Going Places (finally)

Favorite Austin all-ages attraction steams forward with reopening plans

Favorite Austin all-ages attraction steams forward with reopening plan

exterior of The Thinkery or the New Austin Children's Museum
Thinkery is finally, finally reopening. Photo courtesy of The Thinkery/Facebook

Parents, this news is for you. After months of a lockdown followed by a social distant, no-pool, no-park, no-fun summer, one of Austin's biggest family attractions is plotting its reopening. Thinkery, the Mueller children's museum, announced it will reopen its doors beginning Labor Day weekend. 

Thinkery specializes in all things STEAM, offering children and their parents hands-on exhibits, playful learning experiences, and more family fun.

"We have heard from so many families over the past six months, telling us how much they miss coming to Thinkery and exploring our exhibits and galleries," said CEO Andy Bell in a release. "We have missed all those kids and families just as much." 

And no kidding — after welcoming more than 460,000 guests last year, there is little doubt that Austin families have missed the all-ages attraction.

When it opens, it will of course look different, as everything in these COVID-19 times tends to do. The museum will be deploying a phased "Path-to-Play" model limiting both the number of guests in the building and within the group, and giving a set time for each group. Three 90-minute sessions will be available each day and must be pre-booked.

Other changes include:

  • Guests will be assigned a 10-person group and given a wristband to identify them.
  • Groups will be timed and set on a pre-planned course through Thinkery.
  • Each group will be given 15 minutes to explore six Thinkery exhibits.

To begin, the museum will be open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, with additional days of the week to be added later. It will reopen on Saturday, September 5, for members only before granting access to the general public on Sunday, September 6. 

Thinkery has been closed since March 13 in what was originally believed would be a short break. That, of course, has become a six-month shutdown as Austin battled to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

"We want to thank everyone who has supported us during our closures," Bell said. "We've worked very hard to find the best and safest way to reopen for guests. Our members have been incredibly patient and supportive, and we're very happy to have reached a point where we can begin to welcome the community back."