Boston Children’s Museum reopens with reduced capacity, new cleaning measures

BOSTON — Boston Children’s Museum opened Friday for the first time in four months.

“When the doors opened and the children started coming in, actually I’m tearing up a little now, it was extremely emotional,” said Boston Children’s Museum President and CEO Carole Charnow. “It’s been a very exciting and emotional day for us all.”

Members were welcomed back Friday morning, and the public can return starting Wednesday, July 22.

The museum is significantly reducing capacity to just 200 people at a time during each two-and-a-half-hour time slot: 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., and 2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

Visits are by reservation-only at this time, and people must book online.

“Normally this is the height of tourist season. We’d have as many as 65,000 people in the month of July,” said Charnow, who said they would see up to 3,000 guests in one day during the busy summer months. “I think we’ll be very happy if we have 6,000 or 7,000 people the rest of the month.”

Charnow said the museum is taking lots of measures to stop the spread of germs, including circulating fresh air into the building, changing air filters frequently, leaving some exhibits closed, reducing capacity in certain rooms of the museum, frequently disinfecting everything children touch and requiring everyone two years old and older to wear a mask.

“Children’s museums, because they’re always cautious about infection, tend to have better filtration services than other places,” said Charnow. “We are cleaning all throughout the day with disinfectant wipes and disinfecting sprays, and also during our deep cleaning periods which are at the evening and in between the two sessions, we are using the electrostatic cleaner all over the museum.”

Charnow said the electrostatic cleaner sprays disinfectant in hard-to-reach places. “We usually come here once a month or once every other week, and it’s been so long, and the kids just missed it so much,” said Vanessa Mello, of Abington. “When I told them that we were coming here, they were so excited to come back!”

Other visitors commented on the cleaning efforts at the museum. “The sanitation efforts are obviously above and beyond,” said Morgan Jacobson, of Dorchester. “There’s not a million golf balls for the kids to grab, the bubble apparatus is limited, but the kids don’t seem to notice, they’re just happy to be back in a familiar place, and I’m having a blast.”

Some of the exhibits will remain closed as the museum determines how to best sanitize them and safely reopen them.

“I feel like they did a great job sanitizing, cleaning and making sure everyone does the social distance and stays three to six feet apart,” said Janet Brothers, of Roxbury. “I think they did an excellent job.”

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