With pandemic conditions changing so often and so suddenly, it can be hard to keep track of what’s open. Woodland Park Zoo reopened last summer and stayed that way, while Seattle Children’s Museum has been closed since last March. With most of Washington state now in Phase 2 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s current reopening plan, many kid-friendly attractions in the Puget Sound area that were closed in January are opening again.
Here are a few of those venues. Thanks to statewide guidelines, the precautions they are taking to operate safely are pretty consistent. Each organization is opening at reduced capacity and, unless otherwise noted, requiring advance purchase of timed tickets. Facilitated by techniques like one-way traffic flows and reconfigured spaces, they are asking guests to maintain distancing protocols, and require guests (age 5+ unless noted) to wear masks. Many have also implemented contactless on-site transactions for food and gift-shop purchases; restricted access to bathrooms; and limited or closed food and coat-check services. Most of them are participating in contact tracing — ask for details if you have questions.
Arena Sports has five locations (Issaquah, Mill Creek, Redmond, Magnuson Park and Sodo in Seattle) in warehouselike facilities with very high ceilings and upgraded HVAC systems, according to Jen Goetze, director of marketing. Each facility offers indoor soccer and an Inflatable FunZone. Mill Creek also has laser tag, a ropes course with zip line, bowling, rock climbing walls and an arcade. FunZones are open for small groups (up to six or 15 kids depending on location) by reservation and drop-in sessions (at Mill Creek and beginning March 3 at Magnuson Park). An electrostatic disinfecting and sanitizing sprayer is used in the FunZone between sessions.
The Burke Museum reopened on Feb. 2 minus play spaces and the hands-on interactive elements of exhibits. Protocols are the same that were in place before the holidays; they are requiring masks for all guests ages 3+. Off the Rez Café is open with limited seating.
Since Feb. 5, the Museum of Pop Culture has been open Fridays-Sundays. Stylus pens for interactive elements are cleaned after each use. The small-space, high-touch Sound Lab and food service at Culture Kitchen remain closed. All guests ages 3+ are required to wear masks.
The Museum of Flight plans to reopen March 4. In addition to standard precautions, they will have guest health screenings (involving a contactless questionnaire and possible temperature checks) upon entry. High-touch elements and confined areas within exhibits will remain closed.
The National Nordic Museum reopens Feb. 18 with the same precautions that were in place last fall. All guests ages 2+ are required to wear masks. Saturday kids craft workshops will remain online.
After closing for 29 days at the beginning of the year, Seattle Aquarium reopened on Feb. 9 with the same safety protocols they established before the most recent closure. The Aquarium cafe is currently open at 25% capacity.
The outdoor spaces at the Olympic Sculpture Park remain open to the public. The downtown Seattle Art Museum plans to open Fridays-Sundays beginning March 5, with some galleries remaining closed. The Seattle Asian Art Museum and the PACCAR Pavilion at the Olympic Sculpture Park will also remain closed. Masks are required for all guests ages 3+.