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FAQ

Rex the T. rex wearing a mask for the reopening of The Children

Health and Safety

Why is the museum requiring visitors to wear a mask?
The museum is following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in requiring everyone age 2 and over to wear a mask or face covering. The mask/face covering must be worn throughout your museum visit, including outdoors in the Riley Children’s Health Sports Legend Experience®, and in the Food Court, except when eating and drinking. Mask/face covering should fully cover your nose and mouth. Check out our blog for tips on how to help your child wear a mask.

Can I wear a bandana instead of a mask?
Yes, if the bandana covers both your nose and mouth it is fine.

What if I am unable to wear a mask?
Our medical advisory committee strongly recommends that everyone ages 2 and over wear a mask or face covering for the safety of our staff, volunteers, and other visitors. People who have trouble breathing or are otherwise unable to remove a face covering without help, may use a face shield in place of a mask. Face shields will be available to purchase for $2 at the Box Office. If you are not able to wear a mask or a face shield, we encourage you to come back when the time is right for your family.

Will you have mask-free zones?
These areas of The Children's Museum have been designated as mask-free zones:

  • The seating area of the Food Court while you eat
  • The outside table area in the Riley Children's Health Sports Legends Experience®
  • The plaza outside the front doors to the Welcome Center 

Will you be taking temperatures?
The museum reserves the right to take the temperature of anyone entering museum property, and deny access to those with a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or with other COVID-19 symptoms, but in general will not take the temperature of most people visiting the museum. The museum will conduct daily temperature and health checks for all staff members, interns, and volunteers.

How are you enforcing social distancing?
The museum is taking numerous measures to create an environment conducive to social distancing, including:

  • Limiting the number of people who can visit the museum to no more than 50% of capacity.
  • Adding social distancing markers and reminders in all areas.
  • Limiting the capacity of visitors within each exhibit and experience Increasing spacing between exhibit components.
  • Changing all queuing to be linear (lines will not snake back and forth). Lines will be monitored by staff.
  • Limiting elevator use to one household grouping at a time.

What cleaning procedures have you implemented?
Prior to reopening the museum, GSF (an outside cleaning company) worked alongside our cleaning staff to clean and disinfect the museum from top to bottom, including carpets, walls, railings, restrooms, and exhibit components.

The museum has positioned more than 100 stations of hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes throughout the galleries and campus so that visitors can clean and sanitize their hands and touchable surfaces to their level of comfort.

The museum is thoroughly cleaned each day, and each gallery will close briefly and periodically throughout the day for additional cleaning and sanitizing. A gallery cleaning schedule will be published in the visitor map and in each exhibit so that guests can plan their visits accordingly.

Restrooms will be cleaned and sanitized approximately every hour, in general.

What cleaning product do you use?

The museum uses Oxivir and Virex as its primary disinfectants, both of which are EPA-approved for surface disinfection of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

The museum also offers more than 100 stations of sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizer for visitor use.

Per Executive Order 20-26, here are the safeguards we have in place. 

Food, Beverages, and Shopping

Can I still buy food in the Food Court? 
Yes, the Food Court is open and ready to serve you. Please note:

  • Please use a credit or debit card for payment.
  • Staff members will assist visitors with coffee. For health and safety reasons, customers will not be able to self-serve.
  • Please wear your mask in the Food Court except while eating and drinking.
  • Condiments and utensils will be individually packaged.
  • The seating capacity of the Food Court has been reduced to allow spacing of tables for social distancing.

Can I bring food for my family rather than purchase it at the museum? 
Yes, you are welcome to bring your own food. Note that eating food and consuming beverages is only allowed in the Food Court. Food should be stored in your car or locker until you are ready to consume it.

Will drinking water be available? 
Yes, the museum’s bottle refill stations will be open for use. They will be cleaned and sanitized frequently. Please bring your own water bottle. The museum's water fountains will be turned off.

What changes have been made to The Museum Store? 
The Children’s Museum Store follows the best practices and protocols of the museum, including:

  • The Museum Store has been rearranged to allow for appropriate social distancing.
  • Floor markings and signage will direct shoppers and staff.
  • The Museum Store will follow capacity guidelines established by the museum.
  • High-touch areas throughout the store will be cleaned frequently. Toys and other products will be regularly disinfected on the floor and in the storeroom.
  • The Museum Store will limit the number of products on display. Additional products will remain in the storeroom for staff to bring out to shoppers.
  • The Museum Store will continue to gift wrap purchased items upon request.

The Experience

Have the museum’s exhibits been adapted to create a more low-touch experience? 
All exhibits will be adapted for health and safety. If you want more information about a specific exhibit, click here.

Are any museum exhibits closed? 
Yes. Playscape® and The Children’s Museum Guild’s Fantasy Tree House of Sports are temporarily closed for the health and safety of visitors, staff, and volunteers. Click here for information about programs that will be available outside of Playscape®.

Every exhibit will be closed for cleaning for 30 minutes several times a day. Click here for a list of exhibit closing times.

Is anything else closed or have any exhibit elements been removed? 
Yes. For public health and safety, the following major exhibit components have been closed or removed temporarily:

  • The Children’s Museum Guild’s Fantasy Tree House of Sports in the Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience®
  • The water table (Mississippi Watershed) in Corteva Agriscience ScienceWorks
  • Small, confined spaces such as the crawl-through tunnels in Carousel Wishes and Dreams
  • Play tables and “dig” areas, such as those in Dinosphere®
  • Many fabric and high-touch items, such as costumes and pretend food in Take Me There:® Greece
  • Play train tables in All Aboard!
  • Please note that entry to Dinosphere® is one-way only, down the ramp from Level 1. The exit is through the Lower Level tunnel to All Aboard! You cannot enter Dinosphere® via All Aboard!

Additional high-touch interactives have been removed. To learn more about each exhibit, please click here.

Are you offering anything new? 
The Children’s Museum has a number of extraordinary new experiences to offer, including:

  • The new Wild Weather exhibit, which is sure to blow you away! Discover how to weather the storm as you learn about emerging technologies and recent scientific discoveries that are improving our ability to forecast severe weather and enhancing our awareness of global weather phenomena, including tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards, severe heat, and climate change.
  • The museum will increase interpretation performances and facilitator interactions throughout the day. Exciting live performances will be offered hourly in the Sunburst Atrium, and in-gallery programming will be enhanced with performances that bring stories to life and Show & Tell carts managed by facilitators.
  • A new Mission: Discovery guide will offer clues to discover exciting objects hidden inside each of the museum's exhibits so that families can work together to discover and learn. Download the Mission: Discovery guide before your visit, or look for it in the Visitor Map upon arrival.

Public Opening Ticketing Information

We will announce our public reopening date later this month. Below is information you will need to know about ticketing once a public opening date is announced. 

Why does everyone, including museum members and Access Pass holders, need advance reservations/tickets to visit?
Advance tickets are not required, but are encouraged. For public health and safety, and to comply with city and state guidelines, the museum is currently limiting admission to no more than 50% of total capacity. To monitor capacity and assure entry to all who want to visit, the museum is making tickets available by advance reservation to visitors, members, and Access Pass holders.

Do I need to make a reservation for my child under age 2?
If you make advance reservations for your party, we encourage you to also reserve a free ticket for your children under the age of 2. Note: children under age 2 will not be issued a ticket, but must be included in your party’s total reservation count to help monitor visitor capacity.

Are the tickets for entry at a specific time?
No. Tickets are for entry on a specific date but are good for the entire day, so that you may arrive and leave when you wish. Members have an exclusive option to reserve Member Afternoon tickets for visits after 2 p.m.

How do I purchase/reserve a ticket?
If you are a museum member or Access Pass holder, please log in to your account, then follow the steps below. (For information on how to log in to your account, see Special Information for Members and/or Special Information for Access Pass holders.)

General admission visitors do not need to log in and can move directly to step 1.

  1. Visit the Buy Tickets page.
  2. Click on the day you wish to visit.
  3. Choose your tickets. Remember to reserve tickets for everyone in your party, including members, Access Pass holders, and children under age 2. Note: children under 2 will not be issued a ticket, but must be included in your party’s total reservation count to help monitor visitor capacity.
  4. Click “Continue” and check out.

Popular dates, such as weekends, are expected to sell out. Sold-out dates will be indicated on the calendar. Prefer to talk to a person? Tickets can be reserved by phone daily between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. by calling 317-334-4000. Tickets reserved online will be available electronically for a no-contact entry experience. Tickets reserved by phone will be physical tickets held for pick-up at Will Call.

How far in advance do I need to purchase tickets in order to save money?
General admission tickets will always cost more on the day of a visit, so buying at least a day in advance will always save you money. Typically, the further ahead you buy a ticket, the more you’ll save. You can save up to 25% by purchasing at least two weeks in advance.

Are there procedures in place for contactless entry to the museum?
Yes, the museum has revised the entry procedure to allow contactless entry. General admission visitors, museum members, and Access Pass holders scan their own tickets at the entry gates. Members and Access Pass holders must also present their photo ID to entry gate monitors through a clear, protective plexiglass screen.

How do I access my electronic tickets?

  1. Visit childrensmuseum.org/account.
  2. Login using the email and password set up during your order. If you’ve forgotten your password, follow the password recovery steps.
  3. Click Order History and then View Details to your access tickets. Note: A ticket will not display for youths under age 2 included in your order.
  4. Proceed to the Entry Gate and scan the barcode for each ticket.
  5. Please have your photo ID available for Membership or Access Pass tickets.

I need another ticket but the date is sold out.
Please contact our Customer Service Center at 317-334-4000 anytime between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily for assistance.

If I am sick and cannot come to the museum do I get a refund?
We understand that plans change. We do ask that you call the museum by the morning of your visit date to let us know that you won’t be visiting so we can release the tickets to another family. We appreciate your cooperation and courtesy as we try to meet visitor demand during this low-capacity period. You can apply the value of your ticket purchase to a future date.

Special Information for Museum Members

How is the museum handling membership expirations that occurred during the closure? 

The museum is asking those with memberships valid from April 1, 2020 through March 31, 2021 to update their membership status by choosing one of two options:

  1. Consider donating the missing months of your membership back to the museum’s Rex Response Fund, which has been created to help the museum weather financial hardships caused by the pandemic closure.
  2. Extend your membership to cover the closure period. Based on your most recent expiration date, the museum will add [March 31=1 month, April 30=2 months, May 31=3 months, June 30 through February 28, 2021=4 months] to your membership.

To make your selection, please complete this form.

Once logged into your membership account, select “Update Status: COVID-19 Impact." 

If you have questions, please call Customer Service at 317-334-4000 or email customerservice@childrensmuseum.org. We will follow up with your new expiration date. You can continue to use your current membership cards at the entry gate or log-in to your online account for a digital version of your card.

Do I need to reserve a ticket even if I’m a museum member?
In order to maintain safe building occupancy, members are encouraged to reserve a ticket for each person in your group for the day you want to visit.

The museum reserves half of our daily capacity of tickets for members. In addition, as an exclusive member perk, there is a second option for visiting. If you don’t plan to arrive in the morning, or if the day you want is already sold out, you can reserve Member Afternoon tickets. These tickets allow members to visit after 2 p.m. as the daytime crowds start to dissipate. If you are looking for a less crowded time or are only planning to stay a couple of hours, this option is for you!

How do members reserve tickets?
To reserve tickets you must first log in to your member account. All current members that have an email address already have an online account that can be found by clicking on the person icon in the upper right corner of www.childrensmuseum.org.

If you’ve never logged in or cannot remember your password, enter the email address at which you receive weekly Member Enews and then click Forgot Password. Check your spam filter/junk emails if you don’t see the password reset email. Please do not create a new account with a new email address, as it will not contain your membership information and will not allow you to reserve members-only tickets.

When you are logged in correctly, you will see your current membership information in your profile. If your membership is not current, you will need to renew and complete the membership transaction prior to reserving your tickets. Struggling to get logged in? Give us a call anytime daily between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. at 317-334-4000. Tickets reserved online will be available electronically for a no-contact entry experience. Tickets reserved by phone will be physical tickets held for pick-up at Will Call.

Once you are logged in, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the Buy Tickets page.
  2. Click on the day you wish to visit.
  3. Choose your tickets.
  4. Remember to reserve tickets for everyone in your party. Note: children under 2 will not be issued a ticket, but must be included in your party’s total reservation count to help monitor visitor capacity.
  5. Click “Continue” and check out.

How many tickets can I reserve as a member?
Your membership covers free admission for up to two named adults listed on your account and the dependent children under 21 living in the household. If you have a Plus Two or donor-level membership, you are allowed two free guests per visit. The online reservation system will limit your reservation to the number of people listed on your membership account. If you need to update the family members on your account, please call us at 317-334-4000 for assistance.

Special Information for Access Pass holders

How do Access Pass holders reserve tickets?
To reserve tickets you must first log in to your Access Pass account. All current Access Pass holders with an email address already have an online account that can be found by clicking on the person icon in the upper right corner of www.childrensmuseum.org.

If you’ve never logged in or cannot remember your password, enter the email address at which you receive emails from The Children's Museum and then click Forgot Password. Check your spam filter/junk emails if you don’t see the password reset email. Please do not create a new account with a new email address, as it will not contain your pass information and will not allow you to reserve tickets at your discounted price.

When you are logged in correctly, you will see your current Access Pass information in your profile. If your Access Pass is not current, you will need to re-enroll by uploading a copy of your most recent eligibility letter from a qualifying program as well as your photo ID. The renewal process can take up to five days to be approved online.

Planning a visit sooner or still struggling to log-in? Give us a call anytime daily between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. at 317-334-4000 and we will be happy to assist you.

Once you are logged in, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the Buy Tickets page.
  2. Click on the day you wish to visit.
  3. Choose your tickets. Remember to reserve tickets for everyone in your party. Note: children under 2 will not be issued a ticket, but must be included in your party’s total reservation count to help monitor visitor capacity.
  4. Click “Continue” and check out.

How many tickets can I reserve at the Access Pass discount?
Your Access Pass allows discounted admission for up to two named adults listed on your account and the dependent children under 21 living in the household. The online reservation system will limit your reservation to the number of people listed on your Access Pass account. If you need to update the family members on your account, please call us at 317-334-4000 for account assistance.

I need another ticket but the date is sold out.
Please contact our Customer Service Center at 317-334-4000 for assistance.