With approval from public health and University of Minnesota officials, the Bell Museum announced today that it plans to reopen for members starting Thursday, July 16 and then for the general public on July 23.

 Museum officials, in a news release, said they are taking “a measured approach” to reopening their facility, which brings together high-tech exhibits, famous wildlife dioramas and outdoor learning experiences. The museum’s reopening will give first access to members “with safety at the center of all we do,” they said. “As we continually evaluate and get feedback from staff and visitors, we will adjust and hope to offer extended hours and open the planetarium in the coming weeks.”

  Here are some of the reopening guidelines the Museum is implementing:

  • Limited days and hours of operation: Thursday–Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m
  • Attendance will be limited to 25 percent of our building’s capacity (no more than 250 people in the entire building at any single time to encourage physical distancing).
  • The Museum e will require advance reservations of tickets for timed entry to the museum.
  • All visitors over 2- years-old must wear a face covering that covers the mouth and nose. If a visitor has a medical condition or disability that prevents this, reasonable accommodations will be provided.
  • The Museum has enhanced cleaning throughout the exhibit spaces and the Touch & See Lab for a safe visit.

  Timed-entry ticket sales and reservations for July 16–26 are now available. To buy tickets, follow the UMN Ticket page or call 612-626-9660, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday–Friday. At this time, ticket purchases will be available only online.

   “As Minnesota’s natural history museum, the Bell Museum serves a unique role in our community and state,” Museum Executive Director Denise Young said in a statement. “We exist to educate and inspire people about the natural world and, in this challenging and stressful time, we can offer a safe place to escape and reflect, enjoying the beauty of nature. We hope our visitors will enjoy the change of scenery from being limited to our homes.”

    Founded in 1872, the Bell Museum is Minnesota’s state natural history museum. It is part of the U of Minnesota’s College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences.

-Scott Carlson, Bugle editor

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