95ºF

Witte Museum announces May 30 as date of reopening

Members receive early access beginning May 27

SAN ANTONIO – Although Gov. Greg Abbott announced at the end of April that museums would be a part of phase one of Texas’ reopening post COVID-19, museums like the Witte Museum has kept their doors closed.

“We were not ready to (open) for the safety of our wonderful Witte team and the safety of our wonderful Witte visitors and our families,” Marise McDermott, president and CEO of the Witte Museum said.

Members will receive early access beginning May 27 followed by an opening to the general public on Saturday, May 30.

All interactive exhibits and audio components will be removed from the Witte Museum.
All interactive exhibits and audio components will be removed from the Witte Museum. (Copyright 2020 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

Gov. Greg Abbott said museums can reopen — but there will be no tours of the state Capitol or governor’s mansion

“We’ve been here since 1926,” McDermott said. “This is a generational place. People have grown up here for generations and really miss the Witte. We miss the people.”

The Witte’s Reopening Task Force has announced safety measures that will be installed, including plexiglass protectors, six-foot-distance markers and the removal of interactive exhibits.

The Witte Museum’s “Reopening Task Force” has announced the safety measures that will be installed including plexiglass protectors, six-foot-distance markers and the removal of interactive exhibits.
The Witte Museum’s “Reopening Task Force” has announced the safety measures that will be installed including plexiglass protectors, six-foot-distance markers and the removal of interactive exhibits. (Copyright 2020 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

“Anything hands-on will be removed from the galleries, but we will still keep the interactive experiences, which are so fabulous,” McDermott said.

All visitors will receive a stylus pen designed to be used at the interactive touch-screen experiences. The idea to safely interact through a stylus came from a museum in Singapore.

All visitors will receive a stylus pen like the one pictured. The stylus was designed to be used at interactive touch-screen experiences.
All visitors will receive a stylus pen like the one pictured. The stylus was designed to be used at interactive touch-screen experiences. (Copyright 2020 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

“For our reopening, the Witte Museum Reopening Task Force reached out to museums all over the world. Fortunately, the designers that designed the New Witte, Gallagher and Associates, have already had museums in Singapore and Israel (open again). So, they already had to grapple with this.”

Explained: How Abbott plans to reopen Texas and differences from San Antonio, Bexar County orders

McDermott said the museum will operate at a 25% capacity which will give families more than enough space to enjoy their property and feel safe.

“What's great about the Witte is (that) it's 10 acres,” McDermott said. “It's huge, and, so, we're able to accommodate as many people as we possibly can.”

Tickets are times and sales are encouraged to be made online to help staff prepare for visitors each hour. Click here for Witte Museum admission.

For those that can’t wait until the reopening at the end of the month, there’s an option for you. “Witte Where You Are” offers a virtual experience to keep visitors entertained with educational material related to nutrition, science, nature, wildlife and much more.

‘Witte Where You Are’: A virtual museum experience

You can also download material like an activity book, a Tiny-Tex cutout you can color or one of the most popular activities the bird bingo.


About the Authors: