Delaware’s five state museums — the John Dickinson Plantation, the Old State House and the Johnson Victrola Museum in Dover, the Zwaanendael Museum in Lewes and the New Castle Court House Museum in New Castle — are reopening with self-guided tours that allow visitors to experience the history of the First State while continuing to take all recommended steps to safeguard public health.
In accordance with the Phase I reopening plans issued by Gov. John Carney, museums administered by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs are accepting reservations for tours as of June 1, with the first set of tours scheduled for June 5-7.
Tours will take place at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Sundays, except for the Johnson Victrola Museum. To make a tour reservation, patrons must call the museum they wish to visit. Contact information is available at bit.ly/2yRPmqw.
With museums across the state closed to the public in response to the coronavirus pandemic, HCA’s team of site managers and historical interpreters have spent the last several weeks retooling tour programming in anticipation of reopening. The new self-guided tours include the content visitors expect presented in a way that allows for effective social distancing.
“We are very excited and proud to welcome the public back to Delaware’s historical sites in a safe and deliberate manner,” said Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs Director Tim Slavin. “Our team has worked hard to design an experience for visitors that connects them to the people, places and artifacts of our shared past, while respecting the demands of the present.”
Self-guided tours will be 30 minutes and will include reference materials that can be accessed via smartphone or in single-use printed form. Due to space constraints, some museum areas will remain closed. Tour groups will be limited to four to six visitors, depending on the museum, and cloth face coverings must be worn at all times by staff, volunteers and patrons. Public museum areas will be cleaned between tour groups according to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For more, visit history.delaware.gov/museums.