This Popular Washington D.C. Museum Is Closing for 6 Months

The National Air and Space Museum will be undergoing major renovations upon closing in 2022.

Tourists visit the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC,
Photo: Saul Loeb/Getty Images

Tourists looking to geek out at The National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., will need to head there before April or plan to wait for a while

The National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., is getting a major upgrade and will close for six months next year to undergo renovations, according to a press release shared this week. The museum, one of the most popular museums in the U.S. and the largest of the Smithsonians, will close on March 28, 2022 and reopen sometime in the fall of 2022.

When the museum does reopen, guests will find a more interactive experience than they might remember. In the meantime, some items from the museum collection are being moved to other Smithsonian institutions along the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Several meteorites are headed to the National Museum of Natural History, a Goddard 1935 Series-A Rocket is headed to the Smithsonian's iconic Arts and Industries Building, and a PT-13D Stearman Kaydet aircraft will move to the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

The National Air and Space Museum's Tomahawk cruise missile will make its way to the National Museum of the American Indian, and a Huey helicopter will head to the National Museum of American History, which also houses Dorothy's ruby slippers from "The Wizard of Oz."

The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia, will remain open through the Air and Space Museum's renovation. The companion site to the museum is an aviation geek's dream and houses more than 150 aircraft in a spacious Boeing Aviation Hangar on the grounds of Washington Dulles International Airport.

Smithsonian officials expect the full $250 million renovation of the National Air and Space Museum to be completed in 2025. It is reimagining 23 galleries as part of the project and adding more than 1,000 objects to its exhibitions.

Meena Thiruvengadam is a Travel + Leisure writer who loves discovering historic sights, wandering new streets, and walking on beaches. Find her on Facebook, Instagram, or at the airport.

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