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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Frequently Asked Questions / Programs

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

Streaming Programs on Zoom

Tickets and Confirmations

Streaming programs require advance registration via the website. You will need to provide a name and email address for each streaming program registration. After registering for a program, patrons receive two emails: The first is an immediate automatic confirmation of your purchase from and a second one from closer to the program date with a link to your streaming program on Zoom.

Note: If you do not receive a follow-up email from Zoom 24 hours prior to the start of the program, make sure to check your spam folder first. Otherwise, please email Customer Service at Smithsonian Associates for assistance.

Program Cancellations

To cancel a streaming program registration follow the cancellation process outlined in Smithsonian Associates Cancellation and Refund Policy. You cannot cancel a program registration via the Zoom application. You must contact us directly at Smithsonian Associates.

Installing Zoom

It is not necessary to download the Zoom application to participate in most of our streaming programs. However, some program formats may require the Zoom application for interactive participation. To download and install the Zoom application on your favorite device, go to

Viewing the Program

Smithsonian Associates Streaming programs are streamed live. To view a program, click the Zoom link sent to you via email ("Click Here to Join"). It will automatically open a web page window asking you to launch the Zoom application. Click "Open Zoom Meetings." Once the meeting is open in Zoom, maximize the window by clicking "Enter Full Screen" in the top right corner. Make sure your speakers are on.

Accessibility at Smithsonian Associates Streaming Programs

Closed captioning is routinely provided for most programs. For small format programs, such as Studio Arts classes and workshops and Smithsonian Summer Adventures closed captioning is provided upon request. Patrons who require closed captioning to participate are asked to submit an email request to Customer Service at least two weeks prior to the program.

Sign language interpreters for streaming programs are available by submitting an email request to Customer Service at least two weeks prior to the program.

1. Do I have to watch the program from my computer, or can I watch from a phone or tablet? (show/hide answer)

2. The video and slides in the presentation look fuzzy/pixelated. Is there a way for me to "focus" them? (show/hide answer)

3. If my computer or the Internet connection shuts down, is there another way that I can experience the program? (show/hide answer)

4. How many tickets do I need to purchase if multiple people in my home are viewing the program? (show/hide answer)

5. Why are some programs and classes sold out? Isn't one of digital programming's perks that audiences aren't limited by a seating capacity? (show/hide answer)

6. What is the deadline to register for a Smithsonian Associates Streaming program? (show/hide answer)

7. Are Smithsonian Associates Streaming programs recorded for later viewing? (show/hide answer)

Lectures, Seminars & Courses

This information applies to Smithsonian Associates in-person programs which are temporarily suspended due to the pandemic.

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. Is my class recorded? (show/hide answer)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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