Below are some frequently asked questions, rules and policies with some helpful tips for your next visit.
How long does it take to go through the museum?
Depending on your child’s age, and which programs you attend, the length of your visit may vary every time! We advise planning for a 2–3-hour visit.
When are your quietest times to visit?
No Tour Tuesdays (the first Tuesday of each month) and late afternoons are generally the museum’s quietest hours. Please note that Thinkery hours vary during the summer, and seasonal crowds can impact noise within the museum. Check out our web calendar for up-to-date information!
When are school groups visiting the museum?
During the school year, school groups are playing and exploring in the museum every Tuesday through Friday from 9:30 am–1:30 pm and from 9:30 am–3:30 pm during the summer. The first Tuesday of the month is No Tour Tuesday.
Are strollers allowed?
Due to the close proximity of parking to the museum, we suggest you leave your stroller in your vehicle. Limited stroller parking is available in the museum.
Where can we keep our belongings while we play?
Small lockers are available for $1 per day. You can purchase your locker when you check in at Admissions. A valid driver’s license or keys will be held for collateral. There is a $5 fee for lost locker keys.
Thinkery is not liable for theft, loss or damage to personal property. Take precautions with your personal belongings and do not leave valuable items in your strollers.
Do you allow re-entry?
With the purchase of a General Admission ticket, you are welcome to leave and return to Thinkery in the same day. Upon re-entry, you must go through the admissions line and verify payment by showing your receipt or Member card at a register. Re-entry does not apply to special programs, such as Baby Bloomers and Guided Tours.
Can I drop my child off at the museum?
A guardian must accompany a child throughout the museum. Guardians must be 18 years of age or older. Parents/caregivers are responsible for supervising their children at all times. You are your child’s best advocate for staying safe.
Do you have a Lost and Found?
If you’ve already left the museum, please call the museum’s Reservations desk at (512) 469-6200. You must be able to provide the approximate date the item was left and be able to describe the item in detail. The museum’s policy is to hold items for 14 days. After that, the items will be donated to shelters and thrift stores.
May I bring my pet to Thinkery?
Thinkery welcomes service animals—other animals or pets are not allowed except as part of museum programs.
- The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a service animal as a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability.
- Dogs or therapy animals whose function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals according to ADA, even with a doctor's note.
What is your adult to child ratio?
We require a 1:5 (adult: children) ratio on our exhibit floor. Children must be supervised at all times. No security can take the place of adult supervision. Please have fun with, and supervise, your children.
Can I bring my sick child to the museum?
Children with an elevated temperature, or an illness that may be contagious (such as pink eye or flu) or too sick to go to school are asked not to visit Thinkery for the safety of our guests.
Do I have to wear shoes?
Shoes must be worn at all times unless otherwise specified in a gallery space.
Is smoking allowed?
Thinkery is a non-smoking facility, including e-cigarettes. Smoking is also not allowed within 15-feet of the entrance.
What if I have a meeting at Thinkery?
Thinkery is committed to providing an accessible and interactive experience for all. The museum offers hands-on activities and open gallery spaces for guests to explore in a safe environment. Our staff members will happily assist with any needs or questions during your visit. All resources are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
What resources are available?
To assist with the planning and preparing for your visit we’ve created a few helpful resources. A social story is available to help prepare children for their visit to Thinkery and who/what to expect when they arrive.
Is there accessible parking nearby?
Limited accessible metered street parking is available near Thinkery and at the McBee Street District Garage, with entrances off McBee Street and Robert Browning Street. Thinkery can provide up to three hours of free parking in the McBee Street District Garage during normal business operating hours. Bring us your parking ticket, and we’ll validate it for you.
Is Thinkery wheelchair accessible? Do you have wheelchairs available?
Thinkery is fully wheelchair accessible. Elevator access is available on both floors. A limited number of wheelchairs may be borrowed at the Admissions desk on a first-come, first-served basis. Guests are requested to leave a photo ID at Admissions while using museum wheelchairs.
Do you have sensory friendly museum packs?
Families with members on the autism spectrum or with sensory processing disorders may check out a free pack to use during visits to Thinkery at the Admissions desk. A valid driver’s license will be held for collateral. These packs are designed to create a welcoming experience and contain social stories, fidgets, noise-canceling headphones, and light reducing glasses.
May I bring my service animal?
Service Animals are always welcome.
Do you have Sensory Friendly Hours?
During Sensory Friendly Hours, Thinkery extends a special invitation to learners with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) or other special needs to explore Thinkery with their families. Please check the web calendar for our Sensory Friendly Hours.
I have another question. Who can I ask?
For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is food available? Can we bring food?
You are welcome to bring food and consume in our snack area. A healthy food vending machine is available. For the safety of visitors, glass bottles, and containers are prohibited. Food, drinks, and gum are not permitted in our exhibit spaces. Additionally, there are several other options for food within walking distance.
Where can I nurse my baby?
You may nurse your child anywhere in Thinkery. If you prefer a more private space, there is a quiet room for nursing mothers available on the second floor near the Let’s Grow exhibit.
Thinkery is committed to keeping the museum clean and safe for our visitors.
- We conduct regular deep cleaning of the entire museum.
- All items handled by children are specially cleaned every night, using sprays to prevent the spread of germs and insects.
- Guests are asked to put toys that have been mouthed in designated “Yuck Bucket” bins. Mouthed toys go through a process of deep cleaning in which they are disinfected and washed.
- Deep cleaning, by a professional cleaning service, takes place when the museum is closed.
- A full-time cleaning team consistently cleans the restrooms.
- Staff is required to consistently wash their hands.
- Hand-washing is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of many types of infection and illness. In addition to hand-washing facilities in every bathroom, Thinkery offers hand sanitization stations throughout the museum.
- Bloom, designed for children who are still crawling, has a no-shoe policy to keep the carpet pristine. Hospital-grade booties are provided at the entrance for visitors to slip over their shoes, if they prefer.
Can adults visit the museum without children?We want visitors of all ages to enjoy Thinkery! Adults unaccompanied by children must leave a photo ID at Admissions for the duration of their visit. We request that adults unaccompanied by children respect other visitors’ experiences and refrain from interacting with visitors and children they do not know. Unaccompanied guests may photograph Thinkery exhibits, but are not allowed to photograph other visitors and children. Visitors unaccompanied by children must sign an acknowledgment form that confirms they have read our guidelines and policies. Click here for information about Thinkery21, our adults-only program for visitors ages 21+.
What is your photography policy?
Photography and filming are conducted by Thinkery for marketing and educational purposes. Entering the museum and/or purchase of an admission or program ticket constitutes your consent for Thinkery and its partners to use any photos, images or film it deems appropriate without payment, inspection or review.
Feel free to take photos and post about your visit. We love seeing and sharing (with permission) visitor photos on our social media outlets—when posting your photos, add the hashtag #ThinkeryATX so we can see them, too! When photographing more than just your group, please be considerate and respectful of other visitors’ privacy.
No photos or videos of Thinkery may be taken for commercial use without express written consent from Thinkery.
Are weapons or firearms allowed at Thinkery?
Thinkery is committed to maintaining a safe and secure environment for our visitors. As posted at Thinkery’s entrance—and in accordance to laws of the State of Texas—for the safety of our children, no weapons (including concealed or open carry) are allowed. With the exception of law enforcement, anyone possessing a weapon will be asked to remove it from our premises immediately.
Pursuant to Section 30.06, Penal Code (trespass by license holder with a concealed handgun), a person licensed under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code (handgun licensing law), may not enter this property with a concealed handgun.
Pursuant to Section 30.07, Penal Code (trespass by license holder with an openly carried handgun), a person licensed under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code (handgun licensing law), may not enter this property with an openly carried handgun.