The security and safety of the Cook Museum of Natural Science’s (CMNS) guests, volunteers, employees, live animals, collections, and exhibits are of the highest importance. CMNS has adopted and will enforce rules and regulations that may be necessary and appropriate to provide a safe and secure environment.
CMNS may amend, modify, or withdraw any of their rules and regulations at any time if the organization deems it is in its best interest to do so. As a private institution, CMNS may exercise the foregoing rights at any time without notice and without explanation.
RULES AND REGULATIONS
The following rules and regulations are deemed necessary to ensure the orderly and safe operation of CMNS Property.
ACCESS TO CMNS GALLERIES
The guest ticket is good for one (1) general admission timed entry to the galleries of CMNS. In buying ticket(s) from CMNS, the guest understands and agrees to the following:
- The ticket(s) is/are valid only for the number of person(s), the date, and the entry time slot stated on its/their face(s),
- During the visit, the guest must retain ticket(s) safely for production on demand by CMNS associate(s),
- The ticket(s) cannot be refunded or exchanged,
- Unauthorized resale of this ticket is prohibited.
ACCESS TO OTHER PARTS OF CMNS
Access to administrative facilities or other restricted areas (such as collections and animal care rooms) is limited to authorized CMNS staff only. Access to education programing classrooms and event space is restricted to guests registered for programs or events. CMNS reserves the right to limit access to any of its public facilities and guest areas as it deems fit. CMNS reserves the right to limit, on an as-needed basis, the length of time guests can spend on its property. CMNS reserves the right to close any or all its public spaces due to severe weather or other causes, as needed, and without advanced notice. In the event of circumstances that require an early closing of the museum, a non-cash voucher or CMNS gift card will be granted to guests to be used toward a future admission ticket.
Trespassing, entering, or remaining in or upon CMNS property not open to the public, except with the express consent of CMNS staff, is prohibited. This includes outdoor patio, sidewalks, and courtyard. Any access onto or within any adjacent area under construction or closed to the public is also prohibited.
CMNS guests may leave umbrellas at the front entrance. Any item left must be retrieved no later than fifteen (15) minutes prior to the closing of the museum. Unattended bags or belongings found anywhere on CMNS property will be subject to search and removal by CMNS Security Staff. CMNS is not responsible for unattended bags or belongings. Unclaimed items will be subject to disposal at the discretion of CMNS.
PUBLIC RESTROOM ACCESS
Access to public restrooms inside CMNS is intended for CMNS visitors only.
Restroom access for non-CMNS ticket holders in extenuating situations may be granted at the sole discretion of CMNS Security Staff. In such cases, the guest must enter through the main public entrance on 4th Street and may use the restroom area located in the lower lobby by Guest Services.
RE-ENTRY INTO CMNS
Guests are welcome to leave the museum and re-enter for any reason within the same day of their visit. All guests wishing to re-enter must have their hand stamped by a Guest Services or Retail Store associate on their way out. Upon re-entry, these guests may bypass the Guest Services ticket desk and proceed directly to the entry station to gain entrance to the galleries again. To gain re-entry, the guest must show the original ticket and hand stamp.
CONFORMITY WITH OFFICIAL SIGNAGE
While on CMNS property, guests shall comply with all official posted signs and regulations.
INTERFERING WITH CMNS STAFF FUNCTIONS
Violating the directive of or preventing the execution of duties by CMNS staff in any capacity is prohibited.
Threatening, resisting, intimidating, or intentionally interfering with CMNS staff is prohibited.
Failure to obey a directive to leave CMNS property, or to re-enter CMNS property after being removed, is prohibited and could result in engagement of CMNS security or local law enforcement services.
CMNS does not permit any unauthorized individual or group of individuals to gather, conduct, or sell paid tours inside of the museum.
Groups who have paid their museum admission fee may conduct tours for members of their group. These tours must adhere to, and are subject to, all other CMNS guidelines.
CMNS does not sanction the content or accuracy of any information provided on any tour that is not conducted by a CMNS gallery explainer.
CMNS has several parking options from which guests can choose. SEE PARKING MAP
REPORT OF INJURY OR DAMAGE
All persons suffering bodily injury on CMNS property, or having knowledge of damage to CMNS property, are required to report the occurrence(s) to CMNS staff immediately following the incident. Providing a false report to CMNS staff is prohibited.
PROHIBITED BEHAVIOR AND DISORDERLY CONDUCT
Dismissal from CMNS is warranted upon CMNS’s Staff’s determination that a guest has engaged in disorderly or prohibited conduct. Disorderly conduct may include, but is not limited to, any of the following prohibited acts by guests occurring anywhere on CMNS Property:
- Any conduct or behavior deemed inappropriate by CMNS staff
- CMNS does not permit any unauthorized individual or group of individuals to gather, conduct, or sell paid tours inside of the museum. See Tours section above for more information.
- Engaging in sporting and recreational activities, including skateboarding
- Making noise that is unreasonable, or behaving in a way that is inappropriate (loud, offensive, abusive, or otherwise improper language or performing or engaging in obscene or indecent acts)
- Engaging in fighting, violent, or threatening behavior
- Indecent exposure, sexual acts, or related behavior
- Engaging in commercial activities, soliciting, leafleting, hand billing, and/or vending
- Loitering or sleeping (including on any of the benches inside the building)
- For safety and health reasons, appropriate attire and shoes must be worn at all times.
- Obstructing the use of public areas such as entrances, foyers, lobbies, corridors, concourses, offices, elevators, stairways, roadways, driveways, hallways, or walkways
- Throwing or dropping any items from or at buildings or persons, or from or at any of the CMNS overlook levels
- Interfering with or obstructing authorized vehicular traffic
- Impeding or threatening the security of persons or property
- Willfully defacing, destroying, damaging, or removing CMNS Property
- Smoking (including e-cigarettes and vapors) is prohibited inside CMNS and within twenty-five (25) feet of museum entrances
- Use of lighters, matches, and candles
- Tampering with, damaging, and/or removing any CMNS property including, but not limited to, exhibit and or artifact elements
- Demonstrations, protests, or rallies (or display and/or carry placards, signs, banners, barriers, or balloons)
- Eating and/or drinking inside CMNS except in designated areas
- Use of tripods, monopods, and selfie sticks
SECURITY SCREENING AND PROHIBITED ITEMS
All guests and baggage are subject to security screening. Please consider leaving any prohibited or oversized items at home, in a vehicle, or at the hotel to speed entry. Guests are prohibited from bringing the following items onto CMNS Property:
- Any item deemed inappropriate by CMNS staff and/or any items specifically prohibited to possess as per law in Decatur, Alabama
- Marking instruments including spray paint, liquid paint, glass cutters and/or other items that could be used to mark, dye/color, scratch, gouge or otherwise deface property by mechanical or chemical means
- Hazardous materials of any kind
- Weapons and tools including open carry of firearms, realistic replicas of firearms (to include toy guns), ammunition, stun guns, large cutting devices, razor blade tools, knives or scissors (with pointed tips) with a blade that is larger than 2.5 inches, brass knuckles (to include belt buckles resembling brass knuckles), any martial arts weapon(s), slapjacks
- Disabling chemicals, including mace, pepper spray, tear gas, chlorine, liquid bleach, or compressed gasses
- Explosives, including fireworks
- Noise making or amplification devices, including but not limited to, radios, bull horns, and musical instruments
- Alcoholic beverages
- Controlled substances or narcotics which use is strictly prohibited by governmental regulation
- Powdered substances, liquid soaps and bubbles
- Glass bottles
- Placards, signs, posters, banners, barriers, balloons, rope, wire of any kind, tape or any device used to attach or hang posters onto any structure
- Animals/Pets (Except for service animals)
- Chewing Gum
- Food and/or drink (except for water and food in a sealed container)
- Wagons, bicycles, skateboards, or recreational scooters (baby strollers and wheelchairs are allowed)
- Coolers of any size
- Any flags on poles or sticks that cannot be stored in a backpack
PHOTOGRAPHY, VIDEOGRAPHY, AND AUDIO RECORDINGS
CMNS Staff reserve the right to refuse access and/or photo, video, or audio recording rights to any guest or group, at anytime, anywhere on CMNS Property.
Any guests on CMNS Property, including members of the press/news media, must respect all other guests, and must also realize that not all guests wish to be photographed, videotaped, recorded, or bothered in any other manner.
CMNS uses visitor photos in various marketing and promotional materials that include, but are not limited to, print materials, websites, blogs, video-sharing sites, and social media.
The following are prohibited on CMNS Property, unless otherwise authorized by the CMNS Marketing & Public Relations Department:
- Taking photographs, videos, and/or audio recordings for advertising or commercial purposes, which includes, but is not limited to, publishing, selling, reproducing, transferring, distributing, or otherwise commercially exploiting the recorded media in any manner whatsoever
- Using tripods and/or professional camera and/or audio recording equipment
- If professional camera and/or audio recording equipment is officially authorized for use on CMNS Property, then it is done so on-site at the discretion of CMNS Security Staff.
Inside CMNS, personal photos, video, and/or audio recordings are permitted for private, noncommercial use only, and in all cases so long as the activity does not impede pedestrian traffic. The use of flash is prohibited in all CMNS areas.
ANIMALS AND PETS ACCESS
Guest’s animals and pets are not allowed on, or inside, CMNS property (except for service animals).
SANITATION AND REFUSE
All guests on CMNS property must dispose of personal refuse and items for recycling in designated receptacles only. Removing objects from trash receptacles is prohibited.
Smoking is not allowed on CMNS property at any time. “Smoking” includes the use of any tobacco products, including tobacco chew and vapor devices, electronic smoking devices, and e-cigarettes containing nicotine cartridges. Guests must smoke in designated smoking areas in the parking lot across from museum, at least twenty-five (25) feet from museum entrances.
CMNS ARTIFACTS AND EXHIBITIONS
Touching any artifact or exhibition item inside CMNS is prohibited, unless expressly authorized by CMNS Staff, or as posted. It is illegal to deface, damage, mutilate, or destroy CMNS property, artifacts, exhibits, or equipment including altering or tampering with computers or software. Handling artifacts, exhibits, or equipment without the presence and permission of a CMNS staff member is prohibited.
Any person who violates any provision of the CMNS Guest Policy is subject to dismissal from CMNS Property. In such cases where warranted, local law enforcement will be contacted for assistance and criminal charges may be filed.
CMNS reserves the right to refuse or revoke and/or deny admission without refund for non-compliance with applicable rules and regulations of the museum’s guest policy or for other inappropriate conduct.
To report an emergency or suspicious item or activity (See Something, Say Something), immediately inform the nearest security officer or staff member.