City officials set to reopen Discovery Center in the fall, with COVID precautions in place

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Posted September 4, 2020 | Staff Report

Ocala city officials have announced that the Discovery Center will soon reopen to the public.

The children’s museum, at 701 N.E. Sanchez Ave., is scheduled to be accessible to the public on Oct. 3.

City officials also announced that the Discovery Center will feature a new exhibit, Astronaut Academy. That also opens Oct. 3.

Still concerned about the effects of COVID-19, city officials say they will offer modified hours at the facility.

On Tuesdays through Fridays, the Discovery Center will offer two sessions, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

On Saturdays, three sessions will be available: from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., or 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Admission prices apply per session.

General admission to the Discovery Center is $8 per person, $7 for seniors or veterans, and free for children age two and under.

A family-four pass is $28.

Memberships are available. Those include free admission as well as discounts on many programs.

Saturday programming, like Sing-a-long Science, STEAM Saturday and Star Lab Planetarium, will be available at limited capacities for an additional fee.

Information and pricing are available at

In accordance with recommended health guidelines and in response to the coronavirus outbreak, all visitors over the age of six must wear a face covering.

There will be limited occupancy to allow for proper social distancing.

Accordingly, reservations are highly recommended.

Food and beverages are not allowed in the exhibit hall. Personal water bottles are allowed on the first floor as the water fountain will not be available.

Additionally, staff will be implementing increased cleaning protocols for the facility.

Hands-on manipulatives will be sanitized with appropriate cleaners during periods of high traffic and following each two-hour session.

The Discovery Center will close at 4 p.m. each day to undergo deep cleaning.

Ultraviolet light will be implemented to sanitize the planetarium, and UV sanitization has been installed in Discovery Center air handlers. Items that are not easily sanitized have been removed or replaced. Hand sanitizer stations will be available in all areas of the facility.

The Discovery Center of Ocala strives to provide community members of all ages an interactive, educational experience to stimulate a desire to expand personal knowledge.

For more information about the Discovery Center and view the complete re-opening plan, visit or call (352) 401-3900.

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