Monday was opening day at The Children's Museum in West Hartford. Just like everywhere else, there are a lot of new policies in place. The nonprofit is looking to continue to educate children while keeping everyone safe.
It's been nearly four months since The Children's Museum closed due to the pandemic, and on opening day, it was a less hands-on approach to learning.
"We want them to still be able to engage with our exhibits but obviously at a level that's a little safer for everyone involved," said Nicholas Barnett, the curator of Animals and Exhibits for The Children's Museum.
The wildlife sanctuary, lizard lair, dinosaur exhibit, sonic sensation, and butterfly house remain open. There won't be any animal demos or feeding time because it leads people to congregate. And butterfly releases now happen weekly on Facebook Live. But there's still a lot to take in and learn in person.
Photos: The Children's Museum Reopens
Barnett says hands-on exhibits that do remain are easily cleaned. There are two time slots people can register for, with each slot maxing out at about 100 visitors. Between the two time slots, the museum closes for a detailed cleaning, and extra staff is on hand to also clean while guests are moving through the museum.
In each room arrows point the way to keep congestion down. Hand sanitizer stations dot the area, and social distancing signs are posted everywhere.
"Got our capacity signs set at the entrance of each of our exhibit areas on either end of the doors there," said Barnett.
Barnett says many of the animals look forward to seeing families, including Seneca the coyote, so reopening day has been a good one.
"It's really nice seeing people here again. Both the staff and the animals really enjoyed it," said Barnett.
Members will need to reserve a ticket online while others will need to purchase them online before visiting.
The Children's Museum says ticket costs have been reduced because of fewer open exhibits.
The Children's Museum is accepting monetary donations as well as food donations for the animals, particularly more lettuces.
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