We enjoy featuring our favorite event venues in the DC area on our blog, and we’ve highlighted a few Smithsonian venues in the past. But let’s be honest—the Smithsonian offers quite a few unparalleled options for hosting corporate events. From sophisticated art galleries to iconic architecture, the Smithsonian has just about anything you’re looking for to fulfill your event visions. But with so many options, how do you choose? Here are a few of our favorites:
900 Jefferson Drive, SW; 202-633-2020
Max capacity: 2,000 standing; 1,200 seated.
Enid A. Haupt Garden: 150 standing; 130 seated.
We love that most of these venues offer both indoor and outdoor options. This grand Victorian building boasts a magnificent rotunda built for hosting one of the first presidential inaugural balls. Surrounded by rich history, your guests will be eager to engage in the experience you’ve planned for them.
1901 Fort Place SE
Max capacity (gallery): 300 standing; 200 seated
Patio/Terrace: 70 standing; 50 seated
Although this one will undergo renovations soon, the end result is sure to be spectacular. If you’re looking for a more natural atmosphere, they offer tented event space over the spacious landscaped grounds for up to 350 guests. We can’t wait to see the reveal after updates are complete!
Freer; Jefferson Drive at 12th Street SW
Sackler; 1050 Independence Ave SW
Max capacity (Freer): 250 standing; 150 seated
Sackler: 300 standing; 100 seated
This one is mesmerizing, and we think it’s one of the options for intimate, social, or exclusive events. The central courtyard at the Freer gallery is filled with greenery and showcases a glowing fountain in the middle. White stone columns surround the intimate space—perfect for outdoor evening events.
2 Massachusetts Ave., NE; 202-633-1667
Max capacity: 900 standing; 350 seated
This intriguing venue boasts more than 30,000 square feet of exhibit space for guests to explore as well as the world’s largest stamp collection! Docents will attend your event to answer guests’ questions and tell historical stories about the nation’s mail service. Plus, they’re located next to Union Station, allowing easy access for guests to arrive/depart via cab, metro, or bus.
Independence Ave and 7th St. SW; 212-916-1338
Max capacity: 1,000
Looking for a sleek, modern space? We love the Hirshhorn! The Sculpture Garden can host 250 seated guests while the beautifully-illuminated museum hosts up to 1,000 guests.
1000 Jefferson Drive, SW; 202-633-2020
Max capacity: 375 standing; 150 seated (not including garden).
This iconic, historic piece of architecture is sure to amaze your guests. The expansive grounds surrounding the castle provide an idyllic atmosphere for a breath of fresh air. The grand building offers three separate indoor spaces and adjoining gardens—plenty of room to spread out.
8th and F Streets NW.; 202-633-7980
These two venues share a space, which make it extra customizable. The guest capacity ranges from an intimate 40-person seated dinner all the way up to a 1200-person cocktail reception! The possibilities are endless, and you couldn’t ask for a more sophisticated atmosphere.
3001 Connecticut Ave., NW; 202-633-3067
Want to venture on the wild side? The National Zoo offers both indoor and outdoor event space with phenomenal service—they’re equipped to handle everything from catering to entertainment…and more! Flexible capacity ranges from 50-200 depending on the space! Your guests are sure to stay entertained with this option.
Want to see everything the Smithsonian has to offer? Visit their main Special Events website to learn more—you’ll find a list of all venues.
No matter which venue you choose, you can rest easy knowing that the service you receive from the Smithsonian will be exceptional, and guests will be talking about the experience long after the event has ended. We’d love to connect with you and provide any guidance you may need from a photographer’s perspective.