Children’s Museum, art museum to reopen to general public

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The Children's Museum of Indianapolis (File photo)

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis on Tuesday announced that it would reopen to the general public on July 11 at limited capacity.

Meanwhile, Newfields on Tuesday said it will begin welcoming the public to the Indianapolis Museum of Art and the Lilly House starting July 19.

Children’s Museum

The Children’s Museum had been closed for more than three months because of the COVID-19 pandemic before reopening to donors only on June 24 and members and donors only on Monday.

Officials said capacity at the museum and the Sports Legend Experience will be limited to 3,000 guests. And every visitor—including members and donors—will need to reserve an advance ticket. The museum is requiring everybody aged 2 and older to wear facemasks.

The museum has made other changes to limit the spread of the coronavirus, including closing some exhibits.

“The Children’s Museum prides itself on highly interactive experiences,” it said in a written statement. “At the same time, it is extremely important to re-imagine high-touch, experiential learning environments. As a result, the museum will place an even higher emphasis on having actor interpreters bring stories to life through verbal engagement to encourage visitors to participate in new ways.”

The museum said it is projecting a loss of $4 million to $7 million in 2020 because of the health crisis closure. It is accepting donations to the Rex Response Fund to help make up for the shortfall.

The world’s largest children’s museum is coming off a record-breaking year for attendance, in which it recorded more than 1.318 million visits.

The museum said it installed 5,28o square feet of plexiglass barriers and is using 55 gallons of disinfectant every week on the inside of the building and for cleaning equipment, plus another 55 gallons of disinfectant every two weeks to disinfect turf and other outdoor surfaces.

An additional 20 to 25 employee per day are working to keep up with the hourly cleanings, laundry, product refills and other safety duties.


Newfields reopened its outdoor spaces to members on June 23 and to the public on June 25, but the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Lilly House and the Elder Greenhouse have remained closed. That will change on July 17 for members and on July 19 for the general public, when the indoor spaces reopen.

The spaces will operate at a reduced capacity. All guests and members will be required to reserve a timed ticket before they arrive. A face covering or mask will be required for all guests over the age of 2 inside all buildings at Newfields.

The reopening will be paired with the summer debut of the Edward Hopper and the American Hotel exhibitionpresented by Schahet Hotels.

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