Play Matters Blog

Welcome Back, Friends

Brindha Muniappan

We are ready and eager to welcome you back to the Discovery Museum! Although the way we play now is a little different than it was before, our objective remains the same: to spark curiosity, inspire learning through playful exploration, and foster social connections and empathy. We also want to offer families a bit of hope and help children regain the sense of normalcy that has been missing in these uncertain times. 

Our staff have had extensive discussions and developed detailed plans to ensure we can offer fun, carefree experiences that remain true to our mission, while also adhering to protocols necessary for a safe environment. We’re now asking visitors to reserve tickets online in advance so we can limit the number of visitors on campus. We have new procedures for cleaning and sanitizing between each visitation time block, in addition to professional cleaning each night. Hand sanitizer is readily available, we are requiring masks for everyone who can wear them, and we’ve implemented capacity restrictions that will allow households to have entire galleries to themselves in some cases. Yes, you can still splash in the (carefully chlorinated) Water Gallery, leap to catch falling scarves at the Air Maze, and create a masterpiece in the da Vinci Workshop! For more details on our new protocols, please visit the Plan Your Visit section of our website.

Recognizing how important it is to spend time—and to play—outside, visitors will now have even more ways to enjoy our outdoor campus, including Discovery Woods and Fairyborough. We’ve added new experiences, including a Leonardo da Vinci-inspired bridge for climbing; nature observation activities in our giant Discovery Treehouse; an entry kiosk with route and orienteering information at the trailhead to the Great Hill Conservation Land; large-scale lawn games; new outdoor experiences for our 0-3 year-old visitors; and the return of the Trike Track.

If you’re not ready to visit us quite yet, we understand. People have different levels of comfort with being out of the home and that’s perfectly fine. We are hopeful that Free To Play, our month of free admission from July 28 through August 23, will help you visit in whatever way you are comfortable—be it outdoors only, several short visits, or a swing through just your favorite galleries—without concern for cost. You might enjoy our Discovery at Home activity guides, which follow our ethos of open-ended learning with everyday materials, that are freely available. You might also enjoy our weekly email with at-home activity prompts, featuring bite-sized ways to explore the world (sign up for our email list here). However you choose to reengage with us, we are here to support you and will continue to update our procedures and increase available learning opportunities as the world evolves. We hope to see you again soon!

Brindha Muniappan

Brindha Muniappan is Senior Director of the Museum Experience. She is enthusiastic about producing meaningful ways for people of all ages and diverse experiences to engage with science and technology. Her work at the Discovery Museum continues a focus on diversifying audiences through intentional collaborations with local community organizations. Brindha’s passion for science communication led her from the research bench at MIT — she has an undergraduate degree in environmental engineering and PhD in biological engineering — and into the field of informal science education.


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