First of all I must thank my dear friend for the heads up on the opportunity to order tickets to this awesome museum. I must also pat myself on the back for not putting it off until after the business day, because I surely would have missed out! Secondly, if you haven’t had the opportunity to donate to the museum you can do so on their website (https://nmaahc.si.edu/)! Now, allow me to jump into the beauty that is The National Museum of African American History and Culture! Initially, it escaped me how huge and awesome it is to finally have this museum built and on The National Mall. Like many other people in the Washington DC area, I take the history, art and sometimes the power for granted. Let’s be honest, if it wasn’t for kids and field trips, the power and history of these buildings would be landmarks for directions like “turn left at The Monument,” rather than the National Landmarks they are.
This museum was a little different for me. I felt a connection to it and while some people preferred to wait until the excitement died down, I just couldn’t! Here are a few tips for those planning to visit:
- Be patient – All of the tickets from now through December have been booked. If you are one of those people that “knows somebody” you better get to calling them now! An attendant at the museum also said they give a number of tickets away every morning at 9:15. I say call and verify before making that trip. It is definitely worth a try. Otherwise, just pay attention to the dates for 2017 tickets going on sale, or just wait. As was stated during the Opening Ceremonies, “from now on, as long as there is an United States of America, there will be The National Museum of African American History and Culture.”
If you do have tickets, still be patient. The museum will be filled with people just as excited as you. Be prepared for a crowd and look out for people around you. There are a lot of elderly people and generations of families attending together. A lot of these elders made their own marks on our history and deserve our patience and respect as they inch along the exhibit halls.
- Be prepared – You will enter on the main floor but there are three floors below you and three floors above, so it should go without saying that you need to wearing your walking shoes. Also, due to the crowds and abundance of information, you either need top plan more than one trip or block off the majority of your day. It took us about an hour per floor and we didn’t get to the very top floor.
*Helpful Hint*: Schedule your visit for the latest time possible. The doors close at 5:15 and once that happens the crowd starts to thin out and you can work your way around much faster. There were lines for a few parts of the museum but we doubled back after 6:00 and had little to no wait.
- Food – The food court is broken down into regions with the south being the most popular. The line will be long. So go later, or eat before you come. Also be prepared to spend $15-$22 per person on meals. I had the buttermilk fried chicken (cheat day) and it was pretty good. It won’t be like ya mommas but it is close enough!
I won’t go into detail about the exhibits or post pictures because I feel it is something you should experience for yourself and not through my lens. It is truly something amazing and prideful about walking around that museum seeing reminders that anger us and triumphs that encourage us. There is nothing like walking through the halls with your parents who can add personal accounts and stories as they relive the history as you walk. Totally and completely awesome and I can’t wait to return!
Please visit the website(https://nmaahc.si.edu/) for more information!