What To Expect As The Museum Reopens October 14

After seven months of silence, the Great Lakes Children’s Museum is filled with the sound of children learning through play again. Currently, the galleries are open for Morning, Noon, and Afternoon sessions on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Sundays are open for Noon and Afternoon sessions. To cap the number of people in the museum at any given time, reservations are required. Total capacity is controlled depending on the area’s Risk assessment. As of October 14, the number of people per session was 20 but as Risk level improves we may increase that number. The Museum opens for a session, sanitizing high tough points during the open session and then closes for a period for intermediate cleaning. At the end of the day, the Museum is fogged using a medical grade disinfectant.
Occasionally, we have a session where no one has made a reservation. When that happens, we simply do not open the museum for that session (another reason it’s important to make a reservation!). We will cancel a session either the night before (for AM sessions) or the morning of (for PM sessions). The change will immediately be made on the ‘Reservations’ page. Canceling empty sessions helps save on staffing and building operation costs which is critical to keeping the museum afloat.
When you arrive at the Children’s Museum, staff at the front desk will welcome you back and check you in by confirming your reservation and that no-one in your group is experiencing symptoms that indicate they are sick. Masks or face coverings are required for anyone age 2 or older to enter the Museum. Once you stow your belongings in the new spaced-out storage area and wash or sanitize your hands, it’s off to play!
Children’s museums have evolved towards hands-on learning, and socializing with others during play. To keep guests safe, the Museum has made changes to learning and playing in the galleries. Boundaries have been added to each exhibit as a physical reminder to help guests understand social distancing. Items normally found at each exhibit such as blocks, cherry products, play food, boat blocks, balls, magnet shapes and so on have been organized into check-out kits at the front desk. Guests can check out a bag of manipulatives from the front desk. Once guests are done playing with the checked out items, they bag them back up, and return them to the front desk for sanitization.
For the most part, people from one family (or pod) as connected under their reservation move as a unit from exhibit to exhibit. To help with social distancing, people from two different “pods” should not play within the boundaries of the same exhibit at the same time. The Water Table has been separated into a north and south half. People from two pods can share the table if the pods stay on their respective sides.
The Great Lakes Room has been divided into two halves. The South half is where coats can be stored and hand-washing or sanitizing happens after check-in. The North half has a single table that can be used by one pod at a time for snacking and for relief from mask-wearing if needed. Guests are expected to wipe down tables and chairs with wipes provided by the Museum, and don masks before re-entering the galleries.
The upper level of the Lighthouse is back open for business. 
Contact information is collected during the reservation process and guests are required to answer covid-screening questions on entry. The contact information will be made available to the Health Department for contact tracing if necessary.
We have made several changes, but the museum you love is still pretty much unchanged. We’re glad to be open in a limited capacity at this time and continue to fulfil our mission. If you have questions about our Covid-19 Protocols, please see our current plan linked at the top of this page.