Experiential museums—designed to provide visitors with interactive experiences—faced a big problem as coronavirus restrictions were eased: How to boost sanitization measures while demonstrating to visitors that these high-touch spaces were still safe to enter and enjoy.
Many operators of such spaces say they have been able to retain their interactive, immersive identities to a surprising degree as they and their guests navigate the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.
The masks now required for visitors six years old and up might have made it harder to pick up the scents of the Chromaroma exhibit, for example, at the Houston outpost of the Color Factory, an art exhibit dedicated to color. So the museum amplified the scents.
The Color Factory’s ball pits in Houston and New York now require everyone over a certain age to wear a
In the spring of 1905, eight researchers from the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco set sail on a mission to complete a major comprehensive survey of the Galapagos Islands, something that no other institution had yet to accomplish. For 17 months, well-trained specialists in the fields of botany, geology, paleontology, entomology, malacology (the study of mollusks), ornithology and herpetology went on a collecting spree. They gathered multiple specimens of plants, birds, mammals, insects and reptiles. While they suspected that the collected specimens would help solidify Darwin’s theory of evolution and inform the world about Galapagos wildlife, they couldn’t have imagined that when they returned home, their city would be recovering from a catastrophic earthquake and conflagration that nearly destroyed their own institution.
“The Galapagos expedition was kind of a way to prove themselves. In the vein of, ‘We’re this scrappy little West Coast institution and we want to