Visitor's Guide

Museums and Galleries Cheat Sheet

By Fritz Hahn Staff Writer
Monday, October 27, 2008; 12:00 AM

With the exception of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington's museums and galleries are not a predictable 9-to-5 bunch. Some close early in the week, when there's less foot traffic, while others extend their hours in hopes of attracting office workers who can't stop by during the day. Neighborhoods with high concentrations of independent galleries host monthly gallery walks, inviting visitors to wander between exhibits while snacking on cheese and wine.

Here's a list of dates to keep in mind -- closings, late openings and free admission -- that will help you make the most of your cultural exploration.

The Corcoran Gallery of Art and the Phillips Collection are closed.

The Corcoran is closed.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is open until 7:30, April through June.

The Phillips Collection stays open until 8:30 for gallery talks and special events.

The Corcoran is open until 9. After 5, the gallery operates a "pay what you wish" admission scheme.

During the summer, several Smithsonian museums sponsor "Art Night on the Mall," with after-hours exhibitions, movies and events.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is open until 7:30, April through June.

On the third Thursday of the month, galleries in Penn Quarter (mainly along 7th Street) welcome visitors from 6 to 8.

On the first Friday of the month, art galleries around Dupont Circle participate in an open house from 6 to 8, showing off their current exhibitions and serving food and wine. Pick up an issue of Galleries magazine for a map.

Galleries in Bethesda open their doors until 9 p.m. on the second Friday of the month.

The galleries at Georgetown's Canal Square stay open until 9 on the third Friday of the month. Food is provided.

From May through June, the National Gallery of Art's Sculpture Garden hosts jazz concerts from 5 to 9 p.m.

Admission to the National Museum of Women in the Arts is free on the first Sunday of the month.

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