Frequently Asked Questions

When are the gardens open?

The Smithsonian gardens are open year-round, seven days a week, and there is something to see in every season! The Enid A. Haupt Garden is the only gated garden and opens daily from dawn to dusk.

Are the gardens located on the National Mall?

Yes, the Smithsonian's expanse of gardens is on the National Mall. To walk all of the gardens at a leisurely pace takes about three hours. For your comfort, we recommend hats and sun protection, especially in the summer.

How do I get around the Gardens?

Walking or using a wheelchair or electric scooter is the only way to experience the Smithsonian gardens. It is best to wear comfortable shoes. Remember to leave yourself ample time to take in the gardens before or after exploring the Smithsonian museums.

Do you offer tours of the gardens?

Yes! Tours are offered from May to September. Please see our Tour Schedule for more detail.

Are you affiliated with the United States Botanic Gardens?

No, Smithsonian Gardens is a separate organization. More information on the U.S. Botanic Gardens can be found here.

What is proper garden etiquette?

Horticulture staff members are proud to share their work with you. Please help us keep the gardens pristine by staying on the paths, depositing trash in designated receptacles, not playing in the fountains and other water features, and not picking flowers or climbing trees or rocks.

Can I picnic in the Gardens?

Unfortunately, picnicking on the grass in the Smithsonian gardens is not allowed. With over twenty million visitors each year it would otherwise be impossible to keep the turf looking as good as it does with so much foot traffic. Visitors are welcome to eat their lunch in one of the many seating areas found throughout the gardens. Dining facilities are also located inside each of the Smithsonian museums, including the Smithsonian Castle.

Can I bring my pet?

Pets are not permitted in the Enid A. Haupt Garden or the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, nor are there provisions to temporarily house them during a visit. Properly identified Service Dogs that provide assistance for visitors with disabilities are allowed. Pets are permitted in all the other Smithsonian gardens.