Philadelphia museums, Adventure Aquarium announce reopening dates

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- While not everything is opening in the Philadelphia area, there will still be places to go as long as you follow safety protocols, such as social distancing and wearing a mask.

A number of museums in Philadelphia jointly announced their reopening plans on Wednesday.

Museums are some of the activities that can resume operations starting Friday, July 3 in Philadelphia, as the city moves to a modified green phase amid the COVID-19 pandemic, health commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said Tuesday.

The Franklin Institute will be the first to reopen on Wednesday, July 8. followed by the Barnes Foundation on Saturday, July 25 (with member previews on July 23, 24, and the morning of July 25).

The Academy of Natural Sciences reopens on Friday, July 31 (with member previews on July 24, 25 and 26), and PAFA on Saturday, September 12 (with previews for members and essential frontline workers September 3, 4, 5 and 6).

Eastern State Penitentiary and the Philadelphia Museum of Art - along with the Rodin Museum - expect to announce reopening dates and hours in the coming weeks.

Officials said each cultural institution has carefully developed new health and safety protocols, following guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, and in consultation with national museum organizations, as well as fellow museums across the nation and around the world.

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, the Barnes Foundation, Eastern State Penitentiary, The Franklin Institute, PAFA, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Rodin Museum said they have committed to the following precautions and protocols for as long as necessary:

  • Masks/face-coverings for visitors and staff are required

  • For most institutions, advance-reservations are encouraged or required to facilitate contactless transactions, and timed ticketing is in place to control the number of visitors

  • All are expected to practice social distancing

  • Limited building capacity to facilitate social distancing

  • All public spaces and surfaces cleaned and disinfected throughout the day

  • Hand sanitizer stations installed

  • Installation of plexiglass partitions in admissions and other areas


Museum leaders issued the following joint statement:
"Philadelphia's museum community has been preparing to reopen since the day the COVID-19 health crisis forced us to close. While these have been trying times for the entire global community, and we will continue to feel the impact of this crisis for the foreseeable future, we are eager to begin welcoming our visitors back soon to find inspiration, educational experiences and solace. If our welcome can't yet be with open arms, it will certainly be with smiles behind our masks."


Adventure Awaits

The Adventure Aquarium on the Camden Waterfront has announced it will reopen on Wednesday, July 15.

On that day, as well as Thursday, July 16, the aquarium is only open exclusively for members. Then on Friday, July 17, all guests can visit the aquarium.



Governor Phil Murphy announced aquariums, museums, libraries, and indoor recreation facilities can reopen starting July 2 with 25% capacity.

The Adventure Aquarium said members and general admission guests will be required to reserve the date and time they wish to visit. Starting Friday, July 10 at 10 a.m., guests can make reservations at adventureaquarium.com.

"Creating memories worth repeating has always been our purpose, but it means more now than ever before" Adventure Aquarium's Executive Director, Vince Nicoletti said in a statement. "And after four months of closure, guest's paid admission also means more now since it helps us provide exceptional care for our animals and continue our conservation efforts in our community and around the world."

Adventure Aquarium, home to the largest collection of sharks on the East Coast, says additional details on the new health and safety measures will be released on July 10.

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