ImagineU reopens to the public this Friday

Children’s museum will open its doors this Friday, May 14 for the first time in more than a year with new and improved exhibits

VISALIA – As Tulare County readies to turn on all the indoor lights in the yellow tier, ImagineU Children’s Museum will be opening its doors to the public for the first time in more than a year.

This Friday, May 14, ImagineU Children’s Museum will hold a ribbon-cutting to its grand re-opening since being forced to temporarily halt operations due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“Our new look offers a more appealing design, more interactive play and learning, and will help further inspire imaginations,” said Katy Young, executive director of ImagineU Children’s Museum. “The renovations completed over the past year would not have been possible without the financial support of our faithful donors and sponsors, and we’re eager to share this new and exciting experience with the community!”

New to ImagineU’s indoor collection is an exhibit about renewable natural gas made possible by SoCalGas. Children will now be able to learn, in a fun and interactive way, how renewable natural gas is made and where it is used around their own homes.

“Renewable energy, including renewable natural gas, is an increasingly important part of California’s clean energy future,” said Trisha Muse, director of community relations for SoCalGas. “We are proud to help create a space for our youth to learn about renewable natural gas and how it can help reduce our carbon footprint.”

Outdoors, First 5 of Tulare will help children improve their cognitive, physical, social and emotional wellbeing through a completely redesigned outdoor toddler playground. These exhibits join the more than 12 other interactive exhibits, many of which have received a refresh over the last year.

Museum-goers can also take comfort in knowing guest safety remains a top priority. Increased measures include daily thorough sanitization of exhibits, hand sanitizer and wipes made available at every exhibit, and encouraged use of handwashing stations. What’s more, thanks to BMI Mechanical, Inc., every HVAC unit within ImagineU has been equipped with needlepoint bipolar ionization (NPBI) devices which have been tested to demonstrate a 98.33% reduction rate on airborne SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) within 60 minutes.

“NPBI technology doesn’t replace sanitization,” said Dax Brott, president and CEO of BMI Mechanical, Inc. “But it offers an effective added layer of protection and can provide a drastic improvement to the quality of indoor air—including a reduction in airborne dust, dander, pollen, smoke, odors, and pathogens including mold, viruses and bacteria.”

The museum will be open to the public at 9 a.m., following the 8 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony. Moving forward, the museum hours will be Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Monday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays will be available for field trips and private museum rentals.

Museums and indoor playgrounds are allowed to be open at 50% capacity in the orange tier but will be at 100% capacity once Tulare County reaches the yellow tier.

More than half of county residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine and more than one third are fully vaccinated, as of press time. Tulare County’s COVID-19 case rate was hovering around 2.7 per 100,000 and would need to fall below two to move into the yellow tier. The county’s positivity rate of 1.2 and its equity metric of 1.4 were both lower than the 2.0 required for the yellow tier.

ImagineU Children’s Museum is a non-profit educational institution that is designed for children and families. Its child-centered exhibits focus on agriculture, science, and art through the power of play. Play is the vehicle for exploring and learning, developing new skills, and connecting with others. Play also has important links to developing key skills that serve as a foundation for life-long success, including critical thinking, communication, problem-solving, and collaboration. ImagineU offers two great membership opportunities: Family memberships and Grandparent memberships; both of which are a great way to save money and receive additional perks. Visit www.imagineumuseum.org for more information about memberships and day pass pricing, to book a private party or event, and for the latest updates on special events and summer/holiday hours.

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