UPDATE: The museum said July 6 that, given the spike in COVID-19 cases in the Metroplex during the last two weeks, they have decided to delay the reopening of the museum, originally planned for mid-July. "As a responsible member of the community, we need to respect the recommendation of healthcare professionals to eliminate unnecessary visitor contact," they say in a release. Online content will continue to be offered while the doors remain closed.
The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History will reopen to the public July 14, but due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the experience will be slightly different for visitors to the city's most hands-on museum.
The FWMSH revealed its plans June 24, almost two weeks after the other major museums in Fort Worth announced their reopenings.
The public reopening will be preceded by three days for members only, July 9-11, as a thank-you for their support. Members also will get access the museum at 10 am, one hour prior to the general public, every day starting July 14.
The museum, which had previously been closed only on Mondays, will now close on Sundays, as well. However, they have temporarily reduced the price of admission to $9 for anyone 5 and over and free for children 4 or younger and members (admission is normally $16 for adults and $13 for kids ages 2-18).
Most importantly, the museum's staff has been working to make sure all visitors are as safe as possible when they revisit the normally-highly interactive museum. Among the changes they have made to adapt to the coronavirus pandemic are:
- The removal of all objects that are frequently touched, including touchable exhibits and screens.
- The Omni Theater and Noble Planetarium will remain closed for the foreseeable future.
- Regular cleaning of touched surfaces, doorknobs, and more.
- The availability of hand sanitizer throughout the museum.
- Timed ticketing to ensure lower occupancy and to allow social distancing within the museum.
- The closure of storage lockers.
- A requirement of face masks for visitors ages 5 and up and all staff, which falls in line with Tarrant County's new mask mandate.
FWMSH has added five new touch-free experiences in the Innovation Studios, live demonstrations in the new Science Theater, and hands-on STEAM activities that kids can participate in with just their families.
"We are so excited to finally reopen our doors to the Fort Worth community," said museum president Van A. Romans in a statement. "I can't wait to see happy families experiencing our museum in a way that is both safe and fun."
Visitors are required to buy their tickets in advance via online ticketing, as that will enable them to have touchless entry into the museum. Online ticketing will be available starting at 5 pm on Thursday, June 25.