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We’re Adding Back More Hands-On Experiences!

After consulting with our advisory panel of scientists, physicians, and community health experts, The Children’s Museum has reached the decision to reopen many of the hands-on interactive experiences that had been removed in the wake of the 2020 COVID-19 shutdown. Given new research about how the coronavirus is spread, we are confident we can do this safely.

While we are excited about this change, it is important to note that we still have new policies and procedures to review before your visit. 

Keeping things clean

Back in July 2020, we shared details about our enhanced cleaning procedures. Creating a safe and clean environment is a core value of the museum, many of these enhanced procedures, like increased access to hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes, increased laundry, and disinfecting high-touch areas will remain in place.  

Because of these enhanced cleaning efforts, dress-up costumes and other cloth hands-on items will remain unavailable at this time. Our team continues to work on creative solutions to bring these items back safely.

Drumroll, please!

And now for the fun stuff…

We have a lot of exciting things to share. We are working to return the following items to the museum floor as quickly as possible. Some of these experiences have been in an offsite storage facility since we reopened in July 2020. It will take some time to retrieve these items and prepare them for public use. Other items will return to the floor almost immediately. Here’s what you can expect to reopen—and when:

Now open

Carousel Wishes and Dreams

As of today, June 7, 2021, The Carousel has reopened at full capacity—including the jumping horses! Can we get a yee-haw?!

Other elements in Carousel Wishes and Dreams will reopen by June 28.

Lilly Theater

Capacity for Lilly Theater productions has increased from 100 to 152.

Opening by June 14, 2021

Outdoor areas in the Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience®

Note: the Football tackle dummies and crash pad continue to be unavailable

All Aboard!

  • Model train crawl-through
  • Train schedule magnet board
  • Pretend-play tickets

Beyond Spaceship Earth

  • "Fix the Electronics" crawl-through
  • Cover Hot and Cold Spots
  • Adjust Bolts on the Truss
  • Sit in the Soyuz capsule
  • Artifact drawers
  • Schaefer Planetarium and Space Object Theater capacity increase

National Geographic Treasures of the Earth

  • The Treasures Transport—limited to one family at a time
  • Seti I Sarcophagus puzzle
  • "Dig Out the Tomb" crawl-through
  • Repair the Coral
  • Terra Cotta dig site and wall dig

American POP

  • Patches as Self Expression
  • Draw a Superhero art supplies
  • Play table with toddler toys
  • Brown Bear Brown Bear by Eric Carle

Fireworks of Glass

  • Freestanding Build a Tower interactives

Opening by June 21, 2021


In addition to the areas that have already reopened, we will be reopening:

  • Whirly Twirly Tower (modified)
  • Climber
  • Sand Table with new toys
  • Rainbow light table with new toys
  • Log
  • Doors and Mirrors
  • Birdhouses
  • Flutter Fly (modified)
  • Fireflies
  • Babyscape with new toys will be open by June 28

Note: Smocks, dryers, and paper books will continue to be unavailable. Push and Whoosh will be partially open.

Indoor areas in the Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience®

  • Pit Stop Challenge
  • Racing Car photo op
  • All artmaking supplies—except sculpting materials—will be reintroduced to the National Art Museum of Sport.

Take Me There®: Greece

  • The alphabet magnet board will return to the Greek homes (the family flipbooks will not)
  • More pretend-play elements in the Sea Turtle Rescue Center will be reintroduced
  • The pretend-play fish and fishing poles in the Fishing Boat and Market area will be replaced by June 28—tentative*

Barbie™ You Can Be Anything™: The Experience

  • Handholds will be added to the rock climber experience—limit one family at a time
  • Play tables to be added by June 28—learn more here

DC SUPER HEROES™: Discover Your Superpowers

We are adding these interactive elements to DC SUPER HEROES: Discover Your Superpowers:

  • Unlock the Vault
  • Additional pretend-play elements in the Fix the Bat Signal experience

The Power of Children: Making a Difference®

  • Jeanne’s scrapbooks
  • Flip panel labels
  • Word spinners
  • Be a Change Agent magnet boards

Please note: the gallery will close mid-July 2021 in order to make room for Malala Yousafzai, the fourth child to be added to the exhibit.

Opening by June 28

Take Me There®: Greece

  • New pretend-play fish and fishing poles in the Fishing Boat and Market


  • Babyscape with new toys

Barbie™ You Can Be Anything™: The Experience

  • A Doctor Play Table with dolls and clothes will be introduced to the Nurturer—tentative*
  • A Film Director Play Table with dolls and clothes will be added to the Leader—tentative*

Corteva Agriscience ScienceWorks

  • Climbing Wall
  • Water Treatment Spinner
  • The House
    • "Look-Beneath-the-Porch" crawl-through
    • Fill Your Plate
    • Complete the Plumbing 
  • Drive a Tractor—tentative*

Carousel Wishes and Dreams

  • Play areas
    • Lilly Playhouse
    • Ice Cream Shop
    • Treehouse
    • Hedge crawl-through
  • The Mirror Maze
  • Tabletop games, puzzle tables, and Mr. Potato Head play areas
  • The vintage video games area

Sandy the Mechanical Horse will remain closed.

Still the same museum you love!

We’re excited to be able to reintroduce so many hands-on elements in a safe and clean way. When you visit, you’ll find that we’re the same museum you love as we continue to provide ways to keep you safe!

We’ll see you soon! Get your tickets today.

*These dates are subject to change. If you would like to know more information about a specific interactive, please contact us at CustomerService@childrensmuseum.org.