Sloan Museum and Longway Planetarium will reopen to the public July 8

GENESEE COUNTY — The Sloan Museum at the Courtland Center in Burton, and the Longway Planetarium in the Flint Cultural Center, will reopen to the public July 8.

The Family Play Area at Sloan Museum, however, will remain closed until the State of Michigan allows indoor playspaces to open.

Both are working hard to prepare for the public’s return and the Cultural Center assures the public it will have a safe and fun experience when they visit. However, it will feel different from past visits.

Sloan Museum at the Courtland Center hours: Wednesday- Sunday from 12-2 p.m., closed for cleaning from 2-3 p.m. and then open again from 3-4:30 p.m. Timed entry tickets for a two-hour visit will ensure social distancing at less than 20 percent capacity. Capacity will be limited to 50 visitors per ticket time. They will close for an hour of cleaning between ticket times.

Longway Planetarium showtimes: Doors open for tickets at 11:30 a.m. Closed Monday and Tuesday. Showtimes will be Wednesday-Sunday at 12 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Additional showtimes Thursday, Friday and Saturday 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Capacity will be limited to 20 visitors per show time. Each show lasts 45 minutes. The planetarium will close for 45 minutes of cleaning after each show.

Following CDC, state and local authorities’ guidelines, these are some of the changes you can expect:

1. Wear your mask. Remember to keep yourself and others safe by wearing your mask. Adults, children ages 2 and up, and staff must wear masks that cover the nose and mouth to enter. You can bring your own masks or purchase at the ticket counter for $1 each. The Sloan and Longway understand that mask-wearing can be difficult for children. They encourage you to gently remind your children to keep their masks on when they forget. Mask-wearing is required throughout your visit.

2. Buy tickets in advance. Tickets will go on sale June 29. They encourage you to reserve your tickets online before you visit the museum and planetarium. Online ticket reservations help us provide touchless entry; therefore, online transaction fees are waived. They can still reserve tickets in person, but ticket times may sell out due to limited capacity.

3. Play safe. Hand sanitizer will be available upon entry and throughout the space. When you arrive, please be ready to present your receipt on your mobile device or print your ticket. Staff will request your email address for contact tracing purposes. If you are not feeling well, please stay home and visit when you’re feeling better.

4. There are new cleaning practices in place. They will close for an hour each day at Sloan Museum so the cleaning crew can disinfect surfaces, hands-on components, and “high touch” areas, especially in the exhibits. Longway Planetarium will be disinfected between shows. At Longway Planetarium, we are installing UV filtration in our HVAC systems and adding filtration to the Mars room and back offices. Sloan Museum at Courtland is upgrading HVAC to MERV 10 Filters.

5. Gift shop. The gift shops will be open Wednesday through Sunday. Take science and history home with you with learning toys and memorabilia from our gift shops.

6. Virtual learning continues. If you cannot or do not wish to visit during those first days back, the Sloan and Longway look forward to welcoming you when you feel comfortable returning. In the meantime, keep visiting, connecting, and learning with the Sloan and Longway on social media. So far, educators have produced more than 50 videos presenting hands-on science activities and backyard astronomy tips you can try at home. You can find all of our content on Facebook. While they keep in-person capacity low, they will continue to present First Fridays and Second Saturday Trivia Nights on Facebook Live. — G.G.