Things to Do

Need a little culture fix on your lunch break? Seeking an hour of fun and creativity for your kids? Want a deeper commentary on current exhibitions? There is no “right way” to enjoy and learn from our collections.

Consult our daily calendar of events for today’s tours, activities, and special events.

Meet Americans. Discover Yourself.


The faces and stories of the people who shaped the nation.


Explore the Portrait Gallery with daily events and programs.

Docent Tours

Our docents are experienced tour guides who know the collection inside out.

For Families

What you need to know for your next family visit.

Museum visitor looking at portraits

Half Hour Tour

America’s Presidents” gallery, second floor. Featuring every U.S. president, including Gilbert Stuart’s “Lansdowne” portrait of George Washington, Mathew Brady’s “cracked-plate” portrait of Abraham Lincoln, and likenesses of Andrew Jackson, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, and George H.W. Bush. If you have an extra few minutes, check out the Great Hall (third floor) and Kogod Courtyard (first floor).

Two visitors looking at portrait of LIncoln

Hour Visit

American Origins,” first floor. In addition to the visit above, browse through these galleries to see Pocahontas, Benjamin Franklin, Harriet Beecher Stowe, John Brown, Sojourner Truth, and others who shaped the country.

Native American woman in a formal European dress

One-day Visit

After your morning at “America’s Presidents” and “American Origins,” take a break at the Courtyard Café under the Kogod Courtyard’s glass canopy.

Resume your visit on the third floor by entering the spectacular Great Hall. View “Twentieth-Century Americans,” and either “Bravo!” (for those interested in the arts) or “Champions” (for sports enthusiasts). If you have any steam left, on your way out, take a look at our special exhibitions on the first and second floors.

Don’t leave without visiting the Museum Shop in the G Street lobby to purchase a souvenir of your visit or an original gift.

View of Champions exhibit