Museum Operations Update

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Museum Operations Update

February 17, 2021

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When will the indoor museum exhibits open?

Membership extension continues. Yet optimism abounds.

First, thank you for your continued support as we navigate the best way to fulfill our mission to spark imagination for all children and their grown-ups.

As a hands-on, engaging environment — one designed to create connections for people of all ages and abilities — and a place that attracts visitors from across the country and the world, we are taking a sustainable approach to reopening our indoor space.

We are optimistic for spring!

We pay close attention to case numbers and vaccine distribution in our state and region, and we are optimistic that we will be able to reopen our indoor space this spring.

While we do not have a date set, the timing of our reopening will focus on the health and safety of our community and staff members.

Reopening planning work continues

We continue to take seriously the procedures outlined in our Museum Action Plan and have recently installed ionization units throughout the building to clean and disinfect air through needlepoint bipolar ionization as one more way to move toward our goal of reopening.

Thank you for your continued patience, your unwavering support, and your optimism that play inside our walls will soon be here!

Here are a few frequently asked questions

  • Memberships: From the beginning, we have extended Museum memberships to reflect the time of our closure. If you were a member before our closure, please know that your membership is still valid and will be extended once an opening date is set. If you wish to honor your original expiration date and renew your membership as a way to support the Museum, please contact our membership coordinator at
  • Café: Café Coteau is open with limited seating Tuesday through Saturday, 8 am to 2 pm. It also serves a curbside meal on Thursdays from 4:30 to 5:30 pm. (Check the calendar for each week’s meal. Reservations required.)
  • Play Central Toys & Books: Our gift shop stocks a variety of puzzles, games, toys, and books and is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 am to 5 pm.
  • Outdoor Prairie: Our outdoor prairie is open for play Tuesday through Saturday 10 am to 5 pm with snow painting, sledding, snow Striders, and more. Admission is pay as you will.
  • Opportunity to Give: In 2020, we experienced more than a 75% loss of revenue, yet our work to spark imagination is more important than ever. If you believe in the Power of Play, we invite you to make a gift.

Working behind the scenes

We continue to work to fulfill our mission and are working behind the scenes to plan for a well-executed reopening. In addition, we’ve been offering these Museum From Home activities:

  • Connectivities: Connectivities is a Children’s Museum in a Box that offers a fun, creative way to connect with the children in your life, even if you are far away. They are available to be ordered and shipped via our website or in our gift shop.
  • STEAM Challenges: Our education team has been working with the Brookings School District to offer virtual STEAM Challenges to classes to date connecting with over 650 students.
  • Museum From Home Activities: Check our website calendar for virtual story times, Take-N-Makes, and STEAM Challenges. Find Recipes for Play on our blog. We also have Play Along at Home kits for 3-5-year-olds and 6-12-year-olds.

Thank you for your support

Please continue to follow our work on our website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. If you are not on our email list, please sign up here.

When a reopening date is set, we will shout it from the mountaintops. Again, thank you for your support, and please reach out if you have questions or concerns!