Zoo, area museums set re-opening plans


The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, which has been closed since March 15, has been working on a phased reopening plan for several weeks and is ready to welcome guests, starting with members only, on Wednesday, June 10. 

New protocols, including the implementation of reserved entry times to limit the number of people coming into the zoo at one time, have been put in place to provide a safe environment for staff, guests, and animals.

Thane Maynard and friend

In phase one of reopening, maximum visitor capacity will be reduced by 50-75% and reservations will be required. During the first week of operations, only members (with reservations) will be allowed to enter. After that, a limited number of general admission tickets may be reserved online. All tickets must be purchased/reserved online in order to manage attendance and provide a touchless transaction. Reservation confirmations will include a specific time to arrive and information about where to park, wait, and enter the zoo.

“It might be a while before visitors can see reptiles, insects, manatees and other animals in indoor habitats, but there’s still plenty to see and do here while walking around the grounds,” said zoo director Thayne Maynard.

“Face coverings will be required for zoo employees and recommended for visitors,” said Maynard. “The more we do to keep each other safe and healthy, the sooner we can welcome more visitors back. 


Below is a letter from leaders of six Cincinnati-area museums regarding their phased re-openings.

To Our Community,

On March 13, your city’s museums made the joint decision to temporarily close our doors to the public in response to COVID-19. This was one of the most difficult decisions we have made in recent memory, knowing that in a time like this, museums will continue to be a powerful way to connect with our community and heal through difficult times.

Since our closure, we have been preparing for the day when we can again welcome guests back to our museums. With the state of Ohio’s management of COVID-19 cases and mitigation measures, we as museums are preparing to reopen and to do so in a way that continues to ensure the health and safety of our community.

Together, the Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati Museum Center, the Contemporary Arts Center, the Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, and the Taft Museum of Art are working to safely reopen your treasured community spaces. Beginning in mid-June, we are planning phased reopening with different dates and hours outlined by each organization and with strict adherence to measures put in place by state government officials, the World Health Organization, and the Centers for Disease Control.

We stress that plans are subject to change as we need to be flexible and attentive in this unique situation and put the health and safety of our staff, volunteers, and visitors first. We continue to urge all of you to take this health threat seriously and to play your part in keeping yourself, your loved ones and our many different communities as healthy and safe as possible.

Please see specific reopening updates and protocols for each museum on our respective websites, linked below:

Cameron Kitchin
Louis and Louise Dieterle Nippert Director
Cincinnati Art Museum

Elizabeth Pierce
President and CEO
Cincinnati Museum Center

Raphaela Platow
The Alice & Harris Weston Director
Contemporary Arts Center 

Sarah Weiss
Executive Director/CEO
Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center

Woodrow Keown, Jr.
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

Deborah Emont Scott
Louise Taft Semple President/CEO
Taft Museum of Art

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