The Minnesota Children's Museum is reopening Aug. 1 after being closed four months during the COVID-19 pandemic, losing more than $2 million in revenue.
Reservations are required for visitors so the St. Paul museum can limit large groups and allow for physical distancing. Masks are required for any visitor age 5 and older. The museum will open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays. Tickets are $14.95 or free to members.
The museum, which closed to the public March 14, has boosted its cleaning and sanitizing efforts, installed hand sanitizer stations and removed some activities such as face painting.
The museum laid off four employees in June and reduced hours for four other positions. Most of the Children's Museum's 150 employees have been furloughed without pay since the end of March, and the remaining staff are being called back to work in phases.
About $5.5 million of the museum's $9 million budget comes from program revenue such as admissions, field trips, memberships and exhibit rentals. Employee salaries make up two-thirds of the nonprofit's expenses. The Children's Museum estimates it will likely lose another $3 million between now and next summer due to significantly lower attendance than normal.
Nearby, the Science Museum of Minnesota, which is reopening Sept. 4, laid off nearly 40% of its staff this week after losing $10 million in revenue.