Press Release

CMOM Reopens to the Public On October 16 with Curated Museum Adventures and New Health and Safety Protocols

New York, NY
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Special Preview Days for New and Existing Members Begin October 1 

The Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM) announced today it is reopening its doors to the public on Friday, October 16, with new, specially curated adventures for the city’s youngest learners. CMOM has reimagined the museum experience through time-ticketed, small group experiences, offering safe, socially distanced, and educational activities that inspire children to learn through play.  Each group will be led by a CMOM educator through two floors of the museum on one of two adventures: “Playful Explorers” or “Superpowered Creators.” These curated experiences mark a new approach for children’s museums during the pandemic and allow CMOM to continue its stewardship of early childhood development through separate, safe play. Current and new CMOM members are invited to visit the museum during a special two-week early access period, beginning October 1.

In preparation for the building’s reopening, CMOM has been working closely with a health advisory committee to create and implement new safety protocols. Developed in accordance with CDC recommendations and state and city guidelines, key changes include the implementation of contactless timed-ticket reservations and digital membership cards; temperature checks; mask and social distancing requirements; and regular, robust cleanings. 

As the museum begins offering in-person adventures, CMOM is simultaneously continuing to expand its online programs and resources through twice weekly “CMOM at Home” activities and a monthly edition of “Parenting in Place” available on the museum’s website. For more information about CMOM’s digital program and to sign up for the newsletter, please visit athome.cmom.org. 

“We know the past six months have been a challenging time for all children and their caregivers. We hope our reopening offers a respite and welcome opportunity for safe, in-person engagement with the CMOM community,” said Aileen Hefferren, CEO and Director of the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. “There’s a growing need to support New York City families, in the face of remote learning and increasing economic and educational inequality. As a children’s museum, our mission is to challenge and inspire the city’s youngest learners and offer resources for their families. We are excited to offer a new nimble and adaptable museum model for how children and families can explore, connect, and play in this new reality.”

“Developed with guidance from our health advisory committee, our ‘Playful Explorers’ and ‘Superpowered Creators’ adventures reimagine the CMOM experience in a way that maintains the magic of visiting the museum,” said Leslie Bushara, CMOM’s Deputy Director of Education and Exhibitions. “With support of CMOM’s talented educators, children and their caretakers will have opportunities to engage with their favorite installations and exhibitions—including PlayWorks and Adventures with Dora and Diego, as well as Inside Art and Superpowered Metropolis—in small socially distanced groups.”

In conjunction with its reopening, CMOM will be offering a new, three-month family membership for first-time members in addition to its annual family membership options. All memberships include daily member-only hours and exclusive benefits. To become a CMOM member, please visit https://cmom.org/membership. More information on CMOM curated experiences, and new health and safety protocols, follows below.

New CMOM Adventures: “Playful Explorers” and “Superpowered Creators”

CMOM is offering families the choice of one of two museums adventures through its beloved exhibitions. Each timed visit, lasting one hour and forty-five minutes, is led by a CMOM educator and filled with imaginative activities and opportunities for free play and controlled exploration in the exhibits.

“Superpowered Creators” invites children and their caregivers to make artwork and play within CMOM’s Inside Art and Superpowered Metropolis exhibitions. In Inside Art, children will experience large-scale, interactive installations and sculptures by eleven contemporary artists, encouraging new understandings of art and environment. In the recently unveiled Superpowered Metropolis: Early Learning City, children are transported into a comic book version of New York City. This exhibit builds children’s executive function skills, including self-control, working memory, and mental flexibility, by practicing these “superpowers” with pigeons Zip, Zap, and Zoom. Together, they guide visitors on adventures through the city, exploring parks, music, travel, treehouses, and more.

“Playful Explorers” will embark on adventures with Dora the Explorer and learn as they play in CMOM’s PlayWorks exhibition. The group will first visit Dora and her friends, as they help Diego rescue animals in need. In PlayWorks, young learners will build confidence, independence, and awareness with activities including feeding letters to a giant talking dragon; shopping and cooking at a NYC deli; riding and driving a firetruck and an MTA bus; a soft space for crawling, and more. The visit will include story-time, music, and personal activity kits that each family can use during their time at the museum.

In addition to these small group adventures, private playgroups and learning pod visits are available for up to 10 children and a caregiver. For more information, please visit www.cmom.org.  

New Health and Safety Procedures

Adhering to guidelines and recommendations from the CDC and state and city officials, CMOM is reopening its building with a new set of protocols to ensure staff and visitor safety. The museum has upgraded its ventilation systems with new MERV 13 air filters to protect against airborne virus transmissions. These filters will be regularly replaced. CMOM is implementing regular museum cleanings, including cleanings between visitor timeslots with new sanitation measures and special equipment to disinfect its spaces. The museum will also deep clean its activity kits every night, and there will be multiple hand sanitizing spaces throughout the visitor journey.

All visitors, including members, are required to purchase timed tickets in advance at cmom.org. Each timeslot has limited capacity to allow for social distancing and safe play inside the museum. Tickets can be printed or shown on a mobile device at entry. In addition, each visitor will: 

• Have their temperature checked upon arrival at the museum. If someone’s temperature exceeds 100 F, the individual and their group will be unable to enter the museum.

• Wear masks (all visitors age two years old and older). 

• Respect social distancing protocols, staying 6 feet apart throughout the museum. Elevators and bathrooms will be limited to one family at a time. New paths are marked throughout the museum to help guide guests, with signage indicating 6-foot-spacing for social distancing.

• Use new digital membership cards (for members only). To become a member, or retrieve your card, please visit https://cmom.org/membership/.

A detailed overview of the museum’s new health and safety protocols, how to reserve a timeslot, and what to expect during your visit, are available on the museum’s website.

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Photo by Kangbino, courtesy of CMOM.

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