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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Frequently Asked Questions / Programs

View frequently asked questions for:
Lectures, Seminars, and Courses / Study Tours and Policies / Studio Arts

Lectures, Seminars & Courses

1. How can I find out about changes in published event schedules? (show/hide answer)

2. Can I purchase tickets at the door? (show/hide answer)

3. What is your policy on photographing and recording events? (show/hide answer)

4. How do I find out about cancellations due to inclement weather? (show/hide answer)

5. Why am I only able to order tickets at non-member prices, even though I am member? (show/hide answer)

Study Tours

1. How can I find out about last minute tour updates? (show/hide answer)

2. How can I order a meal that fits my dietary needs (food allergies / vegetarian) on a tour that includes a meal? (show/hide answer)

3. Where can I find the fringe stops listed in the Associate program guide? (show/hide answer)

4. I have a medical condition that necessitates a special seat on a bus, how can I ensure that my needs are met? (show/hide answer)

5. Are gratuity and tips included in the cost of the tour? (show/hide answer)

6. Do tours operate rain or shine? (show/hide answer)

7. Where can I park for tours? (show/hide answer)

8. Where do tours leave from? (show/hide answer)

9. What if I have to cancel a tour? (show/hide answer)

10. Are there any cancellation fees? (show/hide answer)

11. How do I know if I meet the physical requirements for the tour? (show/hide answer)

12. What do I need to bring/wear on tour? (show/hide answer)

13. Is travel insurance available for day tours as well as overnight tours? (show/hide answer)

14. Why would I want to purchase travel insurance? (show/hide answer)

15. Do I purchase travel insurance on my own or through Smithsonian Associates? (show/hide answer)

16. Do you wait for everyone before the tours depart? (show/hide answer)

17. How are seats determined on the bus? (show/hide answer)

Study Tour Policies & Important Information

Unless otherwise noted in an announcement:

  • Tours go rain or shine.
  • Fees are all-inclusive.
  • Only animals providing assistance to a participant with a disability are permitted on tours.
  • Tours depart on time and do not wait for anyone not on board.
  • Teenagers 14–17 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Unless otherwise noted, minimum age is 14.
  • Itineraries are subject to minor change.
  • Smoking is not permitted on buses.
  • Call the Tour Office to determine accessibility of specific tours for persons with limited mobility, and to make advance accommodations if necessary.
  • Those with dietary restrictions should call the Tour Office prior to departure; most requests can be accommodated.
  • Tour buses returning to the Mall after dark when the museums are closed will stop, upon request, at the nearby taxi stand for those wishing a taxi.
  • Seats at or near the front of tour buses can be reserved for those with special needs by calling the Tour Office.
  • Participants on overnight tours will be required to sign a responsibility statement and liability waiver and complete a personal information form (sample) prior to the tour. Participants may wish to buy travel insurance for overnight tours.
  • Please check your calendar carefully before registering—study tours are nonrefundable within 15 days of the start of the program. No exceptions.
  • Please see our information for Study Tour cancellation and refund policy.

Bus Tour Parking and Pickup Points

  • Departure locations for specific tours are provided on the ticket and may be confirmed several days prior to each tour by calling the tour information line, 202-633-TOUR (8687), and selecting menu item 2.
  • Location Change: Weekend bus tours no longer depart from the southeast corner of the Air & Space Museum, 4th St. and Independence Ave., S.W. Tours will now depart from the Holiday Inn Capitol at 550 C St., S.W. (corner of 6th & C Sts.)
  • Daytime Weekend Tour Parking: Unrestricted street parking is no longer available on Saturdays. Please be certain to read all posted signs before parking. There is a 24-hour parking garage located at the Holiday Inn Capitol (550 C Street, S.W.) operated by Colonial Parking, accessed from 6th St. The fee is $6 with a Resident Associate event ticket stub. Photo ID may be required upon entry.
  • Overnight Weekend Tour Parking: Weekend overnight tour parking at the Smithsonian is provided, on a space-available basis, for Resident Associate members. The location of such parking and nearby pickup stops is included in the special information mailed prior to each overnight tour.
  • Weekday Tour Departure & Parking: Tours taking place Monday through Friday depart from the Mayflower Hotel, Connecticut and DeSales St., N.W. Parking is available at the PMI parking lot.

Parking Benefit
24-hour parking is available on weekends for $6 for Local Tour participants at the Holiday Inn Capitol, 550 C St., S.W. (garage accessed from 6th St.) Must show ticket stub.

Hotel Benefit
Enjoy a pre- or post-tour overnight stay at the Holiday Inn Capitol, Fri., Sat. or Sun. nights. Rooms $99-$139/night. Call 202-479-4000 and mention Smithsonian Associates.

Studio Arts

Studio Arts hotline: 202-633-8690

1. What should I bring to class? Are materials included? (show/hide answer)

2. What should I wear to a studio arts class? (show/hide answer)

3. Where can I find my supply list? (show/hide answer)

4. Where will my class be held? (show/hide answer)

5. My class is at the S. Dillon Ripley Center. Where can I park? (show/hide answer)

6. When are classes typically announced? (show/hide answer)

7. Can I bring a friend or spouse to class? (show/hide answer)

8. Can a teenager participate in a studio arts course? (show/hide answer)

9. Can I enroll after a class has begun? (show/hide answer)

10. What is the inclement weather policy? (show/hide answer)

11. I have to miss a session of class; can I attend another section? (show/hide answer)

12. I can no longer attend the course that I signed up for; can I get a refund? (show/hide answer)