Public tours of the Naval Observatory are typically offered on Monday nights from 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.; after November 1, it offers tours from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Participants must make reservations in advance, and the Naval Observatory is closed to the public on federal holidays.
Not all dates are available, and last-minute cancellations by the Naval Observatory are always possible. An individual may request up to 20 passes for others in an organized group, but the names and dates of birth of everyone in the group must be submitted. The tours include information on the history and timekeeping responsibilities of this military facility. When conditions allow, visitors get to use the 1895 telescope with an astronomer to view the night sky.