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Discovery Museum reopens for second time this year

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Posted at 2:25 PM, Jul 14, 2022

The Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum reopened Thursday, a month an a half after it closed due to a staffing shortage.

The July 14 reopening is the second reopening of the year; it reopened in January after closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The museum, located at 705 S McClelland St., is now open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

"The phone has been ringing nonstop, asking if are open," Leslie Brown, Operations Manager for the Discovery Museum, told KSBY. "I have had groups of people come up to the door today seeing the cars in the parking lot like, 'Wow, you guys are open.'"

A few dozen parents and kids were at the Discovery Museum on its first day back open, including 8-year-old Madeline Powell.

"I like doing the crafts and playing outside at the playground and climbing the wall," Powell told KSBY.

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Kids and parents said they were happy to return to the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum when it reopened on Thursday.

Caitlyn Schwartz, a Santa Maria resident, said she's happy her kids can run free and have fun in the museum.

"This place has been such a blessing, and it's just nice to be able to let them go somewhere where I don't have to worry about monitoring them too closely," she said. "The can just get the chance to be kids and get messy. It's just really nice to have a place to go again."

Staff says this time, they hope the museum will stay open for good.

"[In] May we were short on supervisory staff, so we ended up losing our program manager, and then just didn't have the staff to stay open. So we had to close down temporarily," Rebecca Thomas Cole, Board President for the Discovery Museum, said.

Cole said their floor staff is made up primarily of recent high school graduates, which limits the museum's hours.

Admission costs $7 per person. Children under 2 are free.

Museum staff says guests no longer need to reserve a spot ahead of time, but space is limited, so tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis.