Questions about the Montshire? Check out our frequently asked questions. If you need more information, please feel free to contact us.
Planning Your Visit
What are the Montshire's hours of operation?
The Montshire is open 7 days a week, 10am to 5pm.
What are the Montshire's admission prices?
How can I purchase a ticket for a visit to the Montshire?
Museum admission can be paid on the day of the visit. Advanced registration is no longer being offered. All visitors, including those walking the trails, need to purchase admission.
Can I purchase tickets using cash?
To limit the potential spread of infection, cashless transactions are encouraged. However, cash may be used to purchase tickets at the Admissions Desk.
What is the Montshire's weather policy?
In case of severe weather conditions (such as electrical storms) or the threat of severe weather (such as thunder), visitors must take shelter in the museum building or their personal vehicles.
The Museum grounds must close if there is thunder or lightning and cannot reopen until 30 minutes after the last thunderclap.
Please check the weather forecast before your visit to help you plan accordingly.
Can I check my children into the museum and leave them?
Children under age 13 must be accompanied by an adult when on museum property. Issues with unaccompanied children will result in the children being asked to leave the museum property.
Does the Montshire have reciprocity with other institutions?
The Montshire has no reciprocity with other museums or institutions. Click here to download a current list of institutions that participate in the Passport Program.
Can I leave my car in the Montshire Museum parking lot?
No. The Montshire parking lot is for museum visitors, staff and vendors. Daytime and overnight vehicle parking is not permitted. Vehicles that are in the lot outside of open hours, or vehicles not affiliated with museum visitors, will be asked to leave and may be reported to law enforcement as trespassers. Click here for information on Vermont Park and Rides and here for information on New Hampshire Park and Rides.
Where can our group eat lunch?
Groups are welcome to eat lunch outside on the museum grounds or in their vehicle(s). We are not able to guarantee indoor space for groups to eat. For more details, visit our Group Visit page.
We want to bring our birthday party celebration to the Montshire!
Happy birthday! We would love to host your celebration at the Montshire! Get more information and book a party on our website here. We do not allow informal parties. Party goers are welcome to visit the museum as part of the festivities, but please refrain from bringing cake, presents and other party accoutrement.
Visitor Health and Safety
General Safety Guidelines
It can be exciting to visit the museum, but please be mindful of your personal safety as well as the safety of others.
Grown ups need to supervise younger visitors in their group at all times.
Be respectful. Share and take turns at exhibits. Help others have a positive experience. Reach out to Museum staff if you feel someone is causing, or demonstrating the potential to cause, harm to others.
Clean up any messes or let staff know if you need assistance.
What are the Montshire's policies to help ensure the safety and health of visitors?
The following Museum policies and visitor guidelines are in place to help ensure a safe, engaging, and flexible learning environment.
Visit Only If Healthy — Museum visitors must show no symptoms of illness. Visitors must not enter the Montshire building or grounds if they are unwell or experiencing any symptoms of illness.
Face Coverings and Masks — Masks are encouraged but not required.
Practice Healthy Hand Hygiene — We ask that all visitors wash their hands or use hand sanitizer upon entry and frequently throughout their visit. The Montshire has upgraded our restrooms with touchless features and increased the availability of hand-washing and hand-sanitizing stations throughout our building and grounds.
Maintain Social Distance — Social distancing has proven to be an effective measure in decreasing the risk of infection. We encourage one visitor group per exhibit and for visitor groups to stay together (all children must stay with adults at all times).
Stay Together with Your Group — Visitor groups should stay together in the Museum. One visitor group per exhibit. Children must stay with their adults at all times.
What accommodations does the Montshire offer for visitors?
At the Montshire, we believe that joyful moments of learning and discovery should be accessible to everyone. That’s why we’ve taken care to expand access and to ensure that the experiences we offer are relevant, comfortable, and welcoming for all visitors.
Read more about our Accessibility offerings here.
Can I use the Montshire trails after hours?
No. The Montshire’s trails and grounds open to visitors at 10am and at 5pm. People using the trails or any part of the grounds outside of these hours are considered trespassers. The Hazen Trail is open to the public and accessible from Montshire Road before coming onto Museum property.
Who is allowed in Wonder Woods?
Our Wonder Woods exhibit is restricted to very small children, ages 0-5.
Grown ups whose children span 0 to 5+ are welcome to bring older sibs into Wonder Woods, but the bigs must play gently and make sure the littles have priority use of the space. If older children are not respectful of the littles, the whole family will be asked to leave Wonder Woods.
What happens if a member of my party gets lost?
The museum can be a very busy, exciting place. Feel free to ask your children to return to the front desk if they lose you so staff can reunite you quickly. Alternatively, pick a favorite exhibit in the museum and ask them to meet you there if you get separated.
If you lose your child, the fastest way to find them is to let a person in a red apron or the front desk staff know immediately. They can mobilize the rest of the team to help find the child. If we find a child who has lost their grown up, we use our public address system to reunite them.
Who may use the elevator?
The elevator is available for all guests who would like to use it. All children must be accompanied when in the elevator. Any children using the elevator by themselves will be asked to get their grown up to accompany them.
Why may I be asked to leave?
If visitors are verbally or physically threatening to staff or other visitors, brandishing weapons, physically harming themselves or others, sexually harassing, or otherwise intentionally damaging visitor experience, personal property and/or museum property, they will be asked to leave.
Unaccompanied children under age 13 will be asked to sit by the front door, and staff will do their best to call a grown up to come pick them up.
Navigating the Montshire
How do I move around the Montshire’s space?
Social distancing has proven to be an effective measure in decreasing the risk of infection. We encourage one visitor group per exhibit and for visitor groups to stay together (all children must stay with adults at all times).
Is the Montshire wheelchair accessible?
Several nature trails on the Quinn Nature Preserve are wheelchair accessible with assistance. The paths in Science Park consist of loose gravel; some areas are wheelchair accessible with assistance.
Generally, the first floor exhibit spaces and bathrooms are entirely wheelchair accessible. Second floor exhibit spaces can be reached by elevator.
Who are the people in red aprons?
Those are the Montshire’s Explainers. A mixture of volunteers and Education staff, Explainers help answer visitor questions, engage with and maintain exhibits, and provide activities in the Science Discovery Lab. Please feel free to ask them anything, including if you need any help throughout your visit.
Are food and drink allowed?
The Snack Zone provides four tables for eating indoors year round. In the spring, summer and early fall, picnic tables are located in the Pavilion, Mertz Meadow, and along the east and south side of the parking lot. With the exception of water, no food and drink are allowed in the museum galleries.
Picnic food and beverages may be stored in the coat room until needed. Coffee, smoothies and other beverages are not allowed in the galleries and may be stored in the coat room, consumed outdoors or in the Snack Zone.
Are food or drinks available for sale?
Vending machines are available, but there is no cafe or food for sale on site. Museum staff are happy to direct you to a local cafe or restaurant, and you are welcome to bring your own provisions for a day at the museum.
Is the Museum Store open?
The Museum Store is open the same hours as the museum. Admission is not required to shop, but please check in at the front desk. Children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult when in the store.
Is there parking on site?
There is free parking for museum visitors in the Museum’s paved parking lot. The parking lot is well-lit with several accessible spaces. There are no car charging stations. The parking lot is for museum visitors and staff only. When the parking lot is completely full, there is no overflow parking; visitors should wait to visit until there is space available. To access the Hazen Trail, please park at the trailhead just south of the Montshire entrance on Montshire Road. Parking is not permitted outside of Museum hours or on days when the Museum is closed to visitors.
Are pets allowed at the Montshire?
Only service dogs are permitted on museum grounds. Staff may ask ADA approved questions to ensure the dog is trained to do work.
Dogs and other pets are prohibited in the building and on the grounds. They are allowed in the parking lot, but must not be left in vehicles on warm (70+) or cold (40 and below) days.
If an animal in a vehicle is consistently barking or showing other signs of stress, the visitor will be contacted by Museum staff and may be asked to leave. If the owner cannot assist, Museum staff may utilize Vermont Statute 13 V.S.A. § 386 to address the situation.
What if I just want to walk the trails or hang out in Science Park?
The trails and Science Park are part of the museum and therefore private property. Please check in at the desk with your membership or pay admission before heading out to use them. Use of these areas is only allowed when the grounds are open to the public; this applies to members as well as to non-members. People utilizing the trails without checking in will be asked to leave or check in/pay at the front desk. The Hazen Trail is a public/free trail accessible from the top of our driveway on Montshire Road, just to the south, and Foley Park is just up the road to the east if you’d like a place to sit and chat.
Can I go swimming or boating in the Connecticut River or cove?
There is no swimming or boating allowed off the Montshire property. The water in Science Park is turned on from May-September.
Can I bring my dog on a hike?
No. Dogs are not allowed on any Montshire trails unless they are a service dog. Please check in at the front desk before hiking with your service dog.
I brought my bike and running shoes! And my friend brought their hoverboard!
We love all these things, but not on our trails or grounds. We have small people utilizing our spaces so bicycles, runners and other fast moving paraphernalia pose a risk to our youngest visitors. Hopefully you brought some good hiking or walking shoes too!
Do you have chargers for electric cars?
No. There are chargers at King Arthur Baking Company and Dan and Whit’s in Norwich, as well as other locations in the Upper Valley.