New Protocols in Place to Keep Visitors and Staff Safe
- Online advance ticket purchase encouraged
- Limited numbers and timed tickets
- Masks required
- Social distancing required
The Springfield Museums hope to reopen to the public soon, in cooperation with Gov. Baker’s Reopening Massachusetts plan. The Museums could begin welcoming visitors inside in early July in alignment with Phase Three. (Currently visitors are welcome on Museums grounds).
Looking forward to reopening, the Museums have been purchasing CDC-recommended cleaning supplies in abundance; adding Plexiglas shields and no-touch credit card machines at the Welcome Center desk, Museum Store, and Blake House Café; increasing the signage for safety protocols including wearing masks, social distancing, and frequent washing of hands (please see list of protocols below); installing one-way traffic indicators for each museum and the Quadrangle Green; and securing personal protective equipment for staff.
“The Museums are working to ensure we offer a wonderful a museum experience, as our visitors have come to expect from our unique, multi-disciplinary museums,” said Kay Simpson, President and CEO of the Springfield Museums. “And we are putting into place protocols to help ensure visitor-experience is as safe as possible.” She added, “Each of us plays a role in a safe reopening, with social distancing, face masks, and additional health and safety precautions in place.”
The Museums have prepared for reopening by following CDC and state guidelines. Staff have also been in ongoing discussions with museum-peers around the world. “We are truly all in the same boat and pulling for each other,” Simpson said. “We have all benefited by sharing protocols and problem-solving together.” Simpson said Museums’ staff have been working toward reopening with excitement.
“We really miss everyone,” said Larissa Murray, Director of Education at the Springfield Museums. “Having families back at the Museums, ready to celebrate this summer will be such a great treat! And we are ready to make sure they have a great time.” Educators in each of the Museums’ facilitated spaces—the Cat’s Corner, the Smithsonian Spark!Lab, and the Art Discovery Center—have created single-use packets and set up activities that can be done at social distance.
For those comfortable with hands-on experiences, the Museums have all interactive exhibits in place and have added more hand sanitizing stations and more frequent cleaning by the staff. “We are encouraging visitors to sanitize their hands before and after they use an interactive,” Murray said.
For those who look forward to a low- or no-touch experience still informed by educators and curators, the Museums have introduced a mobile guide available through visitors’ cell phones. “The guide includes virtual gallery tours and maps,” Murray said. “And it features interactive scavenger hunts that integrate learning with fun facts and beautiful images,” Murray said. The Museums have also enhanced their cell phone audio tours, adding more stations to the Science Museum, D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, and Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum. The Seuss Museum audio tour is available in English, Spanish, and Chinese.
“For centuries, museums have offered a place of solace,” said Heather Haskell, Vice-President of the Springfield Museums and Director of the Art Museums. “We are a place where people can be together with plenty of room for social distance while still enjoying an experience in community.”
In a recent story featured on MassLive, museums rated a 3 on a risk level from 1-10 with 10 being the highest risk. The article said museums have large spaces and high ceilings, which helps lower the risk. Dr. Mimi Emig, a retired infectious disease specialist with Spectrum Health added that “[Museums] are also in a position to enforce masks and distancing better than many other spaces.”
Although the Museums are working toward an early July opening, they recognize that circumstances may change at any moment. Those interested in visiting should visit the Museums website first to make sure they are open and that there are tickets available.
BELOW, PLEASE FIND A LIST OF THE SPRINGFIELD MUSEUMS NEW PROTOCOLS
THE NEW NORMAL AT THE MUSEUMS
Before You Arrive
The Springfield Museums is devoted to sparking curiosity for all who visit, whether in person or through our virtual offerings. When you do visit in person, we require the protocols below, which apply to all of our museums and grounds. These protocols are in place for your safety and for the safety of others.
- FACE MASKS MUST BE WORN by all visitors older than 2, and by all staff members.
- SOCIAL DISTANCING IS REQUIRED and will be enforced; parties of ten or less may remain together; children must stay with adults at all times.
- Guests showing signs of illness at any time during their visit will be asked to return at a later date.
- Because of limited capacities in each building, visitors might be required to wait outside in socially distanced lines.
- Advance, online, timed-entry tickets are strongly encouraged. Please visit our Tickets
- Visitor numbers are reduced and controlled at all locations. Visitors might have to either wait or come back to some exhibits and/or galleries over the course of their visit.
- Credit or debit cards are encouraged. If you pay in cash, please consider donating any change owed to the Museums.
- The Museums are featuring a new mobile website with interactive scavenger hunts and tours, maps, and the Blake House Café menu.
- All interactives include sanitizing stations so visitors can clean their hands before and after using the interactives.
- Senior Monday, 10 am to noon, is reserved for visitors 60 years and older at a reduced rate of $10 per ticket.
- All facilitated spaces (The Cat’s Corner, Spark!Lab, and The Art Discovery Center) feature individualized kits and social-distanced activities. All materials will be sanitized between uses. All surfaces will be cleaned between uses.
- All museums are set up for one-way traffic. Please abide by the guidance in each museum.
- Social-distancing markers are placed throughout the museums and on the grounds to help remind all to keep safe.
- Only one person or related people on elevators at a time.
- Enhanced cleaning of high-touch surfaces will happen throughout the day; an exhibit might be closed for a short time for deep cleaning.
- Hand-sanitizer stations are placed throughout the buildings; please use them to help protect yourself and others.
- Drinking fountains are not available.
- If you bring a picnic lunch, you can eat at social distance on the Quadrangle Green. Eating is not permitted in the Museums or Welcome Center.
- The Museum Store will allow 8 visitors at a time. Visitors can also reserve time to shop. Please call ahead for reservations 1-413-263-6800, ext 362.
- The Blake House Café will have outside service only, with separate order and pick up windows.
About The Springfield Museums
THE SPRINGFIELD MUSEUMS are located on the Quadrangle at 21 Edwards Street in the heart of downtown Springfield, Massachusetts. The nationally accredited and Smithsonian-affiliated consortium of museums includes the Springfield Science Museum, the Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, the Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History, the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum, the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden, and the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum, the first and only museum dedicated to the beloved children’s book author and Springfield native.
The Museums are temporarily closed in response to the community health effort to slow and stem the spread of COVID-19. We will open again with great celebration once it is safe to do so.
For More Information:
Karen Fisk, Director of Marketing and Communication Strategy
413-263-6800, ext. 459