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Children’s Museum Keeps Health in Mind Ahead of July 1 Reopening

craft projects are also available to order to stay busy from home

Rebecca Mennecke, photos by Andrea Paulseth

 

The Children’s Museum of Eau Claire is looking to jump back into action on July 1 with some new safety procedures to ensure parents and kiddos stay safe this summer despite the coronavirus.

The museum is working with the Eau Claire City-County Health Department, Benedict Sales & Service, B&B Electrical, and J&F Facility Services to ensure proper disinfecting protocols, good air flow, nifty UV-C lighting to disinfect larger surfaces, and more, according to a press release. They’ve established a list of plans to reopen based on survey feedback from more than 900 members.

Here are a few things that might look different at CMEC to keeps visitors safe:

  • Timed entry. Visitors will have to register online ahead of time for a two-hour session of playtime.
  • Limited attendance. Only 50 people will be allowed during each time slot.
  • Hours of operation. The museum will be open five days a week, with evening sessions for working parents and grandparents.
  • Safety and disinfecting. Between each two-hour session, CMEC will close for one to one-and-a-half hours to disinfect the premises.
  • Limiting props. Props and materials deemed difficult to clean or unnecessary for playtime will be removed.
  • Individual disinfecting. There will be bins located around exhibit areas for visitors to place items to be disinfected. There will also be sanitizing stations for employees to disinfect items. Doorknobs and railings will also be frequently disinfected.
  • Masks. Every day, CMEC has one two-hour session where masks are optional and one two-hour session where masks are mandatory. Please do not bring your own masks, as masks will be provided for you.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available for visitors. Members may also be given complimentary personal bottles of sanitizer.

If you’re looking to play from home instead, the museum is adding virtual programs and equipment rentals for members. They’re also offering Busy Boxes, which come in a multitude of forms from ordering just one box to ordering a subscription of boxes.

“The boxes will include one art project, one science kit, a coloring page from our brand-new CMEC coloring books, a gift from our gift shop that (kids) will know about, and then a surprise gift that they won’t know about!” said Mandy Runge, vice president of development.

Busy Boxes range in price from $15-30 and can be ordered from the children’s museum online.

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