DE State Museums Reopening with Self-Guided Tours

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Delaware’s five state museums will begin reopening this week 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 (HCA) will accept
reservations for tours starting June 1, with the first set of tours scheduled for Friday through Sunday, June 5-7.

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 all the engaging content visitors expect at one of Delaware’s nationally accredited state museums, presented in a way that allows for effective social distancing.

Delaware’s state museums include 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.

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. Click here for contact information.

Self-guided tours will be 30 minutes in length 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 for the time being. Tour groups will be limited to four or six visitors, depending on the museum, and cloth face coverings must be worn at all times by staff, volunteers and patrons.

All public museum areas will be cleaned between tour groups according to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the five museums of the State of Delaware tell the story of the First State’s contributions to the history and culture of the United States. The museums are accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The New Castle Court House Museum and the John Dickinson Plantation are partner sites of the First State National Historical Park. The Old State House is located on the Dover Green, another partner site of the park.