Finding kid-friendly, COVID safe activities can be difficult right now. That’s why Lynn Meadows Discovery Center welcomed families to come celebrate the holiday Saturday.
Although many large local Fourth of July celebrations were canceled in order to help slow the spread of COVID, Lynn Meadows Discovery Center in Gulfport treated children Saturday to outdoor activities and festive Fourth themed crafts. Art Instructor Hannah Johnson said, “So, in the art room we are doing an art project inspired by Charles Demuth and his famous painting ‘I Saw the Figure Five in Gold.’ It’s a painting with a whole bunch of fives, but instead of fives we’re doing fours for the Fourth of July.”
While many may have had to scrap their traditional July 4th plans, spending the holiday at the Discovery Center allows kids to still safely participate in festivities. “In the time of COVID, you know, it’s good to have it here for them to get out of the house a little bit, especially if they’re younger. And just in general, you know, having a Fourth of July celebration or having a New Year’s celebration or something like that it helps teach them about holidays and how we celebrate certain traditions and things like that.”
With kids running around and interacting with each other once again after months in quarantine, the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center is taking its own precautions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Play equipment and games are all regularly sanitized and employees are required to wear masks. “You know, we’re usually pretty good in the normal time about going every hour or so and spraying everything down. We keep everything tidy. But now we’re really trying to go into each exhibit after every guest and spray everything down. In here I spray down each table after somebody uses it. I spray down the chairs and all of the things they have touched.”
Even though guests are not required to follow the same protocol as employees, many do. “A lot of families have been really good about making sure their children wear masks just because, you know, they are kids and sometimes they’ll want to go hug on their friend or they want to go play with other kids. And so if that does end up happening they’ll have at least the mask to help protect them.”
The Lynn Meadows Discovery Center is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 12 p.m. until 5 p.m.