DOVER - Before COVID, the Children's Museum of New Hampshire was a popular local place to host birthday parties. Now that the museum has reopened with modified hours, it is testing out Sunday Private Play Dates as an alternative to its pre-COVID birthday party offerings.
Parents can rent out the whole museum for two hours, and while there are a few new rules in place such as no food allowed, and masks are required for everyone over the age of 24 months, the fun playful exploration that the museum is known for, remains.
Parents can choose from two Sunday sessions, 9:30-11:30 a.m. or 1-3 p.m. The museum is thoroughly cleaned between each session, and capacity for each session is capped at 50 individuals. These Private Play Dates can be booked on a first-come, first-served basis online now, with the first Sunday date available being Oct. 25.
"While we can't allow any food or cake inside the museum," said CMNH President Jane Bard, "we're still able to hand out cupcakes and juice boxes or other treats as your guests leave the museum. Our Muse Studio is also a great place to open presents, and we'll even sing you 'Happy Birthday' over the museum's PA system!"
A Private Play Date rental means exclusive access to the Museum exhibits and arts, science, or making activities.
"That means all of our 15 exhibits on both floors will be yours to play in," said Bard. The Private Play Dates are also great for "pods" of families who might be social distancing together, or homeschool, or other groups looking for a special and safe outing.
Private Play Dates can be reserved online for $300 and CMNH Members receive $20 off. Cancellations must be made at least seven days before the event to be refunded the full amount minus a $50 cancellation fee. Waivers for all guests acknowledging the museum's safety guidelines are required. To learn more or to book a Private Play Date, visit https://www.childrens-museum.org/things-to-do/parties.
The Children's Museum of New Hampshire is also now open for play during new limited hours: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, with 2 two and a half hour timed sessions from 9-11:30 a.m. or 1-3:30 p.m. each day.
Guests should reserve their date and time online for free prior to arrival, and payment will be accepted at the museum, including any discounts that might be presented as usual. Discounts on admission include EBT cards, military households, library passes, etc. To learn more about playing at the museum during normal hours, visit: https://www.childrens-museum.org/vsit/info
About the Children's Museum of New Hampshire
The not-for-profit Children's Museum of New Hampshire is located at 6 Washington Street in Dover and offers two levels of hands-on, interactive exhibits for children from newborn to middle school. Children can explore a wide range of subjects, from dinosaurs, music and aeronautics to world cultures, art and natural history. Open year-round with a modified schedule, the Silver LEED-certified museum specializes in creating memorable family learning experiences and works closely with schools, social service agencies and educators. The museum also hosts a variety of live performances, workshops, classes and special events for families. For more information, please call the museum at (603) 742-2002 or visit www.childrens-museum.org