History on Display

Bush Presidential Library and Museum at SMU Dallas reopens to the public

Bush Presidential Library and Museum at SMU Dallas reopens to public

George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas
The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum reopened to the public fully on October 18. Photo by Peter Aaron

The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas officially reopened its entire building to the public on October 18, marking the first time the museum has been fully open since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

The complete reopening means visitors now have access to everything the museum has to offer, including the special exhibition on immigration in the United States, "Out of Many, One: Portraits of America's Immigrants"; as well as the permanent exhibit on the 43rd President of the United States, including steel from the World Trade Center and a full-scale replica of the Oval Office.

The museum has also gone from a restricted five-day-a-week schedule to being open all seven days, with hours Monday-Saturday from 9 am-5 pm and Sunday from 12-5 pm.

However, there are still lingering restrictions for visitors:

  • Face coverings are required.
  • Timed entry tickets are required for entry and must be purchased online prior to arrival.
  • Visitor services are limited, with food and beverage unavailable in the museum and only a selection of retail items available for purchase upon exit.
  • Café 43, the Bush Center’s full-service restaurant, is open for reservation-only dining and takeout.

Along with is usual offerings, the museum will soon present The Laura Bush Book Club with Author Gayle Tzemach Lemmon on November 1, highlighting Lemmon's book The Daughters of Kobani: A Story of Rebellion, Courage, and Justice; and Merry and Bright Night at Engage at the Bush Center on November 18, a family holiday open house that celebrates the festive food and many holiday traditions that were brought to the United States and integrated into our culture by immigrants.

Presidential museums across Texas
The Bush Center's reopening coincides with the re-opening this week of both the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin and the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, both of which also closed to the public in August due to the spread of the Delta variant.

The LBJ Library will open its museum exhibits with limited capacity starting October 21, and the museum will be open daily from 9 am-5 pm. As in Dallas, admission tickets must be bought in advance. A maximum of six tickets are allowed per visit, and all visitors must wear a face covering.

The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum has adjusted its visitor experience to meet current health and safety guidelines. Timed entry tickets are required for admission and must be purchased in advance. In order to allow for social distancing, the capacity in the museum has been greatly reduced. Face coverings will be required regardless of vaccination status.