Special Note for Check-In:

  • Please enter the Arts and Industries Building from the Jefferson Drive SW side.
  • Please have your photo ID ready.
  • Security will be checking bags.
  • We will sell tickets at the door. Prices will increase to $60 General admission and $125 VIP Admission.


A Night at the World’s Fair
A Celebration at the Arts and Industries Building

Sat., June 11, 8–11 p.m. (7–11 p.m. for VIP ticket-holders)

Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building, 900 Jefferson Drive, SW (Enter on Jefferson Drive - Mall side)

Must be 21 years old with valid photo ID to attend.

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Arts and Industries Building Rotunda

Step inside the spectacular Arts and Industries Building for a grand party with a taste of world’s fair history. The Smithsonian’s most beautiful (and secret) space comes to life with music, roving performers, dancing, drinks and midway-inspired food, games, and more.

Because of extended renovations, the public hasn’t entered this 1881 architectural treasure for 12 years. But SMITHSONIAN at 8 takes you inside!

The evening includes:

  • Music by DJ Trayze
  • World’s Fair Trivia: Three Rounds beginning at 8:30, 9:15, and 10 p.m.
  • Carnival games, stilt-walkers, and jugglers
  • Photo Booth
  • Carousel on the National Mall open until 9 p.m.
  • World’s fair fare inspired by foods that debuted at World's Fairs, and a cash bar by Tortoise and Hare
  • A rare close-up look (and Instagram opportunity) at the stunning Arts and Industries Building*

Take your fashion cues from your favorite world’s fair era and you might take home a prize. Find your style inspiration in Victorian London, site of the celebrated Crystal Palace, or Belle Epoque Paris, where the Eiffel Tower astonished visitors to the Exposition Universelle of 1889. Or choose an all-American look that reflects the period of the dazzling World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893 or the World of Tomorrow imagined at the New York fair of 1939.

Special features for VIP ticket-holders: Enjoy an open bar all night, as well as exclusive early access to the event from 7 to 8 p.m., featuring a bar that includes specialty cocktails and small bites. JUST ADDED: All VIP ticket-holders will also receive a complimentary Smithsonian Associates membership at the Resident Associate level to enjoy a discount to more of our exciting programs throughout the year!

GENERAL admission tickets include two complimentary drinks and carnival snacks.

*The Arts and Industries Building is still a work in progress—SMITHSONIAN at 8 offers you special access into the building, but not all areas are open during the event.


Snacks generously provided by Cracker Jack brand, a part of PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division

Cracker Jack


Purchase Tickets

Order tickets online with Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.

Buy Tickets

Order by phone at 202-633-3030, Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. A $3 phone service fee applies.

Questions? Call or email us.

Ticket PRICES & policies

General admission: $50 (includes two complimentary drinks and carnival snacks)

SPECIAL OFFER: Buy TWO General admission tickets for $75 — 25% Savings* ($37.50 per ticket when purchased as a combo)

VIP admission: $100 (open bar all night, as well as exclusive early access to the event from 7 to 8 p.m., featuring a bar that includes specialty cocktails and small bites.)

We will sell tickets at the door - $60 for General admission and $125 for VIP admission.

Security will be checking bags at the entrance.

All ticket sales are final. No refunds or exchanges. Tickets are not mailed. Check-in at the door. All guests must be 21; a photo ID is required for entry.

*offer not valid on any previously purchased tickets and not available at the door


Win a pair of FREE tickets to the 6/11 event. Share what you would put on a poster for a DC World’s Fair on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook!

We’ll post an image on May 26 announcing the start of the contest. You can submit ANY original image. Just tag us and use #DCWorldsFairContest.

Each NEW entry increases your chance to win. Winners will be announced June 7th.

Read full contest rules>>

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