San Jose’s Children’s Discovery Museum opened for the first time on Friday after a 13-month closure of the museum’s inside.
Even the famous Discovery Duck perched on the museum’s iconic 52,000 square foot purple building got a sudsy bath on Thursday in anticipation of the museum’s reopening.
“We’ve been waiting and preparing for this incredible moment,” said Marilee Jennings, the museum’s executive director. “It is gratifying that as a county we have made tremendous progress and are now at a point in the pandemic where we can safely reopen the inside.”
For the month of April, visitors are encouraged to wear Purple to celebrate its reopening and 30 years of operation.
The Circle of Palms, Post Street and the San Jose Civic in downtown San Jose will also be lit in purple, courtesy of San Jose Downtown Association and Team San Jose, to join in celebration.
The reopening of the museum’s interior will have exhibit and space modifications and two play sessions per day every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 – 4:00 p.m.
Some exhibit favorites like Waterways, the Rainbow Market and Bubbles were moved outside so that visitors can still enjoy them while still being COVID conscious.
“We are following the same robust, science-based measures in all the interior modifications that visitors overwhelmingly told us made them feel safe in Bill’s Backyard,” said Jennings.
Bills Backyard is the outdoor portion of the museum which has been operating for several months in 2020 and 2021.
Some of those safety modifications include online reservations for contactless ticketing, plexiglass shields at admissions for staff and visitors and a mask-requirement for anyone age two or older.
The museum said it has also stepped up its “already robust” cleaning and disinfecting procedures to include Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended products, nano septic tape and an hour-long cleaning and disinfecting break between morning and afternoon sessions.
“Still, we know that we can’t do this alone,” Jennings said. “We’re counting on participation and compliance from our visitors.”
The museum is initially opening with 25 percent capacity and will grow to 50 percent over time and in accordance with the county guidelines.
Tickets can be booked online at https://www.cdm.org/what-to-expect/ and cost $15 per child or adult and $14 for seniors. However, admission can cost $2 with presentation of an electronic benefit card or other specific documentation, as part of the national Museums for All program.