The Wild Center is pleased to announce that guests will have more to explore as they will be welcoming visitors inside the main museum building starting Thursday, July 1, 2021, during a phased reopening of indoor exhibits. Guests can hike the indoor living river loop trail while enjoying indoor amenities and an enhanced outdoor experience. As a continued commitment to the health and safety of visitors, staff, and the wider community, The Wild Center has implemented one-way movement and social distancing inside, as well as enhanced visitor amenities and cleaning protocols.
“We’re excited to welcome visitors, members, staff, and volunteers indoors at last. As a science-based museum, we wanted to wait until science told us it was safe to do so. It was important to us that we held off until we were absolutely sure that we could deliver a Wild Center experience that people have grown to know and love, while doing so in the safest manner possible,” said Stephanie Ratcliffe, Wild Center Executive Director. “We’ve been planning this phase of our re-opening for quite a while – and when they come back this summer, our friends are going to find more to explore.”
“I’m excited and grateful that The Wild Center has a thoughtful indoor reopening plan. This will allow visitors to once again enjoy all aspects of The Wild Center. The experience will be in a safe and engaging environment, which will allow our visitors to appreciate The Wild Center and the Tupper Lake area,” said Tupper Lake Mayor Paul Maroun.
“We commend the Wild Center for providing the experience throughout the pandemic as they did for all to enjoy,” said Patricia Littlefield, Tupper Lake Town Supervisor. “To know they will be opening inside soon, with continued safety measures in place, is so exciting for all here in Tupper Lake and for the visitors that plan trips here. The Wild Center is a building block for the wonderful happenings in Tupper Lake and our entire region, complimenting Tupper Lake Arts, The Adirondack Sky Center and more. We look forward to welcoming all to come visit Tupper Lake and the Adirondack Region.”
Temporary adjustments have been put in place to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone while still meeting New York State guidelines. These include:
One-Way Living River Loop Trail: Indoors, visitors will experience traversing an Adirondack Trail—starting at the summit of a High Peak, passing forests, waterfalls, rivers, streams, bogs and lakes. “Living river” is no exaggeration, with more than 2,000 live creatures in and around the indoor trail.
Nature infuses the Hall, including the sounds of cascading water from the plunge pool at the dramatic 20-foot high Otter Falls. Here, visitors can watch The Wild Center’s resident otters show off their curiosity, energy and overall playful behavior.
The Wild Supply Company: In Summer 2021, The Wild Center will pilot an expanded indoor store experience, while continuing to offer online shopping and curbside pick up. This will permit safe, socially distanced shopping for a greater number of shoppers and will facilitate a shopping experience conveniently in the path of the prescribed visitor loop flow, allowing visitors to extend their Wild Center experience and commemorate their visit on their way out of the building.
The Waterside Café: Also beginning July 1st, The Wild Center will expand their food service amenities, allowing guests to pre-order fresh brown bag lunches from The Waterside Café for pickup and consumption outside. This will be in addition to the Snack Bar already available at the Wild Walk Kiosk with simple healthy pre-packaged food and canned beverages.
Amendment to Mask Policy: Vaccinated visitors may remove their face covering when outdoors. Unvaccinated visitors must have a mask on at all times. For your safety and the safety of our employees, all visitors, regardless of vaccine status, must wear a face covering when indoors.
Outdoor experience: The Wild Center will utilize Wild Walk, Forest Music and its largely outdoor 115-acre campus to provide a one-of-a-kind experience this summer. Included in admission, guests will get to admire various outdoor sculptures around the campus from two nationally known artists. The first is a selection of large sculptures made out of found materials by Adirondack-based artist, Barney Bellinger, displayed in collaboration with Tupper Arts. The second will be larger-than-life pieces created on-site in August by stick sculpture artist Patrick Dougherty as he bends, weaves and fastens together twigs found in the Adirondacks.
As an add-on to a visit, naturalist-led canoe trips will run daily from May 25 – Sept. 6, taking guests through the Raquette River’s Oxbow as they explore different marsh habitats. Reservations can be made online at: wildcenter.org/visit/outside/canoe-on-the-raquette-river.
Timed ticket reservation system: For visitor safety, The Wild Center will maintain a timed ticket reservation system to manage capacity which limits the number of visitors on campus during a given time. Reservations may be made online, by phone, or email prior to arrival and are required for all guests, including members. Timed reservations are available now at wildcenter.org/visit. Tickets are valid for one-day.
Promoting wellness: Hand sanitizing stations will be available throughout the campus. Wild Center staff will frequently clean and disinfect high-traffic areas and restrooms. Visitors are asked to follow one-way directional signage and ground markings which have been installed to help guests better navigate while practicing physical distancing.
Paperless visit: For the safety of visitors and employees, The Wild Center is temporarily accepting cashless payments only. Paper maps have transitioned to digital maps, which visitors may view on The Wild Center’s website, accessible on mobile devices, or through a brand-new Wild Center app. Visitors may also access audio tours and self-lead scavenger hunts through the mobile app.
For more information on reopening, guidelines, and reservation information, visit The Wild Center’s Visit page: www.wildcenter.org/visit/.
The Wild Center will be open seven days a week by reservation from 10am to 5pm from May 28, 2021 to October 10, 2021. From October 12, 2021 to May 29, 2022, The Wild Center will be open Friday through Sunday from 10am to 5pm.