Children’s Museum of Denver temporarily closes over anti-mask conduct by some patrons

Kids wearing masks in classroom
Posted at 4:00 PM, Jan 25, 2022

DENVER — The Children’s Museum of Denver announced Tuesday that it will be temporarily closing to the public after backlash by some patrons over the museum’s mask policy.

In a post on the museum’s website, officials said the Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus, located at 2121 Children’s Museum Drive, follows public health guidelines, which require face coverings for all guests ages 2 and older, regardless of vaccination status.

But some guests have been “inappropriately directing their anger toward our staff” over those requirements, officials wrote in the post. Examples of the behavior were not provided.

Because of this, the museum said it will close beginning Wednesday and will not reopen until Feb. 4 so that “we can support our staff and bolster our policies with the hope of preventing this type of behavior in the future,” the post read.

The museum said all reservations for this time period have been canceled.

Tuesday evening, Michael Yankovich, president and CEO of the Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus, issued a follow-up statement:

"First, I would like to say we are overwhelmed with the outpouring of support we have received regarding our decision to temporarily close the Museum. Thank you to all who have sent messages filled with positivity and kind words.

"Objections to our mask policy have been increasingly directed at our staff in inappropriate ways, making it difficult to provide the type of welcoming and playful experience families expect when they visit the Museum. It became apparent that the only way to address the issue was through a temporary closure, allowing our staff space to take a step back. Our team will work their regularly scheduled hours and use this time to examine ways to support each other and bolster our policies in the hopes of ensuring the Museum is a safe place for both our community and our staff.

"Please check our website for updates in the coming days, and we look forward to welcoming you back to the Museum on February 5."

The city of Denver reinstated the mask mandate on Nov. 24 and extended it in December amid surging COVID-19 cases in the city. The mandate is set to expire on Feb. 3. It’s unclear if it will be extended again or allowed to expire.