Steam Engine at the Western Development Museum - Moose Jaw

Steps for Safely Closing your Seasonal Museum for Winter

Posted by Amber Hanover on September 27th, 2016

Hibernation –  Putting your Seasonal Museum “To Bed” for the Winter

By Kathleen Watkin, MAS Museum Advisor

With the end of the tourist season upon us, and the cold weather on its way, it is time for many seasonal museums to close their doors for the winter. This process can be overwhelming, so here are some Tips, Hints and Self-Assessment Questions to make the transition easier.


Inspect the Property

Any major problems should be addressed as soon as possible to ensure the problem and its consequences do not escalate over the winter season.

Clean Gutters and Maintain Water Dispersion

Ensure that all gutters and downspouts are completely cleaned out.
If your downspout feeds out close to your museum, consider adding tubing to the ends, so that water is released further away from your foundation.

Turning Off and Draining Water Lines

To Heat or Not to Heat?

Prepare for Snow Removal

Cleaning and Assessment

Protect Against Pests (See CCI Notes for more information:

Preparing for Water

Light Exposure

Once the Museum is “Put to Bed” for the Season:


For more information:

Heritage Preservation and National Park Service. “Caring for Your Historic House.” Harry N. Abrams, Inc. New York: 1998.

Mary Peever Ethnology Laboratory. “Closing a Museum for the Winter.” CCI Note 1/3.  Canadian Conservation Institute. 1988. Website:

New England Museum Association (NEMA). “Hibernation Note Just of Bears.” Webinar. Connecting to Collections Care Online Community. August 31, 2016. Website:

“Winterizing Your Historic Building.” Conservation Center for Art & Historical Artifacts. 2016. Website:

‹ Get to know our board members

Tips and Hints for Creating Successful MGP Applications ›

Get Our Newsletter