HOUSTON – Phase 1 of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order permitted museums to reopen beginning May 1, with strict limits on the number of visitors allowed inside.
Under the executive order, a Texas museum can operate only if its local government permits it to and once open, a museum must shutter any interactive functions like play areas. Museums must also limit occupancy to 25 percent until May 18 when the occupancy limit jumps to 50 percent.
While some museums are already back in business, others are still evaluating when to open their doors. Here is a list of Houston-area museums open now, those with plans to open soon and those that remain closed until further notice.
Note: We will update this list as more information is made available.
These museums are open or will open soon:
The Art Car Museum reopened and resumed normal hours on May 6. The museum is now open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday. But be warned: Visitors can’t just drop in. Admission, while free, is by appointment only and all visitors and staff must wear face masks while inside. Visitors are urged to utilize the hand washing station outside the museum before entering and are asked not to touch anything inside the museum. The museum placed a plexiglass at its visitor desk as an added safety measure.
To make an appointment to visit the museum, head to artcarmuseum.com; 140 Heights Blvd., (713) 861-5526.
Holocaust Museum Houston announced it will open its doors to the public on May 26. The museum will limit its occupancy to 50 percent, in line with current government guidance. All staff and guests will be required to face masks upon entry into the museum and are urged to practice social distancing whilst inside. Staff will offer a mask to anyone without one. All interactive exhibits will remain closed until further notice.
“Prior to reopening, the museum will begin a thorough deep cleaning and sanitation process of the entire building,” HMH CEO Kelly J. Zúñiga said in a statement. “This involves spraying the entire facility with a long lasting anti-viral spray that will last at least 30 days. HMH will implement a repetitive third-party assessment and treatment process every 30 days to make sure that the non-infectious integrity of the facility is being maintained, and implement an ongoing daily sanitation and cleaning process for the entire facility through our contracted cleaning company.”
For more information, visit hmh.org/; 5401 Caroline St., (713) 942-8000
The Houston Museum of Natural Science plans to reopen on May 15. The museum released a list of safety measure it intends to implement: It will operate at 25 percent capacity or less and visitors will be required to wear face masks. Employees’ temperatures will be taken upon entering the building. Employees are rquired to wash their hands once inside. The museum installed plexiglass screens at visitor, information, and sales desks to serve as an additional barrier between employees and visitors. Lectures and all other public programs are cancelled through at least May 21. Hands-on exhibition components and other “high touch” experiences will remain closed, including theatre experiences in the Wiess Energy Hall and docent touch carts. The museum also installed several more hand sanitizing stations and will institute heightened cleaning protocols, including frequent environmental cleaning and disinfection of “high-touch” door handles, elevators, and restrooms. The museum strongly urges guests to purchase tickets online as a means of “touch-free” or “low-touch” entry to the Museum.
For more information, visit hmns.org/; 5555 Hermann Park Dr., (713) 639-4629
The Lone Star Flight Museum will reopen on Memorial Weekend, May 23 following government guidelines. The museum will operate 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 12 p.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. The museum will also be open on Memorial Day Monday, May 25 but will return to a normal Tuesday through Sunday schedule beginning June 1. The museum will offer “pay what you can” admission through May 31.
“We will follow the Governor’s direction with respect to social distancing and capacity to provide a museum experience that will progressively increase in the coming weeks and months,” Lone Star Flight Museum President and CEO Douglas H. Owens said in a statement. “We will limit our capacity based on directive and implement appropriate social distancing protocols to protect our staff and visitors alike. The full museum will be open but we will limit activity in the various galleries to visual engagement only. As restrictions relax over time, we will open the hands-on opportunities as well.”
For more information, visit lonestarflight.org; 11551 Aerospace Ave., (346) 708-2517
The 1940 Air Terminal Museum reopened to the public May 2 with limited hours. Currently, the museum is operating 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays and 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Sundays. The museum implemented several measures to ensure the safety of its staff and guests: The museum is operating at 25 percent capacity. Staff wear face masks and visitors are urged to wear masks while inside the museum. The museum will also clean and sanitize public areas frequently.
“In addition, we reiterate health care professionals recommendations that persons 65 yrs & older and those with underlying medical conditions continue to stay home and practice appropriate social distancing,” Executive director Amy Rogers said in a statement.
For more information, visit www.1940airterminal.org; 8325 Travelair St., (713) 454-1940
These Houston-area museums remain closed and have not yet announced what date they will reopen:
Blaffer Art Museum remains closed until further notice.
“Please know that we are actively planning for a reopening that will occur as soon as it is safe to do so, taking into full account the health and safety of our patrons while preserving the Blaffer Art Museum experience that you have come to expect," museum staff wrote in a Facebook post. "We will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available.”
For more information, visit blafferartmuseum.org/; 4173 Elgin St., (713) 743-9521
The Children’s Museum Houston hopes to open “before the end of the May,” said a representative. No reopening date has been set yet and the museum remains closed.
For more information, visit www.cmhouston.org; 1500 Binz St., (713) 522-1138
The Health Museum remains temporarily closed until further notice. An opening has not yet been announced.
For more information, visit www.thehealthmuseum.org/; 1515 Hermann Dr., (713) 521-1515
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston remains closed to the public.
“Our Return to Work Task Force has been actively working to determine how best to safely reopen the MFAH for our 650 staff and our visitors,” said a representative. “We look forward to bringing some staff back into the buildings and welcoming the public, but we are evaluating all of our supplies, including masks and gloves, and assessing our infrastructure to ensure that we are ready to operate the museum’s offices and public areas safely and under social distancing. As soon as all of those aspects are within view, we will be announcing a reopening date.”
For more information, visit www.mfah.org; 1001 Bissonnet St., (713) 639-7300
At this time, the museum remains temporarily closed to the public. The Museums plans to reopen later this summer, according to a statement on its website.
For more information, visit www.menil.org/; 1533 Sul Ross St., (713) 525 9400
All galleries at the Printing Museum are closed to the public, and all public events through May have been cancelled or postponed.
“We are aware of the inclusion of museums in the state’s phase one plan to re-open,” museum staff wrote in a Facebook post. “With the health and safety of our visitors and staff as our top priority, The Printing Museum will not re-open on May 1. We will confirm a re-opening timeline as soon as we determine that we can do so with the proper safety measures in place.”
For more information, visit printingmuseum.org/; 1324 W Clay St., (713) 522-4652
While the grounds of the San Jacinto Historic site reopened on May 1, The San Jacinto Museum of History and Monument remain closed to the public. The museum is currently developing a plan to ensure the safety of staff and visitors once the museum reopens and hopes to announce an opening date soon.
For more information, visit www.sanjacinto-museum.org/; 1 Monument Cir., (281) 479-2421