If you’re excited about visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture that opens this weekend (September 24, 2016) in Washington, D.C., then plan ahead. Why? Because a lot of people are expected to make the trip to D.C. to visit the museum and because there’s a lot to see at the museum.

Admission to all National Museums, part of the Smithsonian Institution, are Free. However, due to the level of continued interest in the museum, a Timed Pass system has been set up to help serve as many visitors as possible while maintaining a secure, safe and smooth flow of people into and through the building. The timed passes will also alleviate extended wait times.

The passes are timed at fifteen minute entry intervals, however, once you’re in the museum, there is no limit on how long you stay.

Everyone in your party will need a pass, including infants. The maximum number of passes one individual can obtain in a day is six. To reserve your Timed Pass in advance, go online to https:// nmaahc.si.edu/visit/passes.

Remember we said plan ahead. Timed Passes for September and October were released on August 27th. Passes for November and December will be released on September 6th. Additional release dates will be announced. If you’re going to be in D.C. any, try your luck. Each day, a limited number of same day timed passes will be available.

Also when you’re planning, allot more than one day to visit the museum. Officials says it is extremely difficult to see the entire museum in one viewing and people should plan to return. The museum is open 364 days a year from 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Most museum-goers will start their tour on the three underground floors containing the historical exhibits.

The lowest concourse examines the slave trade beginning with the Middle Passage. The second concourse contains exhibits on the era of segregation — including a shotgun shell and glass fragments found in the gutter outside the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., where four little girls died in a bombing in 1963. The top concourse, “1968 and Beyond,” examines the ramifications of the civil rights movement and includes artifacts from Barack ranging from Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign to the Black Lives Matter movement.

The first two above-ground floors of the museum are devoted to the lobby and educational space. The parts of the museum celebrating African-American culture are on the third and fourth floors.

Carla Hall, chef and television personality,” signed on as a consulting chef for the museum’s Sweet Home Cafe, which has four stations devoted to regional fare: the South (sample menu item: fried chicken), Creole coast (gumbo), North (oyster pan roast) and West (beef stew).

The third-floor community galleries explore African-American life in such institutions as sports, military, schools and religion. On the fourth floor, visitors will find exhibits devoted to African-American contributions to the visual arts, music, stand-up comedy and the stage.

To check on upcoming release dates for timed passes visit https://nmaahc.si.edu/visit/passes

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