We’re Ready to Reopen!
Friday, August 28, 2020
An update to the Phase 3 Guidelines for Virginia mean that we’re now able to open!!! And, we can’t wait to see you!
We’re excited to reopen with an 18’ tire climber and CarMax exhibit at CMoR Chesterfield, a new outdoor iSpy and new Bright exhibit at CMoR Downtown, plus so many additional great new ways to play!
Guests aged 5 and older will be required to wear a mask, new procedures have been put in place to allow for social distancing (including new hours & timed tickets), and additional cleaning protocols have been implemented.
Welcome Back Members!
Out of deepest gratitude for our members, we are hosting members-only reservations at Downtown and Chesterfield.
- Saturday, September 12 at CMoR Chesterfield
- Sunday, September 13 at CMoR Downtown
General timed tickets for the public as well as reservations for members will be open beginning Thursday, September 17.
Both locations (Downtown & Chesterfield) will be open each week from Thursday through Sunday to limit capacity, stay safe, and remain in the guidelines. Timed tickets, purchased in advance, will be required for both Members and the general public to allow for contact-less transactions.
You’re going to have questions! In order to help, we’ve put together comprehensive FAQs.
Important Reopening Information for Members
We are so very grateful for you! Your memberships will be extended automatically up to the full six months that we were closed. Please download the app to reserve your tickets for the members-only days or the general opening days – this will give you all the access you need for your reservations!
Currently Happening: Classes!
Can’t wait for us to fully reopen? Try out our small-group in-person classes at CMoR Downtown!
- Crazy About Clay
- Wild About Watercolors
- Dino Fossil Learn & Make
- Felt it Out: Storytelling & Mask Makings
Charting a New Course for the Children’s Museum
Thursday, August 20, 2020
The Children’s Museum of Richmond has a new playbook during the COVID-19 global pandemic. While other local museums have already reopened, the Children’s Museum has remained closed since mid-March per state guidelines prohibiting interactive exhibits.
Awaiting official reopening, the Children’s Museum has continued its learning through play mission with initiatives that include: growing its virtual programming through online field trips; introducing limited-size, on-site experiences like birthday parties; strengthening the organization’s overall viability by closing its Short Pump satellite; and augmenting existing member benefits with a new app.
The Children’s Museum now provides more robust online resources, including virtual field trips for school and daycare groups (“Adapt in the Habitat,” “Blooming Butterflies,” and “Ready Set Grow” are examples) on a Zoom platform with a live educator. Classes are $100 and can be requested by visiting “Virtual Field Trips” at ChildrensMuseumofRichmond.org. The museum is also developing a schedule for virtual family programming with similar features that will be open to the public.
On-site, the Downtown location currently hosts fellow nonprofit YWCA’s Sprout School’s early learning classes in non-exhibit spaces. Birthday Party Packages at the Downtown location are now available to the general public that include a visually playful (but no-touch) exhibit and outdoor ISpy Nature Walk, along with other fun activities. Cost is $250 and limited to groups of 30 or less (including both children and adults). Face masks are required for ages 5 and up, and strongly recommended for children ages 3–4. For more information or to register, visit childrensmuseumofrichmond.org/plan-your-visit/birthday-parties.
Also on tap are art classes using clay, watercolor and other mediums, with dates to be released soon.
As a cost-cutting measure, the Children’s Museum will permanently close its Short Pump satellite facility at 11800 West Broad Street by the end of August.
“This was a difficult decision, and we are very disappointed about having to close our Short Pump location, which had been in operation since 2010. But it is a financial reality we face during this ongoing pandemic,” said Danielle Ripperton, the Children’s Museum executive director. “Given Short Pump’s proximity to downtown Richmond, we remain hopeful that our Henrico County visitors will frequent that museum location when we reopen,” she added.
Short Pump’s exhibits will be transferred to other Children’s Museum locations. Its part-time employees were laid off in mid-March, and its manager has taken another position within the organization.
While the museum’s Fredericksburg location also closed permanently earlier this year, Ripperton said that, when fully reopened, the Children’s Museum Downtown and Chesterfield locations “will continue to provide a significant footprint across the region, serving thousands of children and their families.”
To provide its members with the most up-to-date information, a new online app called Museums Anywhere is now available for Children’s Museum members to access information about benefits and discounts. In addition, the Children’s Museum is extending members’ annual subscriptions by the number of months it has remained closed.
In other news, the Children’s Museum is said to be currently working closely with the North Pole to coordinate details about Legendary Santa’s upcoming annual visit, with more information (and modifications for health and safety) on the way.
“When it comes to many of our programs and how to best remain accessible to the community, we are considering all options and drawing on our collective resources and combined ingenuity to stay connected with the children and families whom we serve,” said Ripperton.
Phase III Update
Thursday, June 25, 2020
The Children’s Museum remains closed to the public at this time. While Phase III does allow for museums to be open, the state’s guidelines include instructions that museums should remove or deactivate shared objects and interactive exhibits. The Children’s Museum experience is interactive in nature, so the Museum must remain closed until the Governor and State permit. We will update our website and social media as soon as we have a reopening date.
While we look forward to reopening, our team continues to monitor best practices for our industry to keep families safe and healthy while visiting the museum. Families can expect certain modifications to the museum including:
- Timed tickets which must be reserved in advance
- A one-way play path through the Museum to encourage social distancing
- Additional hand washing and hand sanitation stations throughout the exhibit spaces
- Modified exhibits designed to enhance outdoor spaces and provide new learning opportunities for families
In accordance with Executive Order 63, masks will be required for guests ages 10+ and are highly encouraged for guests over the age of 3.
Until our physical space is available to play, check out our blog with lots of tips and activities to use at home! Stay safe and healthy, we can’t wait to see you!
Fredericksburg Location Closes Permanently
Monday, June 1, 2020
Today, we announced a very difficult decision that has been made to close the Fredericksburg location of the Children’s Museum, effective immediately, as a cost-cutting measure during the coronavirus pandemic.
The museum’s other locations continue to be closed to the public due to COVID-19, and our team is actively preparing other Museum locations to ensure compliance with state guidelines that include social distancing and revamping of exhibit spaces in anticipation of and preparation for a future safe, staged reopening.
“Since 2014, it has been an honor and privilege for the Children’s Museum to play a part in the strong and supportive community of Fredericksburg,” said Danielle Ripperton, the non-profit’s president & CEO. “This decision was made with a heavy heart, but necessary in light of our extended closure and resulting loss in revenue.”
“Moving forward, we are focused on the long-term viability of our organization and remain committed to serving our members and the community,” she continued. “We want the Children’s Museum to be available to Central Virginia’s children and families long after the pandemic, and for decades to come.”
Plans are underway for some Fredericksburg exhibits to be relocated to other Children’s Museum locations.
COVID-19 Operations and Preparedness FAQ
Update – Children’s Museum of Richmond Locations Remain Closed through April 30
Tuesday, March 24, 2020
The Children’s Museum considers the health and safety of you, as well as all of our visitors, staff, volunteers, families, and community as our top priority. We have closed temporarily to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and in compliance with the Governor’s announcement yesterday. This includes all events (birthday parties and facility rentals) that are scheduled during this time. For questions on rescheduling or refunds for events, please contact Liz Costello, Director of Operations & Visitor Experience. Museum memberships will be extended; details will be communicated once a final re-open date is set.
While our physical doors are closed, our mission to inspire growth in all children by engaging families in learning through play remains steadfast. We have worked to find ways to play and learn together while everyone practices social distancing. Please visit our blog for videos, family activities, and parenting resources!
Because we have closed our doors temporarily for the safety of our guests, we must forgo much needed revenue. We take comfort in knowing that we have incredible supporters like you who are compassionate, and at this time we need you more than ever before. Please consider helping us get through this very difficult time with a donation today.
You and your family’s well-being is of the utmost importance, and we cannot wait to welcome you back to the Children’s Museum!
In learning and play,
President & CEO
How do I reschedule my Field Trip?
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch with a Museum representative.
What steps has the Museum taken to ensure the health and wellness of visitors, volunteers, and staff?
We have been in discussions with health professionals and community partners to gain an understanding of measures that can be taken at the Children’s Museum.
We continue to monitor announcements and updates from the World Health Organization, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the Association of Children’s Museums, area schools systems, and the Virginia Department of Health.
We follow museum industry best practices for cleaning and disinfecting all of our public spaces. In addition here are some additional steps we are taking:
- Our sick policy is posted on the website, at the front desk, and on the TV screens at all museum locations.
- Our cleaning policy is posted on the website as well as at the front desk for all museum visitors.
- All museum locations have dedicated increased resources and time for additional cleaning on the museum floor throughout the day.
- Temporary hand washing stations have been installed in the exhibit areas of each location; announcements are made on the hour encouraging visitors to take a break from play and wash their hands.