YAKIMA, WA - After being closed for almost one year the Yakima Valley Museum is preparing to reopen its doors in April.

Director of Development and Board Relations Susan Duffin said during the shutdown they kept themselves busy with a remodel. They also worked on putting out new exhibits and revamping old ones.

"We've taken great advantage of it, we've made lemonade out of lemons," Duffin said.

One of the biggest changes coming to the museum is interactive features in some of the exhibits. In the bee exhibit, you can see what a beehive looks from the inside and hold a smoker. You can even try on a bee handler hat.

Another addition is Spanish translations of the exhibit information. The museum wanted to be more inclusive, especially since there's a large Hispanic population in Yakima. 

Like many places today, you can also expect to see the museum following CDC protocols with hand sanitizing stations and reminders to keep your distance. Once the museum is open, guests will also be required to wear masks. 

One of the new exhibits that will be featured in the reopening is a collection of clothing pieces by designer Carolyn Schactler. The collection features several pieces with lots of detail on the fabric. 

"That exhibit is going to be quite a knock out I believe," Duffin said.

Another exhibit, which was supposed to showcase last March, is a variety of pieces by local female artists. Since 2020 was the 100 year anniversary of woman's suffrage, this exhibit was supposed to honor that. The women were also going to give talks about their experience as artists. Unfortunately, that never happened due to the closures.

Now that the museum will reopen, the public will get to see the exhibit. The museum hopes they can still host the talks but Duffin said they may have to be done through Zoom. 

The museum doesn't have an exact date for reopening just yet, but they are expected to open sometime in April. Duffin said they are really exciting about reopening.

"We're looking forward to the opportunity to reopen because we've done so much work that really when people come to visit they're going to see things they haven't seen before," Duffin said.