The Thinkery children’s museum will reopen beginning Labor Day weekend, but it will look very different than before the coronavirus pandemic.
The museum will host small groups of 10 people each that will move as a group through the six open exhibits. Each group’s visit will be timed as to when they enter each exhibit space. In each exhibit space, guests will have 15 minutes. Guests will receive color-coded stickers to indicate their group.
Social distancing will be maintained to minimize contact with other guests. Anyone age 2 or older must wear a face covering. Disposable masks for children will be available and cloth ones are for sale.
Each session will be 90 minutes long, with a maximum of 60 people in the museum at once.
"Now, possibly more than ever, children and families are in need of opportunities for fun, play-based, interactive learning experiences," Thinkery Chief Executive Officer Andy Bell said in a press release. "I am delighted that we are finally in a position to re-open the museum in a way that, we hope, will provide families vital opportunities to play and learn together while still creating a safe and healthy environment for visitors and staff."
Guests need to arrive 15 minutes before their scheduled time slot. They will be asked screening questions and have their temperatures taken. Anyone who does not pass the screening questions or has a temperature above 100 degrees will not be allowed in.
Tickets for Labor Day weekend will be available at thinkeryaustin.org/tickets. Sept. 5 will be for members, and the museum will be open to anyone Sept. 6 and Sept. 7. Guests are encouraged to buy tickets in advance and will receive a confirmation email they will need to show at the doors.
After Labor Day weekend, the museum will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays with three sessions each day. Additional sessions will be added gradually.
The Thinkery has been running virtual programming since it closed in March and began in-person camps this summer. It is also beginning its new preschool program for kids age 3 and 4 beginning Sept. 8.