With Seattle’s beaches and parks closed as wildfire smoke lingers in the sky, many Seattleites may be searching for a well-ventilated activity to do this week. And luckily, there may be a new indoor reprieve, as both the Museum of Pop Culture and Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture will reopen this week.
Both museums will follow new safety protocols that include enhanced sanitation measures, limiting capacity and requiring both guests and employees to wear face coverings. Timed ticket entry will also be mandated by both museums to enforce social distancing, and any hands-on exhibits will remain closed for now.
Shuttered since March, MoPOP will reopen Friday, welcoming guests back with “Body of Work: Tattoo Culture,” an exhibit on the history of tattooing that was unveiled in February before the shutdown.
Founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, the museum, which encapsulates much of Seattle’s music history, laid off 32 part-time and temporary workers in August as a result of the pandemic.
The Burke Museum will reopen to members only Saturday and Sunday before opening to the general public Sept. 22. Renovated last year, the museum will be showcasing exhibits on fossils and Native art of the Pacific Northwest.
The reopenings come after Gov. Jay Inslee issued new guidance for museums and bowling alleys on Aug. 20 that allowed museums in Phase 2 counties to reopen at 25% capacity. Previously, museums were not supposed to open until Phase 3 of Washington’s Safe Start plan.
The Seattle Art Museum, National Nordic Museum and Museum of Flight in Tukwila all reopened to eager guests this past month with limited capacity and timed ticket slots.
And for art lovers, there’s another reopening to mark on the calendar: the Frye Art Museum in First Hill has announced that it intends to reopen in October.