After being closed for more than a year, the Children’s Museum of Virginia is back open in Portsmouth.
Portsmouth Museum’s marketing coordinator, Lynette James said this weekend was a special preview for members of the museum before it opens up to everyone else on Wednesday.
“Oh my goodness, they’re so happy. I can’t believe the excitement! I was outside when they came in, and they couldn’t contain themselves,” she said.
The children’s museum shut down last spring, as statewide stay-at-home orders went into effect.
“It wasn’t easy,” James said. “We quickly started doing like everyone else, online learning, virtual experiences. We offer those to our visitors.”
More than a year later, they’re re-launching with safety precautions in place including timed tickets, enhanced cleaning, and encouraging masks and social distancing.
“Even though some of the restrictions have been lifted, we’re going to make sure that people know that we’re safe,” James said.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam ended the universal mask mandate lifted all COVID-19 restrictions on May 28.
The children’s museum has a little bit of everything, including old favorites like the bubble room, as well as upgraded and new experiences for kids.
“Mason has been waiting over a year to come back,” said Courtney Leonard, a parent. “He’s really excited about the bubbles, and the fire trucks, and the trains. He’s been asking at least once a week since July of last year.”
Also, she’s not alone. Another parent, Michael Heaney said he’s glad to be back with his family.
“It’s such a great place,” he said. “It’s interactive, the kids just love it, they get to touch everything. We were just making like big bubbles; we’re just happy it’s open again. It’s a great place.”
Tickets for the museum must be purchased in advance. You can do that online by visiting the Children’s Museum of Virginia website.
The children’s museum is one of two Portsmouth museums that are re-opening to the public.
The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum also opened to members, this weekend, and will reopen fully on Wednesday.