COVID-19 Information & Updates


Thank you for being prepared and concerned about public health. We will update this page with news and updates pertaining to the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Santa Cruz County.


Creating a safe, healthy, interactive learning experience that sparks curiosity and ignites creativity for members and guests at the Santa Cruz Children’s Museum of Discovery is our top priority. We have modified and enhanced processes and procedures to maintain and sustain the high-level of cleanliness our guests expect and mitigate as much risk as possible to COVID-19 by aligning with guidance and directives provided by local pediatricians, public health officials, and the Centers for Disease Control. 


Will the museum require masks? 

Yes. Face coverings are required for all members and guests ages 2 and older inside the building and Mall. There is no mask requirement for children under 2 years old. Regional, state, and national infectious disease experts cite wearing face coverings as the most important way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. 


What if I don’t have a face covering or mask? 

Guests without face coverings who wish to enter the museum will be given one by a staff member at the front desk. Entry to the museum is prohibited without a face covering. 


Will masks be required for the museum team? 

Yes. All team members will be required to wear face coverings. 


Will capacity be limited?

Yes. In order to encourage physical distancing capacity in the museum will be limited through the use of timed entry tickets for members and guests. Tickets are valid during 2.5-hour time periods between 10 and 12:30 pm Wednesday through Saturday, and then again from 1 - 3:30 pm on Saturdays. To reserve your spot, please click HERE.

Interested in booking a private reservation for your playdate and/or birthday party? Please visit HERE.


How can time slots be reserved? 

Museum members reserve free tickets through their account, which can be accessed HERE. Guests should use the link above to reserve and pay for tickets. Guests with special passes need to contact the museum by phone at 888-424-8035. 


Will tickets be available on site? 

A limited number of tickets will be available for purchase at the museum for each daily time block. Guests wanting to purchase tickets on site will not be able to access the museum between timed sessions. Guests planning a visit should check ticket availability and purchase tickets before arriving at the museum. There is no guarantee that tickets will be available for purchase on site. 


If I arrive early for my time slot, can my family enter the museum? 

No. Access to the museum will take place only during the time slots to allow for cleaning and disinfecting of the museum and replacing props between time slots. 


If I arrive late, can my time slot be extended? 

No. An integral part of maintaining a safe, healthy, and clean environment is using the time between time slots for the museum team to change out props, disinfect the museum, and replace or refill hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipe stations. 


Will the museum still be closed on Tuesday? 

Yes. In fact, to start, the museum will be closed Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday as we gauge the community’s interest in visiting under our new conditions.


How does my family enter the museum? 

To assist members and guests in maintaining a safe physical distance, entry to the museum will be through one set of entry doors in Capitola Mall. These doors will be clearly marked as the entrance. Once inside guests are asked to maintain 6 feet of distance between family groups. This will require only one group waiting to be checked in to wait in the lobby. Other groups waiting to be checked in should queue outside the front doors along the front windows. Please follow all social distancing guidelines set in place by the Capitola Mall. 


Will there be any health screenings i.e. temperature checks, pre-entrance questionnaires, etc.? 

The museum will not be checking the temperature of members and guests entering the museum. However, people entering the museum will be prompted if they are feeling well or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms – fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath. Guests will also be prompted if they are aware of anyone in their group with an active case of COVID-19, or if anyone in their group has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days. Anyone experiencing symptoms will be asked to return on another day. 


Guests will be asked to provide contact information for at least one person in their group. This information will be used to follow-up with guests should the need arise and ask for information about their visit. 


Is the museum going to screen its employees? 

Yes. Team members will not report to work if they are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms – fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, headache, sore throat or loss of taste or smell. Team members are required to complete a health assessment upon entering the building every day. 


The museum is a high-touch environment. What’s being done to keep my family safe? 

Team members repeatedly clean and sanitize the high-touch areas of the museum during open hours. To address COVID-19, this process is expanded. Each exhibit with touchable props will have a bucket nearby for placing items that have been played with and need to be sanitized. On Saturdays, between 12:30 and 1:30 pm, when the museum is closed, all the props will be removed from exhibits and replaced with a freshly sanitized set and surfaces in the museum will be wiped down. Other high touch surfaces like handles, buttons and knobs will be wiped frequently. 


I know washing and sanitizing hands is important. How are you addressing that? 

Hand sanitizer stations are placed throughout the building for easy access. Sanitizing wipes are available for cleaning exhibits at the start and end of play. Frequent handwashing is encouraged of all guests and the MOD team. 


How will physical distancing be maintained inside the museum? 

Guests are able to explore the museum experiences freely and are encouraged to maintain 6 feet between groups. Capacity will be limited in the Toddler zone and infant nest.

Will every experience be available for play? 

Exhibits that are difficult to clean, or create a lot of air movement will not be available. Other experiences may be removed from the museum gallery should the need arise. 

My child’s birthday is coming up, will we be able to have a party at the museum? 

Happy Birthday! We will allow booking of parties in the museum for groups up to the size recommended by the State of California, but only while the museum is closed to the public. For birthday party reservations, please visit HERE.


Will snacks be available for purchase? Can we bring a lunch? 

Soon, a limited selection of packaged food and drinks will be available for purchase at the museum’s front desk. To assist in maintaining a clean and healthy exhibit space, we ask that no food be consumed inside the building. 


COVID-19 is an airborne virus, I’m concerned about the air quality in the museum. How are you addressing that?

The amount of outside air circulated in the building is increased to reduce the amount of air recirculating through the heating and cooling system. In addition, some exhibits that are difficult to clean or move large volumes of air are temporarily closed. Guests are required to wear masks as additional protection. (See question 1). We have also installed MERV 14 rigid cell air filters which provide between 90% and 95% efficiency for filtering particles between 3 and 10 microns in size (target size for capturing droplets carrying COVID virus).

Thank you for being our guest. Stay safe. Stay curious. Be well.


More Info

  • ​MOD Exhibits are closed to the public until further notice.​ Do you have a cool new skill or hobby that you've picked up during quarantine since the pandemic began? MOD is putting together a community-minded exhibit featuring photos, written works, videos, you name it, for a future in-person exhibit on what our little ones did and created while SIP orders were in place. If you have something that you would like to contribute, please contact Jeanette at Happy inventing!


  • Just FYI: MOD removes all loose objects handled by visitors from the museum floor each day around 12:30 pm and switches them out with a newly cleaned and disinfected set. We repeat this process nightly, along with a full surface sterilization procedure so when we open everything is freshly cleaned. Our staff is also regularly wiping down communal surfaces with disinfecting wipes during the day.


  • Hand sanitizer is available for visitors upon entering and leaving the museum and throughout the exhibits.


  • Our event calendar will stay up to date as events are postponed or canceled. Check back before your event to confirm.