Best Museums In Minnesota: History Culture And Art
Categories United States
Is it culture, history, science, nature, or technology? Where does your interest lie? Well, museums in Minnesota offer information on all these and more. Whenever you are in this awesome state, take a tour to one or two of these museums, and youll not be disappointed.
If theres one state in the US that guarantees travelers more places to visit and sites to see than they bargained for, is Minnesota.
You can never run short of things to explore in Minnesota.
Museums are one major attraction that brings numerous visitors to this state each year. And its not without a good reason.
With its rich and diverse cultural landscape, Minnesota has numerous museums that sometimes it gets hard to decide which one to visit.
Full of captivating history, Minnesota local museums have more than you can imagine, to satisfy your thirst for history.
From the extensive history to the dynamic art scenes featuring both local and international artists, museums in Minnesota are a total depiction of Minnesotas beauty.
But how do you choose which museums to visit and which ones not to?
Well, with all these incredible museums in Minnesota, it can be quite challenging to choose some and leave others. Thats why weve done the hard work for you.
We have compiled a list of some of the best museums in Minnesota to help make your tour even more exciting.
What Is There To Do
Did you know that The Bakken Museum is the ONLY Smithsonian-Affiliate museum in Minnesota? You know that means it’s a pretty special experience for the family, so why not head there on your next family day out?
The Bakken Museum aims to inspire passion for innovation through exploration of science, technology and the humanities, all to make the world a better place.
The collection is filled with incredible books and artifacts, and the museum is also home to a number of galleries that focus on the wonders of innovation, bio-technology, plant medicine and science.
You can get a shock out of a 100 year old electricity machine, or experience the marvellous world of Mary Shelley and her Frankenstien experiments!
Kids can wire a tiny city and light up a tower in the Electropolis exhibit. Kids aged 4 to 8 can combine history and science in this educational play experience and learn how things work!
Why not take some time to enjoy an immersive object theater as you take in a 12 minute film that just might spook you as the tale of a mad scientist comes to life.
Learn all about Benjamin Franklin, explore what inventions are made right in the state of Minnesota, or take part in a guided experience tinkering with patterns and engineering.
Don’t miss the Florence Bakken Medicinal Garden either, it’s such a beautiful place to stroll after the excitement of the museum.
Childrens Museum Of Southern Minnesota
Mankato | Rain, rain, wont go away? The Childrens Museum of Southern Minnesota is the perfect place to shake off some of those stuck-inside wiggles. Start by getting your hands dirty at the Coughlan Quarrythe giant sandpit has a movable crane. Then go paint the town redor at least the wallsin the KATO Engineering Explorers Lab. Finish with a shimmy up the Tree of Forts, which includes an inclined suspension bridge, rope tunnels, and a 28-foot vertical tunnel. 224 Lamm St., Mankato, 507-386-0279, cmsouthernmn.org
Up for a challenge? Try to hit all the Childrens Museums our great state has to offer. The laser maze in Minnesota Childrens Museum of St. Paul is lit, while the in-progress Great River Childrens Museum in St. Cloud is going to be 25,000 square feet of fun. 10 W. 7th St., St. Paul, 651-225-6000, mcm.org 111 7th Ave. S., St. Cloud, greatrivercm.org
Don’t Miss: Metropolitan Museum Of Art Free Days
The Russian Art Museum
From its stunning wall displays to its towering ceilings, the Russian Art Museum is a sensual place to be. This Minneapolis-based museum is the only one of its kind in North America. The museum concentrates solely on displaying Russian art and artifacts.
The Russian history and culture displayed in this museum offer you a chance to connect both to their products and their way of living. You will interact with some of the popular products, the country has contributed to the world throughout history.
Being in this museum helps you to connect with the struggle, as well as the beauty of the countrys culture. Its quite a dynamic experience for anyone with an interest in the history of Russia.
TMORA sits in a building, which once hosted the Mayflower Church. The church building was built way back in a Spanish Colonial-Revival style.
Its small size makes it even more ideal for a quick one-day tour. You can easily peruse its entire collection during a single visit.
This is, therefore, one of the art museums in Minnesota that should never miss on your to-visit sites.
St Anthony Falls And Stone Arch Bridge
A beautiful place to take a walk out over the water to see the waterfall which is a large part of Minneapoliss history. Plus you can see the Mill City Museum from here.
Length of time: it would only take 30 minutes or so to walk the whole bridge, but could be longer if you choose to linger and take in the buildings and the waterfall.
Kids: Great for kids since there are no cars on the bridge just people walking and bikes.
Don’t Miss: Houston Museum Of Natural Science Discount Code
Science Museum Of Minnesota Virtual Field Trips For Families
The museum staff have pulled together some fun online options to keep our families learning virtually from home. Take advantage of their Science Is Learning toolkit page to learn about diatom, archeology and dinosaurs. Bigger kids may enjoy reading articles on the Learn page. Either way, you could take “virtual field trips” on your favorite subjects and then culminate the learning with a visit to the museum.
Minneapolis Institute Of Art
If you are looking for a place that houses a global collection of arts, then you should book yourself a tour of the Minneapolis Institute of Art.
This is, in fact, one of the most famous museums in the Twin Cities, which receives thousands of visitors each year.
Not only that this art museum is, in my opinion, perennially one of the best art museums in the United States.
Here, youll experience the sensational work and permanent collection of famous artists including Van Gogh, Monet, and Matisse. Better still, you can marvel at the ingenious skill used by ancient Romans, to craft complex human body sculptures.
Want a better experience of this art museum in Minneapolis? Check out our full travel guide and tour of this museum from our YouTube channel.
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts extensive network of hallways makes the experience here even more exciting. For every turn you make, you encounter a new surprise that leaves your mouth agape.
So, if you cant afford the hassle of traveling around the globe, this museum brings everything to you in a single place. You can, therefore, enjoy all these masterpieces from various cultures, right from a single location .
The Minneapolis Institute of Art also hosts the popular MAEP galleries. These help to showcase the immense artistic wealth of local artists. While you are touring the unique collection or special exhibits, youll also get an excellent view of the Minneapolis skyline.
Read Also: Smithsonian Air And Space Museum Gift Shop
Coming To Central Minnesota
Together, with our community we are working to develop a place where every child and their caring adults can create, explore, discover and be inspired through the extraordinary power of play. In the process, the museum will serve as a life source to strengthen families, build community connections, and increase the value of our local economies.
The museum will reside in downtown St. Cloud, thanks to Liberty Banks $1.4 million donation of its building.
The museums Board of Directors is working with experienced museum planners and architects to transform the 25,000 square foot space into one that celebrates the rich, natural elements of Central Minnesota. The dynamic and varied experiences, exhibits, and environments explore rivers, cultures, woods, and clouds.
Great River Childrens Museum is a non-profit organization and a member of the Association of Childrens Museums.
Amazing Things To Do In Minneapolis With Kids
When we think of Minneapolis, we automatically think of Mall of America. What we learned on our last trip is the Minneapolis area has so much more than just the Mall! We were pleasantly surprised by all the outdoor activities that they had and the amazing museums. There were a lot of great things to do in Minneapolis with kids, here is our list of faves.
Below we share our favorites in and around this upper midwest city. Take note that Minneapolis along with Saint Paul make up the Twin Cities. Youll find a ton of family fun, outdoor nature and yummy ice cream!
Recommended Reading: Museum Of Ice Cream In New York
Science Museum Of Minnesota Admission Prices
Prices are subject to change but, as of July 2021, general admission is as follows:
- Ages 13-64: $19.95
- Ages 4-12: $8.95
Science Museum Discounts
The Works Museum Is Committed To The Safety Of Our Visitors And Staffto Help Stop The Spread Of Covid
- Masks are required for all visitors ages 5 and older, regardless of their vaccination status.
- Masks are strongly encouraged for visitors ages 2-4.
- Do not visit the Museum if you are sick or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, including fever of 100.4 degrees F or higher, cough, shortness of breath, flu-like symptoms in the last 72 hours, or have had a known exposure to a confirmed case of COVID-19.
- Plan to practice social distancing from visitors outside your household.
- The basement lunchroom will be closed to public visitors. Plan to eat meals/snacks before or after arriving, or use our picnic bench outside.
- Visitors may purchase tickets online in advance to limit contact at the front desk.
Read Also: Boston Science Museum Gift Shop
Anytime Free Online Resources From The Science Museum
SMM provides a lot of free, fun extras that families can grab online anytime. These freebies include:
The Science is Learning – Virtual Tookit
Find hands-on activities to encourage science at home, like printable puzzles and coloring sheets, experiments and DIY activities.
Families can dig a little deeper into the topics of the current movies before or after a screening. Find interviews, videos, extra facts and more.
Science for All
Dig deeper into SMM’s permanent exhibit, RACE: Are We So Different? with videos that explore the topic and conversation starters for around the dinner table, including the 10-minute drama, The Idea.
Aimed at educators, families can also view use materials created to provide resources for learning, such as online lessons and learn from home ideas.
Science Museum Of Minnesota
This is actually in St. Paul, but it is worth the short drive. It is 4 stories of hands on fun for you and the kids. Each level offers something different and you could spend all day here exploring the museum.
There is the quackery museum, which has a collection of unique and quacky things that people have invented was one of our favorites. Along with the news center where the kids could pretend they were news anchors and actually see themselves on TV as well as the giant astronaut where you could super-impose your face on the astronauts helmet so it looked like you were the giant astronaut! We also spent a lot of time at the Hydraulics lab.
When you are there, dont miss the IMax show! We saw the one about the National Parks and it was fantastic. The shows change, so check into what show is playing before you go.
We also visited the Mummy exhibit which I thought was cool, but the kids werent that interested in. Exhibits change too, so check to see which one will be there when you go.
Can you see how you could spend a whole day here? We kept having to tell the kids we have to move on or we werent going to see everything before they close!
Length of time: All day
Kids: Great for all ages. For the older kids they can actually figure out how things work. For the younger kids they will love touching all the buttons and building things.
Food: They have an eating area, but no food is allowed throughout the museum.
Learn more at:
Don’t Miss: Tickets For Natural History Museum Los Angeles
Plan Ahead For Summer Camps: Science Camp
As we head back into summer, this is the perfect chance to start planning summer activities for the children. An excellent way for children to spend their summer outside of the house is through a science camp. A science camp will keep your child busy most of the summer and ensure that their brain is still active and working over the summer break.
They may also take new information that they learn over the summer back to school with them. Another bonus is that the child will have the opportunity to foster new friendships and lessen the time that they spend in front of a screen.
To give your kids a taste of some fun science activities, check out the Minnesota Childrens Museum. Here are our tips for taking your family to this incredible resource.
Twin Cities Kids Club has provided a list of benefits of attending a science camp as well as some local places that hold summer camps.
Benefits Of A Science Camp
- Children gain life skills that carry into adulthood
There is a gap between the knowledge that schools are teaching and the skills needed to become a successful adult. The life skills that camp teachers are collaboration, socialization, communication, leadership, and creativity.
The campers learn to communicate and socialize the whole stent of their trip. They can chat while they bunk together or through group problem solving and activities. Campers will learn leadership either by guiding a team that they are put in charge of or helping out a first-time younger camper. Campers are also encouraged to learn to solve problems by themselves and engage in countless creative activities.
- Educates beyond books and grades
Even though test-taking and excelling with good grades in school is crucial, a science camp will provide learning in a new environment. Through science camp, a child can build their self-esteem.
As children excel in activities at camp, their self-esteem will grow. The children are encouraged to improve each day that they are at camp. The program provides learning in a new and exciting way that can often be play-based. Learning in a stress-free environment removes the stress of grades and excelling on tests.
- Creates a productive and proactive summer
Most kids spend their summers sleeping in lat and binging Netflix or playing video games. Relaxing can be fun for the first few days. However, the kids will quickly lose interest and become bored.
Also Check: Tickets To Louvre Museum Online
The Escape Game Minneapolis
If you are looking for a unique and fun indoor activity to do with your family be sure to check out The Escape Game! We werent sure if it would be kid friendly but it totally was. You are put in a room and have 60 minutes to figure out how to get out. Dont worry the game master is there to help you.
We really enjoyed doing this together as a family and loved how the kids were able to help us out with the clues and were part of solving them. We ended up making it out of the room in time! Check out our post on: The Escape Game for more information and to book your escape game!
Length of time: 90 minutes you are in the room for 60 minutes but with the check in process and all that it should be about 90 minutes.
Kids: It was such a fun activity to do as a family! Our kids were 12,10,10 and 8 when we did it and it was the perfect ages!
Food: No food available
Learn more and buy your tickets at:Escape Game Tickets
Birthday Parties At Smm
The Science Museum traditionally offers full-service birthday parties with packages that include admission to the museum for all guests, a private room, a hands-on science activity, decorations and set up & clean up. For an extra fee, the museum will also provide a cake. In the summer of 2018, the museum added outdoor birthday parties that include games and activities outside. Kids of all ages will love celebrating science in the sun with friends before exploring the museum! Birthday Parties are currently on hold, but check back later. We believe they will be offered again, soon.
Recommended Reading: Anarchists Guide To Historic House Museums