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Wed, Mar 10, 2021

Before You Visit: Museum Reopening FAQ

The time has come... The MAH has officially reopened! *insert happy dance*

Before you plan your next visit to the MAH, be sure to read through our FAQ below. While some things have changed – hello new front desk and advance registration – we're still your cozy corner of downtown here to celebrate all that is wild and wonderful about Santa Cruz County.

As the MAH's Guest Services Manager, it's been my job to help our team make intentional decisions around reopening safely with you, the guest, at the center. From how you enter the museum to your departure these are our commitments to ensure you have a welcoming, safe, and empowering experience.

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Step 1: Admission & Reserving Your Appointment

Part of our phased-reopening plan is welcoming back guests through advance registration. Beginning April 16th and while Santa Cruz County is in the Orange Tier of California's Blueprint for a Safer Economy, we have a pay-what-you-can policy that includes a 45-minute visit to the MAH. We believe art, history, and cultural resources should be accessible to everyone within our community and no one will be turned away due to lack of funds. Sign up for your visit today on Eventbrite!

Don't forget MAH Members always visit for free, but Members must still register for a timed visit in advance.

Let's get you to the MAH!

Beginning April 16th, you can register for your 45-minute museum visit here on Eventbrite.

If you'd like to become a Member and get free, unlimited admission you can do so here on our website.

At this time each pod can include up to 6 individuals. Kids under the age of 5 earn a free pass and don't count for your total group size.

Admission is always FREE for MAH Members!

Suggested admission prices for non-members are:

  • $10 - General
  • $8 - Student/Teacher/Veteran

Online via Eventbrite is the best way to book a reservation, but if you'd like to call us Sunday through Thursday you can leave a message at (831) 429-1964. We'll get back to you as soon as possible. You can also email us at

Or you can reach someone at the front desk while we are open between 12-6pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

For now, while Santa Cruz County is in the Orange Tier of California's Blueprint for a Safer Economy we are open for visitors 12-6pm Fridays and Saturdays. With each new tier — yellow is next, then green— our capacity and hours of visitation will increase. To read the MAH's phased reopening plan, click here.

Advance registration is required to ensure only one group is in the museum at a time.

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Step 2: Checking-In & Visiting at the MAH

Wonderful! So you have booked your visit on Eventbrite and you're ready to walk, drive, bike, or dance your way downtown to the MAH.

Upon your visit, you'll see we've made a number of improvements to the Atrium while our doors have been closed. My personal favorite is the new front desk our Design & Production Manager Justin built!

When you arrive for your visit please enter via our main Front Street entrance. The door will be open, to cut down on touchpoints with a sneeze guard up at the check-in desk. We also have a new touchless payment system here if needed. From there, I'll confirm your appointment, hand over a map of the MAH, and guide you to the elevator. We're asking everyone to start on the 3rd Floor and work their way back down to the ground floor Atrium.

Yes, let's continue to look out for one another by wearing masks, washing our hands frequently, and maintain a 6ft distance with those outside of our pod.

Everyone two and older must wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth completely while visiting. This includes the bathrooms and our outdoor exhibition, Community is Collective Care.

Your health and safety are our top priority. Between every visit, high-touch areas will be sanitized by MAH staff using EPA-approved cleaning agents such as Morning Mist to disinfect high-touch surfaces. In addition to more frequent cleanings by our janitorial staff each day.

Also, one of the first things you will see (besides a welcoming staff member) will be a hand sanitizer station as you enter the building. These have been placed strategically throughout the museum. Please remember they do not take the place of washing your hands for at least twenty seconds with warm soap and water, but feel free to take advantage of our hand sanitizer stations.

We ask that you try to arrive as close to your appointment time as possible. Visits have been spaced to ensure adequate cleaning can occur throughout the day and to control group size. You can always enjoy a bite to eat or a drink from Abbott Square Market right outside while you wait.

Similar to the directional pathways at stores, starting on the 3rd Floor helps us create a flow through the museum to avoid any crossed paths.

The markers on the floor and the map we hand you upon check-in will be your guide.

We think so. If you aren't able to sit with a piece for long enough or read every label we hope you'll sign up for another time slot to come back again soon.

For now, our interactive elements have been put on pause. For example, bigger items like the boat in the history gallery are available for kids, but the stuffed animals have been removed since those are challenging to sanitize between visits. These elements will be phased back in as we move through our tiered reopening plan.

We know things happen, but we ask that you only reserve a time slot if you really plan on attending. With visitation limited, we want to make sure everyone who wants to visit is able to.

With that said, if you've done your best but you know you won't be able to make it, please e-mail or call us so we can release your registration.

Atrium refresh kiddos

Step 3: Reflecting & Connecting

We're so grateful to be able to welcome you back inside the museum. After your visit, we invite you to help us share the good news by posting photos of your visit on social media (tag us @santacruzmah!), telling friends, and leaving us a review online.

As a small, community-based non-profit every conversation, photo, piece of feedback, and donation can make a huge difference in helping us remain a resource and creative outlet for Santa Cruz County.

Thank you! Every positive review helps future guests feel more confident in visiting and helps spread the word that the museum has reopened.

If you would like to leave the MAH a review, you can do so on any/all of these platforms:

This is a new frontier of museum visitation, help the MAH improve by emailing us at We eagerly await your feedback and questions so we can continually look to improve your experience at the MAH.

We love the way you think.

Stay in the loop on volunteering opportunities, job or internship openings, or calls for collaboration through our weekly email newsletter. Sign up here to be kept in the loop and make sure you never miss an opportunity to connect.

You have a heart of gold.

Purchasing, renewing, or upgrading your MAH membership is the best way to continuously stay in touch, get more involved, and support the MAH's programming.

You can also look to make a one-time donation, join our Director's Circle, or become a Corporate Member and sponsor the museum. There are lots of ways to go deeper and make an impact with the MAH. Learn more about donations and sponsorship here.