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July 7, 2020

Discovery Museum will reopen to the public on July 28th, with free admission for all visitors through August 23. Visitation will begin with Member Only weeks from July 14 through July 26.

Photos for media use, (c) Jessica Cronin Photography https://bit.ly/39LgPIJ

“Our goal is to provide a safe, welcoming, and supportive environment where families can begin to re-connect outside their homes and where children can have the familiar, joyful experiences that can help signal a return to the normalcy that has been lost during the pandemic,” said Neil Gordon, Discovery Museum CEO. “Access and inclusion have long been a priority at the Museum. With Free To Play, families can visit and explore the Museum at their own pace, in whatever ways they feel most comfortable, without concern for cost. Some may choose to visit just a few of their favorite indoor galleries, some may spend most of their visit exploring our outdoor experiences, and some may feel most comfortable with several short visits. Free To Play will help make that possible.”

In addition to the Museum’s indoor exhibits, outdoor experiences available to visitors will include the Discovery Treehouse and Discovery Woods nature playscape, Adventure Hill, a trike track, a new da Vinci moveable bridge, lawn games, orienteering and trail route information for the Great Hill Conservation Land, and several new outdoor experiences for all ages.

The Museum has been closed since March 14th, in accordance with state business requirements. During that time, staff developed at-home STEAM activity resources that were posted online and distributed in hard copy through local food pantries and the Acton-Boxborough schools, as well as online Distance Learning Resources for teachers.

Health and Safety Protocols
Following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care, the MA Department of Public Health, and Governor Baker’s office, the Museum has put in place health and safety protocols and visitor requirements for its reopening. These include reduced building capacity, advanced tickets for entry, one-way visitor flows and reduced gallery capacities, and expanded cleaning procedures. Staff and visitors ages 5 and up will be required to wear masks on campus at all times, and no food or drink will be allowed. There will be three timed blocks for visitors each day, and the Museum will be cleaned between blocks while closed to visitors.

Funding Support for Free To Play
“We are honored by the support of our donor community for Free To Play,” said Marie Beam, chief development officer. “We began reaching out to sponsors and individual donors to discuss this idea soon after we closed in March, and despite the uncertainty at the time, many embraced it from the start and wanted to help make it happen. We are particularly grateful to our Title sponsor, The TJX Companies, Inc., for their early and generous support. Our sponsors’ faith in the Museum to provide something important to families at this challenging time is humbling.”

The Title sponsor for Free To Play is The TJX Companies, Inc. Highland Street Foundation and Middlesex Savings Bank are Premier sponsors; Lead sponsor is MathWorks, Inc. Additional support is provided by Enterprise Bank, Hologic, NETSCOUT, and Workers Credit Union.

The Museum welcomes additional support for the program; donations can be made at discoveryacton.org/support.

About Discovery Museum

Discovery Museum is a hands-on museum that blends science, nature, and play, inspiring families to explore and learn together. The museum and its Discovery Woods accessible outdoor nature playscape and 550sf treehouse blend the best of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) learning on a beautiful 4.5-acre campus abutting 180 acres of conservation land in Acton, MA, about 20 miles west of Boston. Originally founded in 1982 and expanded to two museums in 1987, the museum reopened in a single, 16,000sf accessible building after a complete renovation and expansion in early 2018. Hands-on, open-ended exhibits developed by professional educators inspire curiosity and exploration, providing a fun and engaging experience for children and adults to discover their world together. Serving families and schools from towns throughout the region, the museum is devoted to informal education that enhances classroom learning. Discovery Museum is committed to accessibility, and is a proud recipient of the 2017 Massachusetts Commonwealth Award, the only winner in the Access category, and a 2018 LEAD® Community Asset Award from The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. For more information please visit www.discoveryacton.org. Discovery Museum is a community-supported non-profit organization.

Discovery Museum programming is supported in part by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.