EAST LYME, Conn. (WTNH) — After months of closure due to COVID-19, the Children’s Museum of Southeastern Connecticut is gearing up to reopen.  

Museums were among the businesses included in Phase Two of Connecticut’s reopening plan launched on June 17th, but the Children’s Museum’s Executive Director Holly Cheeseman said she wanted to take the time to open confidently and safely. 

“I opted to wait to see how it was going to play out,” Cheeseman said. “And I’m delighted to announce that we are going to be reopening next week on July 14th.” 

For the first week, the museum will be open to members only. After that, it will be open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 

“It’s going to be great to have our museum filled with laughter again and those learning moments,” said the museum’s Marketing & Design Specialist Rita Rivera. “That’s what we’re about, we’re about those learning moments.” 

It’s going to look like the same fun, creative space the museum is known for, just with a few minor changes–like social distancing markers and more hand sanitizer stations. 

“You will see when you check in we have installed plexiglass. All staff every day will be required to take temperatures and fill out a questionnaire that they have been free of symptoms of the virus,” Cheeseman explained.

Other changes include having individual craft kits instead of communal projects on the floor, time ticketing for entrance into the museum, and a cap at 50 people inside at a time. 

Cheeseman told News 8 that while the museum does need the revenue, she is excited about the impact their reopening will have on the community as well. 

“I’m hoping as visitors come back here, they will take the time to visit the museum and then go and patronize some of the other wonderful stores…we have here in Niantic and throughout East Lyme.”