BUFFALO, N.Y. — Western New York is now in Phase 4 which means a few local entertainment venues have announced they will be opening soon.
The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens announced they will reopen to the public on July 15, with members getting early access on July 8.
A task force made up of a cross section of garden employees was created to ensure all proper state guidelines will be followed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“Public gardens are indispensable to community healing, offering much-needed places for respite and connection with nature," said David Swarts, president and CEO. "The loss of revenue due to the COVID-19 situation is devastating and with 94 percent of our budget coming from membership, admission and fundraising efforts, the community’s support of the Botanical Gardens is important now more than ever."
The reopening will take place in three phases. Phase one will run for four weeks and involve many restrictions, including reserved, timed e-tickets. Face coverings will be required at all times except for children under two years old. The rear entrance, the Wegmans Family Garden, the Outdoor Children’s Garden, the drinking fountain will also be closed under phase one. Wheelchair borrowing, audio tours and coats racks will not be available.
Phase two will be modified with some restrictions lifted. Phase three is listed as "New Normal." More information about phase two and phase three can be found here.
The Aquarium of Niagara is now open to members
A small amount of tickets will be sold at the door, but the staff is encouraging people to purchase tickets online with a time reservation. All guests older than two years old must wear masks and follow the one-way flow through the aquarium.
"Seeing people move through the building today, seeing those connections forming between our animals and the guests again that is really making us feel really rewarded and it really brought together the whole culmination of getting ready for reopening" said Aquarium of Niagara Executive Director Gary Siddall.
The Buffalo Zoo is also open to all visitors. The zoo will not be selling tickets at the gate you must purchase them online. The zoo will also be closed every Tuesday for a deep cleaning.
"We are requiring everyone two and above to wear masks to be in alignment with Governor Cuomo's executive order" said Buffalo Zoo President and CEO Norah Fletchall. "Well also be taking temperatures using a touchless forehead thermometer for all guests."
If you're looking for a little fun for the kids, Explore and More Children's Museum will be reopening to the public on July 15. Members will be allowed in a week earlier starting July 8th.
Museum officials told 2 On Your Side since Explore and More is a place where hands-on is a big part of the experience, staff will be washing and re-washing things to keep everyone safe. You'll also need to wear a mask and order tickets online.