Museum of Boulder Reopens With Special Hours, Unique Exhibits

The coronavirus pandemic has been tough on cultural nonprofits, including the Museum of Boulder, previously known as the Boulder History Museum. The museum was one of the first cultural institutions to close on March 13.

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Lori Preston is the executive director of the museum, now at 2205 Broadway. She says they reopened to guests Sunday, July 12, and encourage visitors to visit as long as they are wearing masks and agree to social distance.

“People said they have been watching and waiting to see the flags go out,” said Preston. “We have flags we put out on the front steps each day and these were people who know our space well enough that they knew they’d be able to safely maneuver once we did open. People have said they felt incredibly safe.”

The Boulder Museum has only been located at Broadway and Pine for two years but Preston says its history goes back 75 years – a milestone celebrated in 2019 with an exhibit that’s still on display.

“There are 75 unique artifacts, some are old and some are really current to entice people to ask, ‘Why have I never heard this story before?’” said Preston. “One is Lucille Buchanan’s shoes – she was the first Black student to graduate from C.U. and they wouldn’t allow her to walk across the stage to receive her diploma – so her shoes are there.”

Preston says the second floor houses the national award-winning Boulder Experience exhibit, which includes the history of Boulder dating back to when Native Americans occupied the Boulder Valley.

To acknowledge the current health crisis, the museum reached out to the community to share what they were experiencing during the pandemic.

“From stories of businesses to those on the front lines and also a video from children who are being homeschooled through the pandemic.”

Younger visitors or the young at heart are also enjoying what’s called Playzeum.

“Playzeum is an exhibit that invites kids of all ages – meaning also some adults I’ve seen engaging with the materials – with a crochet ceiling that a group a Colorado group made for us,” said Preston. “There’s wall art and a way for visitors to dance around on floor planks to make music – so a very unique exhibit.”

Preston says the long closure was tough – with the museum losing $3,500 dollars per day during the shutdown. But there are now ways to get involved.

“We’re offering a two-for-one membership right now and we’re tapping into those who love arts and culture.”

Should you decide to drop in, children under age 2 and members are free. Seniors, those under 18 and college students pay $8 for entrance and adults pay $10.

“We are open on Friday evenings, from 12 noon – to 8 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and we spread that out so we can clean and sanitize significantly between the days we’re closed and open,” added Preston.

Preston says the museum is also offering some virtual summer camps for children, partnering with Downtown Boulder to live stream the Bands on the Bricks series for the summer, and even offering summer yoga classes on the museum’s rooftop.

(Featured Image Credit: Museum of Boulder Facebook page)