The Please Touch Museum will be reopening its doors to the public on Thursday, April 22!
Philly’s Please Touch Museum (PTM) has finally announced it will be reopening to the public later this month after more than a year of closure! The museum will open its doors to PTM members on Thursday, April 8, and to the general public reopening on Thursday, April 22.
“We are delighted to welcome children and their families back to Please Touch Museum after our extended closure due to the pandemic,” said Patricia D. Wellenbach, President and CEO. “The quiet of Memorial Hall over these past 13 months has been surreal and something we never expected when we first shut our doors last year on March 14. Over these months, we have heard from so many children and families about how much they have missed the Museum and I assure you; the feeling is mutual! As we excitedly prepare to hear the laughter and see the wonder of children and their grownups visiting PTM again, we are confident in all the work we have done to make this a welcoming, clean, and low-touch experience for all. We are especially grateful to Dr. Barbara Klock, a pediatrician, former PTM board member, and the Medical Advisor to the School District of Philadelphia, who served as a thought partner in reviewing our reopening plan, which is in full compliance with CDC, state, and city health guidelines.”
PTM will reopen its doors to the public with two new experiences for visitors to play and engage with as they return to the museum:
- Centennial Innovations : Exploring how creativity and critical-thinking skills can inspire children to develop solutions to problems they see in their own world, this new, $1.75 million permanent gallery opens after a full year delay. Using the 1876 Centennial World’s Fair as a historical framework, the exhibition asks children to consider, “If you could change the world…” and encourages them to explore that concept through three subsequent questions: What would you create? Who would you become? What would a new world look like?
- Albert M. Greenfield Makerspace : Intentionally located across from PTM’s Creative Arts Studio, which offers facilitated and self-directed artmaking for families, and Centennial Innovations, the Albert M. Greenfield Makerspace will be a dedicated space for open-ended exploration and prototyping. Focused on how kids are creating, not what they are creating, the Makerspace will empower children to think of themselves as an “inventor” and through facilitated and self-directed experiences, discover that learning is found in the process of making, not the end result.
The museum will operate at a reduced capacity and has implemented a new online reservation system to manage crowd size and allow for proper social distancing. Capacity during the morning and afternoon sessions is reduced in compliance with CDC, state and city health departments (PTM has more than 60,000 square feet of exhibit space). Properly fitting masks will be required for all visitors ages 2+.
To ensure visitor safety and periodic sanitization of the space, PTM will only open Thursday through Sunday with morning sessions, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., and afternoon sessions, 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. A midday closure will allow for cleaning and sanitizing between sessions, a cleaning procedure that will also be followed at the end of each day. The museum will remain closed to the public Monday through Wednesday for immersive cleaning and ongoing Museum planning.
For more information on Please Touch Museum’s reopening and new COVID-19 guidelines make sure to check out their website here.
[Featured image: Facebook / Please Touch Museum]