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With shutdown addressed, National Zoo and Smithsonian museums to reopen on Jan. 29

The National Mall and its monuments are already getting back to normal

The Smithsonian Castle on the National Mall
Shutterstock/Leonid Andronov

The U.S. government shutdown being over means the Smithsonian Institution’s museums and the National Zoo can reopen. They will do just that on Tuesday, Jan. 29, at their normal times, the Smithsonian says. The National Gallery of Art, which is not part of the institution, will also reopen on Tuesday, at 10 a.m. They all were forced to close at the end of December.

The National Mall and its monuments resumed regular operations on Sunday, the National Park Service said. The shutdown, which lasted for 34 days and was the longest ever, came to a temporary end on Friday because of a stopgap deal that has reopened the government for three weeks. (Congress and the president still must figure out how to fund the government after that period.) D.C. officials are hoping the local economy recovers from the shutdown’s impacts. Last week, D.C.’s top financial official said the city was essentially in a “recession.”

The Smithsonian also took a financial hit from the shutdown. In a Jan. 22 op-ed in USA Today, outgoing Smithsonian Secretary David J. Skorton said the institution, which has a $1.4 billion annual budget, was losing about $1 million in revenue each week and that the losses were “not recoverable.” More than 4,000 Smithsonian employees were furloughed.

Founded in 1846, the institution now includes 19 museums, the National Zoo, nine research centers, and other programs that collectively receive about 45,000 visitors a day, according to Skorton. While almost all of its facilities will reopen on Tuesday, the Renwick Gallery will remain closed until Feb. 2. But with the zoo reopening, the giant-panda cam will come back.