Spring in the gardens


There's something new in every season

Visitor Policies

We are delighted to welcome all people to explore and experience the museum and gardens. Please review our guidelines and tips prior to your visit. For the protection of visitors and staff, and to preserve Hillwood's collections and facilities, the following policies apply when visiting. If you have questions or concerns, please contact our visitor services department (202.686.5807 or

Bag Policy
Visitors must check oversized bags, totes, backpacks, and bulky items upon entering the mansion in the secure and complimentary coat check room. This includes any other items that cannot be carried reasonably and safely in these spaces, including coats and outerwear. Please leave luggage in your vehicle.

Please note:

  • Strollers must be left parked outside of the mansion and exhibition spaces (dacha and Adirondack building).
  • Hillwood is not liable for any lost, missing, stolen, or damaged items left in the coat check. 
  • Possession of dangerous materials, including firearms, is not permitted.

Please adhere to these guidelines, especially when directed by staff in the mansion. The rules are vital for keeping the mansion, collections, visitors, and staff safe.

Hillwood provides limited complimentary parking onsite. Handicap parking is also available on a first-come, first-served basis. On busier days, visitors may be directed to street parking nearby. As parking is not guaranteed, we recommend using ride share, public transportation, or carpooling when visiting on busy days. We also encourage bicycle riding and provide bike racks at the visitor center.

Visitor Conduct
Hillwood is open to everyone and is committed to creating a safe, inclusive, and comfortable environment for our staff, visitors, and volunteers. Please refrain from disorderly or disruptive conduct that interferes with or distracts from other visitors’ enjoyment of Hillwood. This ensures that the entire visiting public is treated with respect, and that every visitor has an equal opportunity to enjoy a meaningful experience. Activities and/or actions inconsistent with Hillwood's values and policies will not be tolerated.

By reserving tickets and visiting Hillwood, visitors agree to comply with all visitor guidelines. Hillwood reserves the right to refuse or revoke the admission of any visitor whose conduct violates these policies.

Interacting with Staff
Hillwood's expert team of dedicated staff is here to help if you have any questions or concerns during your visit. So that they can provide you with great service, please remember: 

  • The principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion apply to all aspects of Hillwood's operations, across all categories of individuals. 
  • Verbally abusive, harassing, discriminatory, or threatening statements or behavior toward Hillwood staff or other visitors is prohibited. 
  • Please follow the instructions of security officers and museum attendants. 

We are happy to welcome Hillwood members with their dogs on Sunday mornings only. Though we share a fondness for animals, as our founder Marjorie Merriweather Post did, for the safety and comfort of all our visitors and the conservation of our grounds, pets are not permitted at Hillwood at other times. Other than Sunday mornings, we cannot allow entrance to any vehicles with pets inside.

Service animals are permitted on the estate. Emotional support animals are not allowed. Please refer to the ADA guidelines regarding service animals for more information.

We allow informal, vacation-style photography only. Photo shoots are not permitted without prior arrangements. Please review our full photography policy for more information. Please note: The use of selfie sticks is prohibited inside all interior spaces of Hillwood. You may enjoy using your selfie sticks in the gardens, but please be mindful of other visitors nearby.

Sketching and Painting
Hillwood welcomes guests to sketch and paint in the gardens. Watercolors, pastels, pen, and pencils are allowed, as are lap-held or small easels. Visitors are not permitted to use larger easels or drop-cloths, and must refrain from using acrylics and oil-based paints. All paths must remain clear for the use of other visitors. Hillwood staff reserves the right to ask artists to put away equipment that does not comply or interferes with guests’ enjoyment and comfort of the gardens.

Everyone is welcome at Hillwood. We are committed to ensuring our facilities, services, exhibitions, and programs are accessible to all audiences and comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. Please review our accommodations here.

Hillwood is a smoke-free campus. All forms of smoking, including electronic cigarettes, are prohibited. 

Protecting the Art
To help protect the museum and keep artworks safe, please note:

  • Look, but do not touch the artwork, frames, platforms, labels, display cases.
  • Carry purses and small bags on the front of the body.
  • Only pencils are allowed for sketching or note taking in the mansion and exhibition spaces (dacha and Adirondack building).
  • Food and drink are not permitted in the mansion or exhibition spaces (dacha and Adirondack building).

Visitors are welcome to enjoy the gardens and picnic throughout the grounds at Hillwood. Guests may bring food and non-alcoholic beverages for informal picnics, or purchase food, beverages, beer, and wine at Merriweather Café. To find a location in the gardens, please reference the picnicking map. Visitors may also use the chairs and tables located throughout the grounds, including in the motor court.

Please note the following items are not permitted: Special events, lawn furniture, music, sports, decorations, balloons, outside alcohol.

Lost and Found
If you believe you’ve lost an item, please call us at 202.686.5807, email, or visit the front desk in the visitor center. The visitor services team logs all items found turned in to staff. Items will be kept for three calendar months.