The Providence Children’s Museum will reopen its doors to visitors on October 1,
2020. PCM closed on March 13th due to the COVID-19 outbreak and has been providing activities, resources, and videos online for children and their grownups for the more than 6 months.
The PCM staff could not be more thrilled to welcome back visitors. “We are a group of people who love children, and are inspired by their learning, creativity, and joy,” said Executive Director Caroline Payson. “It’s been a difficult few months and we’re glad to have the ability to welcome back our visitors in a safe manner. We’ve missed them.”
PCM will be open Thursdays through Sundays with two 90-minute visitation times: 9:30-11:00 and 11:30-1:00. PCM is likely to add additional hours during school vacations and government holidays. To keep everyone safe, capacity will be limited, everyone over the age of 2 will be required to wear a mask, and no food or drink will be allowed on the premises. Every visitor will be required to reserve a ticket in advance by visiting www.providencechildrensmuseum.org. All entrants will have their temperature taken, complete a symptom checker, and sign a waiver before they are admitted.
Some loose parts within Museum exhibits have been reduced or removed. Those that remain will be disinfected frequently by exhibit staff and swapped out for new sets of previously disinfected items between each visitor timeslot. Staff will be available on the floor to facilitate socially distanced play.
The Luckey climber – a large tilted structure to exercise large muscle groups – has been removed to provide more space in the garden. “Our climber was nearing the end of its safety life. With the 6 month closure and COVID restrictions, it needed to be replaced; it was impossible to sanitize regularly, and we needed additional space for our families to spread out. We’re in the process of designing a new outdoor play area that meets the needs of all of our visitors,” Payson said.
To limit possible spread of the virus, PCM has added additional precautions to its already strenuous cleaning process. All Museum frontline staff will be cleaning high-touch areas frequently throughout the day using CDC-recommended products. Between visitor time blocks, additional focus will be on whole-Museum sanitizing. In addition, the Museum is professionally cleaned with CDC-recommended products each night after closing. This includes disinfecting all high-touch areas including door handles, knobs, elevator buttons, and stair rails.
The Museum has installed several new features to aid in the health and safety of its visitors and staff including new CDC recommended MERV-13 filters in the Museum’s HVAC system, systems to monitor humidity, and touchless faucets and soap dispensers. PCM has also made use of a semi-permanent professional-grade antimicrobial spray coating on all surfaces, including carpeting, that provides extra protection against SARS-CoV-2.
Visitors who have traveled to Rhode Island within the last 14 days from any location except New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, or Hawaii should plan to visit PCM once they have quarantined for 14 days or received a negative test result in accordance with state guidelines.
“The museum may look a little different, but there will always be room for play.” Payson added. “We can’t wait to welcome everyone back.”
The Providence Children’s Museum serves children and adults of all backgrounds and from all
communities. Its focus is on children, ages 1 to 11, and the adults who care for them by presenting hands-on, play-based exhibits and programs that explore arts, culture and science, technology, engineering and math; fostering children’s cognitive, social, emotional and physical development; embracing a wide range of abilities, learning styles and forms of creative expression, creating safe and welcoming environments in which visitors and staff share with and learn from one another; being accessible and responsive to all families – culturally, physically and economically; working in partnership with other organizations to meet the needs of children and families; and increasing awareness and knowledge of the ways in which children and families learn.
PCM can be found on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter at @pvdchildmuseum