BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — "Everything we do is meant to be touched and played with," Amelia Schrader, Senior Manager of Learning at Explore & More said. "In an environment post-COVID, that's something we've been very conscious about."
It's been all hands on deck at Explore & More in downtown Buffalo as they prepare to reopen, all while thinking about the families.
"I think people are tired of the constant of what everyone has to do for our new normal, that they want it as easy as possible," Michelle Urbanczyk, CEO of Explore & More said.
The hands-on museum is going to start at 15-20% capacity, and "yucky bags" will be hanging around the museum to hold toys that need a little extra cleansing love. There's also hand sanitizing stations, signage, and enhanced cleaning procedures.
"We're here to provide them that safe place where they can play again," Schrader said. "Just get out of the house and do something that feels normal to them."
"I think it's really important that they come here, they play, they have a good experience, and it's a sense of the normal," Urbanczyk added.
The North Park Theater on Hertel Avenue in North Buffalo is also hoping to provide a much needed escape with safety measures in place.
"We want to show them that we're totally prepared for them to come back and be safe and have a good time," Program Director Ray Barker said.
There will be a table in front of the concession stand to ensure distancing between staff and guest, moviegoers will be asked to put several seats between each party, and a mask will be required when walking around.
They hope to reopen on July 10th with a special treat: a showing of The Empire Strikes Back.
"We're really excited about that and I hope people will get to see it on the big screen," Barker said. "It might be a once in a generation opportunity to come see it."
If all goes according to plan, Phase Four in Western New York will begin next Tuesday.