Saint Paul, Minn. – It’s Spring Break season in Minnesota, and the Science Museum has plenty of hands-on science fun and learning for visitors to enjoy during school breaks and vacations. And they can take advantage of a whole slate of amenities that are designed to make visitors of all backgrounds, abilities, and learning styles feel at home at the museum.
Among those amenities is the new Sensory Friendly Sunday program. Held on the third Sunday of every month, Sensory Friendly Sundays give visitors who learn best in a quieter environment early access to the exhibit galleries and a lights-up, sound-down Omnitheater show. The next Sensory Friendly Sunday event is on Sunday, April 21 and will feature a 9 a.m. opening time, as well as a sensory-friendly 9 a.m. showing of CUBA in the Omnitheater.
Other tools for making a museum visit successful for visitors with autism and other sensory processing issues include pre-visit social narratives that are available for download at smm.org, Sensory Friendly companion scripts for Omnitheater films, noise-dampening headphones, and a new Sensory Friendly Visitor Guide.
Also new this year is the Wellness Room, a recently-renovated space that is designed to give visitors a private, out-of-the-way space to nurse a child, pray, or simply recharge away from the hustle and bustle of a busy museum. Located on level 4 near the Native American exhibition, the room is outfitted with soft lighting, a door that locks, a changing table, rocking chair, and other seating. The Wellness Room is available to Science Museum visitors on a first-come, first-served basis.
“The Science Museum strives to create memorable museum experiences that make us a premier destination for all visitors,” says Joe Imholte, vice president of Visitor Experience at the Science Museum. “We know that a successful visit looks different for everyone, and we want to do everything we can to provide a variety of amenities and tools to suit the needs of a diverse audience.”
In addition to the Sensory Friendly Sunday program, its corresponding tools, and the new Wellness Room, the Science Museum continues to offer amenities like gender-neutral and family restrooms, wheelchair check out and stroller rental, charging stations for electronic devices, audio description and closed-captioning in its Omnitheater films, and much more. Learn more at smm.org/accessibility.
The Science Museum of Minnesota is one of the state’s most popular museums, with a reach that extends well beyond its riverfront location in downtown Saint Paul. It serves hundreds of thousands of people each year with its engaging exhibits, breathtaking giant screen films, and unique special events. Science Museum education programs touch students in all of Minnesota’s 87 counties each year, and its research programs span the globe. For more information, visit www.smm.org.