What to expect as Boonshoft Museum and SunWatch Indian Village reopen

Today, the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery and SunWatch Indian Village are open for visitors. Both locations have been closed since March as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Boonshoft Museum will operate at 25% capacity with new staggered and timed-entry admissions designed to insure safety and cleanliness for guests. At SunWatch, indoor exhibits will be closed, however guests are encouraged to visit the newly updated on-site village.

The Dayton Society of Natural History, which operates both museums, have had senior management closely following the guidelines prescribed by the state of Ohio and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to protect the health and safety of members, visitors and staff. They will continue to monitor updates and are ready to adjust procedures as needed.

>>> Read more: Land of Illusion's giant inflatable water playground now open

Opening day, Tuesday, June 16, is for members-only at the Boonshoft Museum. “We need to be sure our plans for social distancing and cleaning protocols are working before we open the Museum doors to everyone,” stated Dayton Society of Natural History President and CEO, Tracey Tomme.

After that initial opening day, the museum will be open to the public. Patrons will be able to experience the Boonshoft with a number of new changes designed to ensure safety and cleanliness while visiting.

The museum will operate at 25% capacity to assist in crowd reduction. All staff and visitors will be required to maintain safe social-distancing guidelines, including maintaining a 6-foot distance from others. Families can stay together while keeping a safe distance from other visitors. A well-marked directional pattern through the museum will help control safe-distancing and overcrowding.

The museum is testing a new staggered and timed-entry admission process which avoids the necessity of waiting. Guests may call ahead to reserve a time slot for their visit and pay admission by phone or at the door.

All museum staff are required to wear masks while interacting with the public. Museum visitors are encouraged to wear masks, however  masks will not be provided.

Enhanced cleaning protocols are in place, including cleaning high touch-points (handrails, elevator buttons, etc.) with disinfectant on an ongoing basis. There are also regular disinfections of restrooms and other areas.

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

Hands-on exhibits, water fountains, and vending machines have been removed or modified to eliminate contact points. Play areas featuring the climbing tower and water table have been temporarily closed.

The Boonshoft Museum will now be open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Families who have members who may be at higher risk for infection are encouraged to visit from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. The museum will be closed to the public on Sundays and Mondays to allow for deep cleaning. More information can be found online at boonshoftmuseum.org

SunWatch Indian Village will open Tuesday, June 16 to members and the public Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sundays noon to 5 p.m., and closed on Mondays. More information can be found on their website: sunwatch.org

>>>Read more: Glen Helen agreement reached, nature preserve to reopen

About the Author