Taste the Freedom
It’s been five months since the Smithsonian’s latest and greatest addition opened its doors, but the crowds at the new National Museum of African American History & Culture haven’t thinned—not a bit. Right now, advance timed passes are reserved through May; passes for June will be released on March 1 at 9 a.m. (The tickets are free, as is admission to all of the Smithsonian’s museums.) So either start brushing up on your mouse skills, or wait to try your luck when you get to D.C. The museum holds back a certain number of tickets (how many, they don’t say) to be distributed via its website each morning at 6:30 sharp (you can get up to four), or turn up at 1 p.m. at the Madison Avenue entrance, where an even more limited number of single tickets are distributed Monday through Friday.
You managed to get tickets? Congratulations! Before you go, download the museum’s mobile app and figure out an itinerary so you can make the most of your time—there are 14 different exhibitions, ranging from the history of slavery and the struggle for freedom to the black military experience to family photographs showing generations of Americans’ experience. And in this month—which not only happens to be African American History Month but also when the museum expects to welcome its millionth visitor—the Sweet Home Café is featuring menus by three notable black chefs: the late and lamented Patrick Clark (February 4–9), Leah Chase, the “Queen of Creole Cuisine” (February 11–16), and Savannah’s Joe Randall (February 18–23). So…maybe have no more than a light breakfast before you head out that morning?