History Museum COVID-19 FAQs

When is the History Museum open?

  • Starting March 24, the History Museum is open Tuesday-Sunday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Can I purchase admission tickets in advance?

  • Yes! We recommend you buy your tickets online.
  • Show your tickets on your mobile phone or print a copy of the confirmation at home to show at the front desk.

What if I cannot come to the History Museum on my ticket date?

  • Contact the History Museum at 650.299.0104 or email us before 4 p.m. on your ticket date to reschedule.

What should I do if I am experiencing COVID-19 symptoms on my ticket date?

Clip art of a woman taking her temperature
  • Stay home if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • We will be happy to reschedule your ticket date. Contact the History Museum at 650.299.0104 or email us.

Do I have to wear a mask?

Red circle with a white face mask
  • Staff and visitors are to wear a mask (prohibited for ages 0-2).
  • Face masks should cover the nose and mouth.
  • Per county health orders, masks that have one-way valves do not meet standards.

How can I maintain social distance at the History Museum

Clip art showing social distancing with arrows in between 3 figures
  • Museum visitors are required to maintain a minimum 6-foot distance from those not in their social group.
  • Museum visitor capacity is limited to assist with social distancing.
  • Museum staff has established a recommended path of travel through the exhibits.
  • Help maintain social distance by waiting for others to pass through doorways.
  • Only one family group at a time can use the elevator.

Are there other requirements due to COVID-19?

Coronavirus symbol made out of small medical figures
  • Wash hands frequently. Hand sanitizer is available in several locations in the History Museum.
  • Sneeze and cough into a cloth or tissue if available, if not available use your elbow.
  • Do not shake hands or engage in any unnecessary physical contact.

Are there any changes to the Exhibits?

Red stagecoach in Journey to Work with signs showing the interactive is temporarily closed
  • We have increased the frequency of cleaning in the exhibits.
  • There are recommended paths of travel through the exhibits. Maverick’s, our smallest exhibit space, is restricted to one family group at a time.
  • Many of the hands-on interactives that are difficult to clean have been removed or are roped off.
  • Visitors are encouraged to use a stylus (available for purchase) on the touch buttons and touch screens.

Are the restrooms open?

  • Restrooms are open.
  • Restrooms are scheduled to be cleaned every 2 hours.

Are food and drink allowed?

  • Food and drink are not allowed inside the museum.
  • Due to COVID-19, the water fountains inside the building are not available.

Is the Museum Store open?

  • The Museum Store is open during regular museum hours.
  • At this time, we are only accepting payments by credit card.

Are the Archives open?

  • Starting March 24, the Archives are open by appointment only.
  • For more information on Archives procedures, view the Archives FAQs.

Is Encore Books on the Square open?

  • Encore Books is closed.
  • The bookstore is operated by volunteers. The store does not currently have a scheduled reopening date.

What is the status of events?

  • At this time, some of the History Museum’s popular programs are being offered FREE online including Free First Fridays and the Courthouse Docket.
  • At this time, programs are not being scheduled at the History Museum.


We appreciate you taking precautions while visiting this museum to protect other visitors and staff. While the San Mateo County Historical Association has observed the necessary protocols and procedures, we recognize that an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. You will be visiting at your own risk and should use your judgment as to whether you are comfortable being in a public space.