As art museums and galleries across Dallas-Fort Worth cautiously reopened their halls over the summer with limited capacity and new social distancing rules, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science faced a bigger challenge. How does an interactive, hands-on museum operate in a post COVID world? The answers seems to be thinner crowds and a new, hands-free approach. The Perot reopens this weekend for the first time since March with special hours, a limit of 25 percent capacity, and limited access to certain exhibitions.
The museum has temporarily closed certain interactive activities and areas, including the Moody Family Children’s Museum and the Hoglund Foundation Theater. The majority of the touchable activations, like the Paleo Scene Investigation and Mineral Table Chart, are currently off-limits. The Perot will may lift these restrictions based on the lifting or reinstatement of federal, state, and local guidelines.
The museum is following the same set of safety standards adopted by 60 other local arts and culture organizations in reopening. Like the Dallas Museum of Art and the Nasher, the Perot will only be open on the weekends during this first phase of reopening (Fridays-Sundays). Guests must reserve tickets for a specific entry time, and the museum’s entrances are now contact-free. At the moment, they’re not allowing groups larger than 10.
Masks are required, and guests must maintain a velociraptor’s length of distance between themselves and others (that’s six feet). They’ve installed some hand sanitizer stations and ramped up cleaning teams to disinfect halls and spaces throughout the day. Employees, volunteers, and vendors will undergo daily temperature checks, but guests will not.
This weekend, the Perot will be open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. The Perot will be open on Fridays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. starting September 18.