You are here:Home/Visit/ Visit Safely

Enjoy Dumbarton Oaks Safely

Learn more about Dumbarton Oaks’ response to COVID-19, virtual opportunities, and plans to reopen the museum and gardens to visitors.

Visiting Virtually Reopening Safely

As a public health precaution, the museum is closed temporarily. In addition, all public events will be virtual.

The gardens are currently open to season pass holders and docents only. See Hours and Admission for more information. Timed tickets will be offered in limited quantities in order to safely manage capacity and provide visitors enough space to practice social distancing. For more information, review our Reopening Safely information.

If you would like to be eligible for early access to the gardens, season passes are available for purchase here. The second phase, the official reopening of the gardens is scheduled for May 15, when timed tickets will be available for purchase. We will continue to share updates on our website and through social media.

Purchase Season Passes

We are closely monitoring developments regarding the COVID-19 outbreak and will update our website to reflect any changes to our operations and programming.


Visiting Virtually

Our virtual offerings bring Dumbarton Oaks’ gardens, museum collections, and events to your home.

Virtual Garden Tour

Learn more about the history of the Dumbarton Oaks Gardens on this virtual video tour.


Museum Collections Online

Explore the museum’s rich collections, including Byzantine and Pre-Columbian art, European decorative arts and paintings, and Asian art.


Online Exhibits

Explore curated selections from across our collections in a series of online exhibits.


Family Activities

Bring creative learning experiences inspired by the museum’s collections into your home.


Recorded Events

View recordings of selected recent events.


Virtual Backgrounds

Use these images from our museum and garden as your own custom background for virtual teaching, learning, or meeting.


Reopening Safely

We are pleased to welcome visitors back to Dumbarton Oaks safely.

Timed tickets will be offered in limited quantities in order to safely manage capacity and provide visitors enough space to practice social distancing. In addition, masks are required, and bathroom facilities will not be open to visitors. Find more information below, and please review the safety measures in the gardens and guidelines for visitors when you purchase season passes or timed tickets.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why haven’t you opened before now?

Our priority is the safety of visitors, Dumbarton Oaks staff, and the community. We have been closely following the COVID-19 statistics, including infection rates and vaccine progress, in order to assess when we could reopen the gardens without undue risk. We are pleased to reopen at a reduced capacity and will continue to monitor the public health situation, modifying our capacity as needed. 

Why do I have to wear a mask?

While research indicates that being outdoors is lower-risk than being indoors, it is not without risk. From COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets. Respiratory droplets travel into the air when you cough, sneeze, talk, shout, or sing. These droplets can then land in the mouths or noses of people who are near you or they may breathe these droplets in.

Masks are a simple barrier to help prevent your respiratory droplets from reaching others. Studies show that masks reduce the spray of droplets when worn over the nose and mouth.

You should wear a mask, even if you do not feel sick. This is because several studies have found that people with COVID-19 who never develop symptoms (asymptomatic) and those who are not yet showing symptoms (pre-symptomatic) can still spread the virus to other people. Wearing a mask helps protect those around you, in case you are infected but not showing symptoms.

Why are the bathrooms closed?

As small, enclosed spaces shared by individuals from multiple households, bathrooms are a potentially high-risk environment for the spread of COVID-19. This risk is exacerbated by limited ventilation, aerosolized particulates resulting from flushing, and high-touch surfaces. We are closing the bathrooms out of an abundance of caution for the safety of visitors and Dumbarton Oaks staff.

Why do we have to use timed tickets?

Timed tickets, made available in limited quantities, allow us to reopen the gardens to the public, by safely managing capacity and allowing visitors enough space to practice social distancing.

When will the museum and shop reopen?

We are hoping to be able to open the museum this fall. The information on our website is the most up to date, so when we have a firm date, it will be posted there. We are also working to launch an online shop later this spring!

If I have a Harvard ID, do I need a timed ticket to enter the gardens?

Yes, you will need a timed ticket to enter the gardens. Please email to inquire about specific instructions for Harvard ID holders.