The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis announced their four phase reopening plan earlier this month and now they’re “prepared and excited to welcome the public back…”
Children’s Museum of Indianapolis Reopening
Ticketed guest will be able to enjoy The Children’s Museum beginning on July 11, 2020. Museum capacity will continue to be limited and every visitor—including members and donors—must reserve an advance ticket online or via phone.
TCM has said that the dinosaurs are prepared, they’ll be wearing face-masks, as will all guests over the age of two years. Those with underlying health issues that prevent them from safely wearing a mask are also not required to wear a mask.
Changes at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
The Children’s Museum is typically a pretty hands-on zone and with recently health and safety needs, they’ve had to re-imagine high-touch, experiential learning environments. In many cases, the museum will place an even higher emphasis on having actor interpreters bring stories to life through verbal engagement to encourage visitors to participate in new ways. There will also be even more objects from the vast 130,000 artifact collection that will be used with visitors.
What safety and health precautions are being made for visitors to The Children’s Museum?
Over the past few months, the staff has been working hard to prepare to welcome everyone back.
- Capacity will be limited. Every visitor needs to reserve an advance ticket. Free tickets are available to members and donors. You can claim your required tickets here.
- All visitors over age two will be required to wear a mask, unless there is an underlying health issue. We ask that you provide your own masks for your family. Here are some places you can buy masks for kids + some ideas for getting your child to wear a mask.
- All visitors are required to follow social distancing guidelines.
- See a more extensive list of safety precautions at the end of this article.
When will The Children’s Museum Reopen?
On June 20, 2020: The museum will host a private reopening to a small internal audience with very limited capacity…far below the 50% capacity regulations set forth by the mayor and governor.
On June 24, 2020: The museum will open to donor families only. That is those who have purchased a membership at the donor level or higher. Advanced registration will be required to maintain the capacity requirements. Members and donors will receive an email with a ticket link, or can reserve tickets by calling 317-334-4000.
On June 29, 2020: The museum will open to all member and donor families. Advanced registration will be required to maintain the capacity requirements. Members and donors will receive an email with a ticket link, or can reserve tickets by calling 317-334-4000.
On July 11, 2020: The museum will reopen to the public and anyone with a reserved ticket may visit. Reserve tickets online or by calling 317-334-4000.
Do I have to wear a mask at The Children’s Museum?
Until further notice, all visitors over the age of two years must wear a mask unless they have an underlying health issue that prohibits them from doing so. Guests must bring their own masks.
How do I extend my membership to The Children’s Museum?
- You may donating the missing months of your membership back to the museum’s Rex Response Fund. More than 55% of the true cost of museum admission is covered by current and past philanthropic gifts. Your contribution will help be sure the museum has the necessary funds to continue to operate and maintain a world-class facility and campus, as well as to create and provide acclaimed exhibits and programs. If you’re willing to donate the missing months of your membership, your expiration date will remain the same.
- You can request to restore the balance of your membership, based on the months that you missed due to the museum’s closure. Based on your most recent expiration date, you will have 4 months added to your membership.
Here is information for extending your membership to other Indy area attractions.
Which exhibits are open at The Children’s Museum?
The Pigeon and Pals! A Mo Willems Art and Play Exhibit has been extended.
Food Court & Museum Store Purchases
Guests are asked to please bring their credit or debit card for purchases in the museum food court at The Store at the museum.
What about the Indiana Access Pass?
Correction: Access Pass members will qualify for admission during the public reopening, TBA.
Other information from The Children’s Museum
SAFETY ALWAYS COMES FIRST
- The museum is addressing safety via cleanliness practices and has updated the museum’s cleaning protocols based on CDC’s recommendations for cleaning and disinfecting facilities, CDC’s reopening guidance for cleaning and disinfecting public spaces and workplaces, and industry-recommended practices for collections care.
- The museum has increased the frequency of cleaning of high-touch areas such as payment stations, touch screens, bathrooms, door and sink handles, water fountains, railings.
- The museum will conduct a full deep clean every evening and has created a schedule in which each exhibit area will receive thorough cleanings at intervals throughout the day.
- The ventilation system has been thoroughly cleaned and the museum has increased the circulation of outdoor air into the museum as much as possible by opening windows and doors, using fans, and other methods.
- Hand sanitizer can be located at the entrance and exit of the museum in addition to alongside each elevator. There are now more than 100 hand sanitizing and wet wipe stations located throughout the museum’s campus.
Face masks will be required
- Face masks will be required to enter the museum for your own safety and that of others and in compliance with the Indiana State Health Department.
- The only exceptions will be made for children younger than 2 years old and those with medical challenges.
- Our staff and volunteers will also be required to wear face masks.
Stay home if not feeling well
- The museum will ask all visitors who don’t feel well, to please stay home.
- Likewise, the museum will ask all staff and volunteers who don’t feel well, to please stay home. This includes implementing flexible sick leave and supportive policies and practices. The museum has also identified an isolation room or area to separate anyone who exhibits COVID-like symptoms, and immediately send them home or seek medical attention for anyone with symptoms (e.g., fever, cough, shortness of breath).
- The museum will take temperatures daily of each employee and volunteer.
- The museum is working hard to meet and exceed public health guidelines, and heed the advice from medical experts, and federal/state/local governments, the CDC, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), as well as orders and recommendations from federal/state/local governments and state and local health officials.
- The museum is actively monitoring evolving guidelines and working hard to meet and exceed those recommendations.
SOCIAL DISTANCING IS A PRIORITY
- The number of visitors entering The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience® will be restricted to 3,000 people to ensure it is assisting with social distancing in a safe and strategic way.
- There is new signage within the museum to assist people in staying 6-feet apart from other family groups.
- All visitors (including members) will now need to make a reservation ahead of time to receive a timed ticket for each member of their group or family.
- Visitors will receive an email with their confirmation and dated electronic ticket.
SOME EXHIBITS WILL TEMPORARILY BE CLOSED
The museum has enhanced its procedures and reengineered services and experiences to support your family’s ability to plan a safe return to the museum. While some spaces such as the Playscape gallery will remain closed temporarily out of an abundance of caution as will the water table in Corteva Agriscience ScienceWorks, the Carousel Wishes and Dreams exhibit (with the exception of the Carousel itself) and the Children’s Museum Guild’s Fantasy Tree House of Sports outside in Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience, we have negotiated the extended stay of The Pigeon and Pals! A Mo Willems Art and Play Exhibit. You can read about more changes here. https://www.childrensmuseum.org/procedures. Please note, some of these precautions are TEMPORARY and will be lifted once it is safe to do so. Changes can occur at any time. Please be patient with us as we try to best accommodate guest needs along with Health Department and County and State directives.
The Children’s Museum is working closely with our food services partner Levy Restaurants to develop best practices and protocols for safely reopening our Food Court. The plan will continue to develop as new guidance from local authorities, agencies and the Health Department becomes available.
The museum is addressing guidelines from the Health Department including: staff retraining on new safety policies and procedures developed by OSHA, the CDC, and local health department. The ongoing training includes sanitation procedures, social distancing standards, sanitizing, food packaging, and food delivery and storage.
Because of the closure that lasted more than three months due to COVID-19, the museum is projected to lose $4–7 million in revenue in 2020. Understanding that this is a difficult time for all families, the museum is asking that those who are able consider making a donation to The Rex Response Fund when the time is right.
The Children’s Museum would like to thank everyone for their patience and support during these challenging times and we’re looking forward to seeing you at the world’s largest children’s museum!
We will continue digital engagement across all social media platforms and Museum at Home to complement and extend the onsite experience. Visitors will also find the museum app to be extremely helpful.
Here are a few interesting facts, as it relates to our cleaning protocol. Our staff has been hard at work putting safety precautions in place around the Museum with the following measures:
- We have used 5,280 sq. ft. of material acrylic and sentra building plexi barriers, creating queue spaces, and blocking areas off.
- We have used 480 sq. ft. of marine board material to create over 250 holders for hand sanitizer and wipes. This was in response to limited availability of holders as well as a need to accommodate certain supplies and product.
- We are using 55 gallons of disinfectant every week on the inside of the building and for cleaning equipment.
- We are using another 55 gallons of disinfectant every two weeks disinfecting turf and other outdoor surfaces.
- It takes at least 15 loads of laundry a day to keep our rags, mops, etc. clean.
- We are utilizing between 20 to 25 additional team members a day to keep up with the hourly cleanings, laundry, handle product refills and stocking, and enhance customer service around closed restrooms.
- In terms of hours, there are approximately 132 people hours a day spent focused on keeping the building clean, not including the extra time spent by gallery staff.