The pandemic has caused the lights to be dimmed for months at many of the state's cultural and historical attractions. But since early January, when Gov. Tim Walz loosened COVID restrictions, some venues have reopened or are in the process of doing so.

The Minneapolis Institute of Art, Walker Art Center and the American Swedish Institute have recently reopened and the Weisman Art Museum is opening next week. However, the Science Museum of Minnesota and Bell Museum of Natural History are holding out until spring.

It's not back to business as usual, even for the attractions that are now open. Safety protocols are in place, capacity is limited, and advanced purchase and timed tickets may be required. Before you mask up and head out to your favorite haunt, check the website for updates.

AMUSEMENTS that are open

COMO ZOO & CONSERVATORY: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. daily. Free, advance reservations required. 1225 Estabrook Drive, St. Paul. 651-487-8200.

MINNESOTA ZOO: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. daily. $13.95-$19.95, advance tickets required. 13000 Zoo Blvd., Apple Valley. 952-431-9500.

MUSEUMS that are open

AMERICAN SWEDISH INSTITUTE: The institute, Fika Cafe and the museum store open Feb. 6. The newest exhibit, "Papier," showcases the paper couture and sculptural fashion of Bea Szenfeld and Stina Wirsén.. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Thu.-Sun. $6-$12, advance reservations required. 2600 Park Av. S., Mpls. 612-871-4907.

BAKKEN MUSEUM: Learn about STEM fields, gadgets and inventions through exhibits that explore the importance of science, technology and the humanities. 10 a.m. Tuesdays-Sundays. $5, advance reservations required. 3537 Zenith Av. S., Mpls. 612-926-3878.

MINNEAPOLIS INSTITUTE OF ART: Featured exhibits include: "In the Presence of Our Ancestors: Southern Perspectives in African American Art" and "To Beautify and Protect: Miao Clothing and Jewelry From China." 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Thu.-Sun. Free, advance reservations required. 2400 3rd Av. S., Mpls. 612-870-3000.

MINNESOTA CHILDREN'S MUSEUM: Learn about living healthy through fun activities in the newest exhibit, "Doc McStuffins: The Exhibit," based on the Disney Jr. program. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Thu.-Sun. $14.95, reservations required. 10 W. 7th St., St. Paul. 651-225-6000.

MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY: Ongoing exhibits include "Then Now Wow," about moments that have shaped the state, and "Our Home: Native Minnesota." History Center Hours: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Thu.-Sat.; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sun. $8-$12. 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul. 651-259-3000.

MUSEUM OF RUSSIAN ART: "Dynamics of Russian Colonialism in Russia." Digitally created works by Marlena Myles. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri.; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat. 1-5 p.m. Sun. $5-$13. 5500 Stevens Av. S., Mpls. 612-821-9045.

TWIN CITY MODEL RAILROAD MUSEUM: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sat. Night Trains exhibit. 3-7 p.m. Sat. $10-$15, ages 4 and under free. 668 Transfer Road, St. Paul. 651-647-9268.

WALKER ART CENTER: Opening Feb. 4, current exhibits include "Designs for Different Futures" and "Michaela Eichwald," painting, sculpture and collage. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Thu.; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Fri.-Sat.; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. Sculpture Garden open daily 6 a.m.-midnight. $10-$15, advance reservations required. 725 Vineland Place, Mpls. 612-375-7600.

WEISMAN ART MUSEUM: Opening Feb. 11 with "Pressing Issues: Printmaking as Social Justice in 1930s United States." Opens Thu. Noon-5 p.m. Thu.-Sun. University of Minnesota, 333 East River Road, Mpls. 612-625-9494.

Not yet open

BELL MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY: The University of Minnesota museum hopes to open in early March. Until then, check out the virtual programming on their website and social media.

COMO TOWN: Adjacent to the Como Zoo & Conservatory, the mini amusement park's website says it will open April 22 with advanced ticketing only.

SCIENCE MUSEUM OF MINNESOTA: The St. Paul museum is currently set to open this spring. Check website for updates.

MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY SITES: Historic sites, including Oliver Kelley Farm, Mill City Museum and James J. Hill House, remain closed. There has yet to be any indication of when they might reopen. The Minnesota History Center, Split Rock Lighthouse grounds, visitor center and museum shop and the trading post at Mille Lacs Indian Museum are open.