If you're joining the crowds heading down to the Mall for the Inauguration festivities the biggest thing on your mind is probably where to find a bathroom. We have good news: there are options besides port-a-potties. A few of the museums are going to stay open, along with their bathrooms and cafeterias, for the poor huddled masses brave enough to show up for the biggest party the Mall will see all year. We've mapped the places that will be open and, crucially, the hours each one is keeping because they are all switching things up for today. Also, the Renwick and the American Indian Museums will be closed all day. The most important thing to remember for the museums that are open the only open entrances will be on the street side, NOT the Mall side.Read More
Going Downtown And Gotta Go? Presenting Nearby Bathrooms Open to the Public
1. Smithsonian: The Castle
This is one of the buildings that will be open earlier than usual at the ungodly hour of 7:30 am. It closes at the usual time of 5:30pm so don't expect to get in if you're spending the evening on the Mall.
2. Freer & Sackler Gallery of Art
Washington, DC 20560
Both these galleries are opening early at 8 am for the people strong-willed enough to get downtown that early. They close at 5pm, however, so take advantage of the early hours before staking out a spot on the Mall.
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3. National Museum of African Art
The African Art museum is the third of the Smithsonians that will be open early, from 8:30 am onwards. Closing time is 5:30 pm.
4. Smithsonian American Art Museum
The American Art Museum is one of two that will hold late hours, from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. So if you're one of the stalwarts staying downtown for the whole day this is where to stake out the bathrooms.
5. National Portrait Gallery
This is the other museum staying open late just for Inauguration die-hards. Their hours are 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and will also have the original collaged portrait of Obama by Shepard Fairey on display (pictured)
6. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
The Hirshhorn will open at 8am (until 5:30 p.m) so head into the iconic circular building to go to the bathroom in contemporary style.
7. National Museum of American History
If you don't want to watch the swearing-in from outdoors you can catch it broadcast here in Flag Hall. There's also a display of First Lady ball gowns throughout the years.