Libertyville's Dunn Museum set to reopen Aug. 29

  • The Bess Bower Dunn Museum in Libertyville will reopen to the public on Aug. 29 with new guidelines, limited hours, timed entry tickets and other safety measures in place.

    The Bess Bower Dunn Museum in Libertyville will reopen to the public on Aug. 29 with new guidelines, limited hours, timed entry tickets and other safety measures in place. Courtesy of Lake County Forest Preserves

Submitted by the Lake County Forest Preserves
Posted8/26/2020 12:32 PM

The Bess Bower Dunn Museum in Libertyville will reopen to the public on Saturday, Aug. 29, with new guidelines, limited hours, timed entry tickets and other safety and public health measures in place to comply with COVID-19 concerns.

"We are following CDC guidelines and those outlined in Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan to ensure the safety and health of our visitors and employees, and the entire community. We have made several modifications throughout the galleries and gift shop to minimize touch points and support social distancing," said Director of Education Nan Buckardt.


"We will be operating on a reduced schedule and offering timed entry tickets to maintain the 25 percent maximum visitor capacity set by the state."

"We are looking forward to welcoming visitors back to the Dunn Museum," said Angelo Kyle, president of the Lake County Forest Preserves.

"New cleaning protocols and visitation procedures support the comfort and safety of visitors and employees, and allow us to once again provide a quality experience for people to learn about Lake County history and culture."

Modified hours are 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, with visitation time slots available from 10-11:30 a.m., noon to 1:30 p.m., and 2-3:30 p.m.

On Thursdays, the 10-11:30 a.m. time slot is designated for seniors older than 62. The galleries and gift shop will be closed between these time slots for cleaning and disinfecting. The Dunn Museum will be open on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 7, and will resume its regular schedule thereafter.

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To assure safety for visitors and employees and maintain capacity limits, timed entry tickets will be sold in advance online. Buckardt said 35 people will be allowed to visit per time slot through a combination of 25 timed entry tickets available for purchase online and 10 tickets available for purchase in person.

Only credit card payments will be accepted. Each gallery has signs posted and cameras in place so employees can monitor and enforce capacity limits as necessary.

Know Before You Go: Guidelines for Visiting

• If you are sick or feel unwell, stay home.

• All visitors (except children under 2) are required to wear face masks in accordance with Illinois Public Health Department guidelines.

• All visitors must follow social distancing rules by maintaining six feet or more between non-household individuals or other visitor groups at all times.


• A new one-way path through the gift shop and galleries is marked, and all seating areas have been modified to accommodate social distancing.

• Wash and sanitize hands frequently during your visit and practice good hygiene. Hand-sanitizing stations are available throughout the facility.

• There are COVID-19 signs and directions throughout the facility reinforcing social distancing rules, masks and hand-washing and hygiene procedures.

• Operating procedures have been enhanced to incorporate both CDC and OSHA guidelines for frequent and thorough cleaning and sanitation of public spaces.

• Deep cleaning of all surfaces will occur on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays when the Dunn Museum is closed.

• Browse the gift shop with your eyes. If you are interested in purchasing a product, gloves are available to use at the front desk. Only credit card payments accepted.

• Protective safety shields are installed at the registers.

• Dunn Museum employees will stay home when sick, wear masks, maintain social distancing, and wash hands and practice good hygiene.

History Programs and Research Requests

• All public educational programs, including the USG Free Thursday Night programs, will continue to be held virtually through the end of 2020. Visit for dates and details, or follow @LCFPD on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

• Virtual field trips, school programs and group guided programs or lectures are available for booking. Visit for details or email

• Research requests from the Lake County History Archives and Collections will continue to be fulfilled remotely. Visit for details.

Special Exhibitions

• "Reima Ratti: Life and Art in the Great Depression" runs through Sept. 27. Artist Reima Ratti (1914-1945) was born in Waukegan to Finnish immigrants and came of age during the Great Depression. His realistic art, classed in the American Scene movement, shows the economic and social changes he experienced during the depression in Lake County.

"From a dark muddy palette, Reima showed beauty in the toil of fishermen working their nets, the culture of Finnish baths, and everyday activity inside a local diner," said Dunn Museum Curator Diana Dretske.

• "Breaking Barriers: Women in the Military" opens Oct. 17 and runs through early 2021. For centuries, women have helped defend the nation in times of war and conflict. In this tribute to those who served, the Dunn Museum will share unique Lake County stories while exploring women's roles as nurses, auxiliary personnel, enlistees, and officers in the U.S. military.

"The nation's struggle was their struggle, and women wanted to have a larger role, equal to men in responsibility and risk," Dretske said.

Admission Information

In celebration of the birthday of Bess Bower Dunn, for whom the museum is named, Aug. 29 reopening day admission is free with a required entry ticket.

Go online to to purchase timed entry tickets in advance. Only a limited number of tickets will be available for purchase in person. Only credit card payments accepted.

If you become sick or feel unwell after making your reservation and prior to your visit, contact the Dunn Museum at (847) 367-6640 or so that your reserved time can be made available for another visitor.

Ticket prices are $6 for residents, $10 for nonresidents for adults; $3 for residents, $6 for nonresidents for seniors and youth; and free for children ages 3 and younger. On Discount Tuesdays, tickets are half price.

The Dunn Museum is in the General Offices of the Lake County Forest Preserves, 1899 W. Winchester Road, between Route 45 and Butterfield Road in Libertyville. Entrance is on the south side of the building. Turn south onto Technology Way and follow signs to the Dunn Museum.

The Dunn Museum is selling its Dryptosaurus T-shirts online and at the gift shop. Dunn Museum gift cards that never expire are also available.

Operated by the Lake County Forest Preserves, the Dunn Museum is among only 3 percent of museums nationally to have earned accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums, an industry mark of distinction.

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