The University of Nebraska State Museum-Morrill Hall will reopen to the public with limited operating hours and timed tickets beginning Aug. 5. Additional restrictions will apply for the safety of visitors, staff and researchers.
“We are excited to be welcoming back our members and visitors,” said Susan Weller, director of the NU State Museum. “I am looking forward to hearing the hum of conversations in the hallways again.”
Morrill Hall will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sundays.
A limited number of tickets will be available each hour, with final tickets available starting at 3:30 p.m. each day. In addition, the following restrictions and rules will be in place:
- All visitors over age 3 are required to wear a face covering. Disposable masks will be available for purchase for visitors arriving without a mask. Failure to wear a face covering is grounds for removal from the museum with no refund of ticket.
- All visitors must acquire a ticket in advance of visiting. Tickets can be purchased at https://museum.unl.edu.
- Children under 4 will still receive free admission but must register for a free ticket to enter.
- All discounts — including Museums for All, active military and veterans, and seniors — remain in effect. Those claiming the discounted tickets will be required to show proof at entry.
- NU State Museum memberships have been extended by the time lost due to closure. Members must acquire a free member ticket for each person in the party and show membership card at entry.
- Museum entry is granted during the first 30 minutes of the time slot indicated on the purchased ticket. Early access will not be allowed. Museum entry is forfeit and the ticket is invalid after the 30-minute check-in time has elapsed. This is to allow for maintenance of museum capacity and social distancing.
Some additional changes in museum amenities will be in place to promote visitor safety:
- Visitors are requested to adhere to social-distancing practices and maintain 6 feet between themselves and other parties. Elephant footprints on floors within exhibits will serve as distancing guides.
- Water fountains will be inaccessible; water bottle filling stations will be available. Visitors are allowed to bring in their own water bottles and infant bottles or baby formula. All other food and beverages are prohibited inside the museum. Picnic tables outside the museum may be used to consume food and drink items. Visitors are encouraged to social distance while using the picnic area.
- The Visible Lab located in Cherish Nebraska will operate Wednesday through Friday on reduced hours. Visitors will be able to communicate with researchers via a touchless intercom system.
- The museum’s gift shop will operate with limited hours, from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Credit/debit cards are the preferred payment option. A limited number of visitors will be allowed in the gift shop at one time through a single entrance and one-way path to exit. Guests are urged to follow signs and staff instructions.
- Restrooms will be open. One family or social group at a time is encouraged.
- Hand sanitizer stations will be available throughout the museum.
- The Marx Discovery Center on the first floor will remain closed until further notice.
- Fourth-floor exploration drawers within the Science Exploration Zone in Cherish Nebraska will remain closed.
- Mueller Planetarium will remain closed.
- The mother’s room will remain closed.
Upon reopening, Morrill Hall will feature a new temporary display, “Science Behind the News: Viruses.”
The display discusses the biology of viruses such as the novel coronavirus. The display was created and shared by the New York Hall of Science via the Association of Science and Technology Centers, of which the NU State Museum is a member.
Individuals or families with questions regarding Morrill Hall and its new operating procedures should visit https://museum.unl.edu or call 402-472-2637.