Exploration Place is reopening
The museum will re-open to the public on Saturday, July 4, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Will memberships be extended?
All memberships are being automatically extended by four months. This makes up all the time missed since we closed on March 13, and adds a couple of bonus weeks on us.
Are there special days/times for members?
To show appreciation for the loyalty and support of our members, we have designated the first three days of reopening as exclusive, members-only days: Wednesday, July 1 through Friday, July 3. We'll be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday and Friday. We'll be open late -- until 8 p.m. only on this Thursday and going forward (at least until Labor Day) -- for all in the community.
When will the next member event be held?
We are planning a member preview for our next traveling exhibit: Rock U: The Institute of Rock and Roll on Friday, September 25.
Visiting Exploration Place
Do I need to reserve a time to visit, or buy tickets in advance?
Reservations and advance tickets are not required. However, we are limiting our building capacity to 25% (500 people) to ensure appropriate social distancing is possible at all times. It is unlikely that we will ever reach this capacity, but if we do, we’ll implement a one-in, one-out queuing system.
Am I required to wear a mask?
The City of Wichita has ordered that all those in public places are required to wear masks. Exploration Place is following this order, which means our staff, volunteers and all guests are required to wear masks when in public areas of the museum. If you do not have a mask we will have them available free of charge to all guests. Ages 5 years and younger are excluded.
Are museum hours the same?
To help maintain social distancing we are extending our museum hours to include Thursday evenings (open later, until 8 p.m.) and Sunday mornings (open earlier, at 10 a.m.). All other hours remain the same. We will continue this schedule until at least Labor Day
Will there be new procedures at the museum due to COVID-19?
We are implementing a number of measures designed to make your visit safe and enjoyable. The measures are based on guidance from health officials, and feedback we received from more than 700 Exploration Place members through an online survey.
On arrival we’ll ask everyone to do three things:
- Clean your shoes on a foot mat sanitizer on the floor.
- Use the sanitizer provided to clean your hands.
- Pass through a temperature check station to make sure no one enters the museum with a fever (100.4 degrees or greater). Children under 3 years old will not be checked.
What are you doing to clean and sanitize the museum?
Survey responses made clear that keeping the museum sparkling clean and sanitized should be our number one priority. While we were closed, we have deep-cleaned and disinfected the entire museum. All exhibits will be disinfected daily using an electrostatic system. Also:
- Additional sanitizing stations will be available throughout the museum.
- We have added staff to clean high touch exhibits, toys, doors, benches, etc. throughout the day.
- Individual exhibit galleries will be deep cleaned in rotation throughout the day. These areas will need to be temporarily closed during these times.
What other changes should I expect?
Here are some of the changes you will see when you visit.
- The ticket counter has been relocated. One of the benefits this brings is that members will enter the museum more quickly.
- The snack bar has been moved to the Main Lobby.
- We have temporarily closed all drinking fountains. For your convenience, complimentary water bottles will be available.
In addition to the 25% capacity limit on the building, we will monitor Kansas Kids Connect so the capacity of that exhibit is at 25% or less.
Will all the exhibits be open?
Most exhibits will be open as usual, including the well-received traveling exhibit, Imaginate, which has been extended through Labor Day weekend. Some exhibit components that are hard to keep sanitized, are being temporarily removed. In the case of KEVA this means the entire exhibit will be closed. The Nano exhibit will move into KEVA’s space, and the traveling exhibit Sun, Earth, Universe has returned and will be located in the Grand Hall.
Will the dome theater be open?
Yes, but with a capacity limit of 25% (41 seats per showing) to allow for proper social distancing. We are increasing the number of screenings and will clean the theater’s stair railing, doors and chairs after every show. And – great news - we have been able to extend the showing of Great Bear Rainforest for two more months! If you have not had a chance to see this amazing film, be sure to take some time and catch it when you visit.
Will the Explore Store be open?
Yes! We are ready for you to shop the store once again! For your safety we will monitor its capacity to 25% and will conduct additional cleaning of that area throughout the day.
Can I get food from the snack bar?
Yes, the snack bar will be open and for your convenience, in a new location – the Main Lobby. We’ll have it stocked with all your favorites and any self-serve items will now be served to you by staff.
Will there be summer camps this year?
We are unable to offer in-person camp for the rest of the summer season, but our online Camp in a Box program is getting rave reviews. If you are looking for something fun and educational for your child to do this summer, we encourage you to sign up. Details here.
What’s the status of birthday parties?
Currently we are unable to offer our normal birthday party packages, but look out for some new birthday options coming soon.
Are facility rentals allowed?
Rentals of the museum are continuing, provided they are in line with our 25% capacity restriction and any official guidelines. Read more about rental options here.
Staying in Touch
How can I stay in touch
Please follow our social media channels for the latest updates about any changes to our museum’s operations and programming: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest. Or join our email mailing list here.
Thank you for your continued support. We hope to see you soon!