Is the museum open?
Yes! After a three-month closure, the museum reopened to the public starting Saturday, June 13.
Do I have to buy tickets online ahead of time?
We are encouraging all prospective visitors, including museum members, to reserve tickets online for a specific date and time slot. This helps regulate visitor flow and minimizes physical contact during the payment transaction. Tickets will be available for walk-ins as well, but if the museum is at capacity, walk-in visitors may be asked to wait briefly until other visitors leave.
What additional health and safety precautions is the museum taking?
The museum is undertaking a massive effort to help fight the spread of COVID-19, including:
- adding new hand sanitizer stations and sneeze guards
- creating and encouraging the use of timed-entry tickets (buy here)
- limiting attendance numbers to 50 at a time (including visitors, staff, and volunteers)
- adding mask-only hours for at-risk and other visitors (11-12:30 on Monday-Saturday)
- shortening overall business hours (11-6 on Monday-Saturday and 1-5 on Sundays)
- encouraging physical distancing and mask usage for all visitors, staff, and volunteers
- hiring a new full-time custodian to implement a new and improved cleaning/disinfection protocol (he started June 2)
- creating signage to communicate new protocols
- requiring training, assessments, and daily screenings for all staff and volunteers working on site
- facilitating flexible worksites and schedules for staff
What is the new traveling exhibit schedule?
Due to the unexpected closure, Darwin & Dinosaurs has now been extended through the summer. Rather than opening in June, Body Worlds: Animal Inside Out will now open in September. Exact dates will be announced soon. The special panel exhibit, 100 Years After the 19th Amendment: Their Legacy and Our Future, will run as scheduled from July 25 to August 2.
Is the Discovery Room open?
Yes, the Marie Putnam Discovery Room will be open during business hours by appointment only, with full disinfection between each use. When purchasing your admission tickets online, you may also reserve a 30-minute slot in the Discovery Room.
How will programs be affected?
We have cancelled all in-person programs at least through July, including Museum After Dark, Museum Club, Little Learners, Discovery Day, Rocky Mountain Adventure Camps for kids, and the Idaho Falls-Ammon Mini Maker Faire. The adult programs have moved to virtual formats, and the kids' programs are using a combination of virtual and "camp-in-a-box"-style adventures that can be enjoyed at home. Information can be found using the links above.
As of now, we are planning to continue with the in-person Rocky Mountain Adventure Camps for educators that are possible while maintaining appropriate physical distance.
How will this affect my museum membership?
All existing memberships, as well as new memberships purchased by June 30, have been extended by three months to reflect the duration of the closure.
Will my tickets still be honored?
Yes. All tickets that were valid for Darwin & Dinosaurs will still be valid throughout the duration of that exhibit, despite the printed expiration date of May 31.
Is the new Idaho exhibit still opening this year?
Yes. Fortunately, development and construction has been able to continue through the closure, and the exhibit, called Way Out West, is still on track to open in December.