closed, meaning you can’t go see the country’s founding documents. The Federal Records Center and Federal Register remain open.

Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial

Arlington House was already closed through fall 2019 for a multimillion dollar rehabilitation. 

Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument

The Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument is closed during the shutdown for resource protection and safety.

Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site

The Carter G. Woodson National Historic Site, which is operated by the National Park Service, is closed during the shutdown.

Clara Barton National Historic Site

The Clara Barton National Historic Site, which is operated by the National Park Service, is closed during the shutdown.

Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site

The Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site and the Petersen House are closed for resource protection and visitor safety, but the Ford’s Theatre Society will continue to offer performances in the theater as scheduled.

Fort Marcy

Open-air sites along the George Washington Memorial Parkway are accessible, according to NPS, but all other areas and facilities, including restrooms, are closed.

Fort Washington Park

Fort Washington is accessible to the public during the lapse in federal funds but there is no vehicle access and on-site facilities are closed.

Frederick Douglass National Historic Site

The Frederick Douglass National Historic Site is closed.

Great Falls Park

During the government shutdown, Great Falls Park in Virginia will remain accessible, but emergency and rescue services will be limited.

Old Post Office Tower

Open-air sites of the National Mall are accessible, but all other areas and facilities are closed. 

Hains Point Picnic Area

If you’ve made a reservation. the park says it may not be honored. There’s also no staff on site. 

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

Areas of the park are closed due to flooding.

Rock Creek Park 

Some Rock Creek Park areas are accessible, but access may change without notice

Turkey Run Park 

Open-air sites along the George Washington Memorial Parkway are accessible, but all other areas and facilities, including restrooms, are closed.

Washington Monument

The Washington Monument is closed until spring 2019 for elevator repairs. 

White House Visitor Center

The White House Visitor Center is closed because of the government shutdown.