Grounds Passes

Special Message to our Visitors: The well-being of our visitors, team, and community are a top priority. We are following the guidance of local health officials and the CDC, working closely with our key partners, and taking preventative measures to ensure a clean and safe site.  Out of an abundance of caution, and due to the vulnerable population of veterans living on campus, we are suspending Grounds Passes until further notice.  Cottage tours and special programs are still occurring unless otherwise noted.  Thank you for your understanding and support.

Ever wonder what’s beyond the lawn surrounding the Cottage? Want to observe the same stunning vistas of downtown DC that Lincoln once did while living here?

Starting February 1, 2019, President Lincoln’s Cottage is offering Grounds Passes for guests to venture beyond the National Monument.  The passes provide access to over 100 acres of walking paths, fields, and vistas at the Armed Forces Retirement Home, known as Soldiers’ Home in Lincoln’s time. Passes are available for free to members at certain levels and to the general public for a fee.  Passes may be obtained at the front desk in our Museum Store located in the Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center.  Passes are limited in number and available on a first-come basis during standard operating hours.


Free to $100+ members (2 complimentary, additional are $5/person) [Become a member today]

Add-on with purchase of a Signature Cottage tour: $5

Grounds Pass only (13 +): $10

Grounds Pass only for Children Age 6-12: $5

5 and under: FREE


  • Each pass allows one guest access to the lower grounds of the Armed Forces Retirement Home between the hours of 9:30am and 4:30pm.
  • We require a valid driver’s license or other identification as a deposit for the Grounds Pass. Please present this to the Museum Store attendant. Your ID will be held onto until you return the Grounds Pass.
  • After the purchase, you’ll be presented with a grounds map outlining the part of the grounds to which this pass permits access, and will answer other basic questions regarding the grounds and its features.
  • The pass is good for one day only, and must be returned by 4:30pm, or whenever the Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center is closing for the day.

Please note: By requesting and accepting this pass, the bearer agrees to all inherent and associated risks and both understands and agrees to abide by all rules of the federal AFRH campus.

A statue of General Winfield Scott stands surrounded by cannons on the lower grounds.

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