This post is sponsored by Minnesota Children’s Museum
I feel like my children have practically grown up in the museum spaces at the Minnesota Children’s Museum. Each visit we make, I think of the ways they have grown over the years. I remember how they got more and more brave with the giant slide. I recall that stage when my middle child was obsessed with the post office and we spent the entire time in Our World. And I marvel at how we have progressed from the little ones in Sprouts to the big kids who can explore the laser maze all on their own.
Whenever we make plans for our next Minnesota Children’s Museum visit, my kids start talking about which of these favorite exhibits they should tackle first.
“Let’s do the big slide right away!”
“No, we have to start with the ping pong ball launchers.”
“What about the town! I want to do the post office. Can we do that first, please?”
The classic exhibits my children have loved year after year are always there greeting us like old friends every visit we make. And yet inevitably, they forget all about those places when we walk in and discover the way the museum has transformed since their last visit.
“Look mom! Imaginopolis is now a forest!”
“Oh cool! There’s a new exhibit over there!”
“I wonder what the art room is going to be!”
That’s the beauty of the children’s museum. We know no matter how many visits we make, there will always be something new to delight and entertain.
If you’re considering a visit to the museum, this is the time to do it. Whether it’s your first visit, or you’re a seasoned visitor (or even a member!), there are endless new discoveries awaiting you at the Minnesota Children’s Museum this spring!
The Creativity Jam: Hedgehog Playground Engineering
The Creativity Jam in the Target Gallery is always the first place that catches our eye when we enter the space. We’ve colored with stickers, built with foam blocks, and stacked noodles. But the exhibit now might be my most favorite. It’s a Hedgehog Playground! Using tubes, connectors, slides, swings, and more, kids get to become engineers as they create a playground for the cutest little stuffed hedgehogs. And then they get to let the hedgehogs try it out! I know that my kids will want to bring this activity home and start creating playgrounds for their own little critters. That’s the joy of the museum. It offers incredible ways to have fun beyond their walls to keep the learning continuing.
Imaginopolis: Nature ReMix
Whenever we need a big movement break, Imaginopolis is a great place to go. It’s also perfect for the little ones that might not be ready for the Scramble. Here there are tunnels and caves and ways to interact with their environment as they are part of a story. It’s also a space that changes making it fun and different each visit.
Currently, the space features a whimsical nature world. It almost reminds me of Honey I Shrunk the Kids (did I just date myself?). There are large, out-of-scale animals, plants, and insects to discover. Soft materials like oversized leaves and rocks invite creative play into the space. There’s even a giant bird’s nest and a squirrel’s house to explore!! Options are endless in this space.
The Studio: Monsters!
My oldest has always loved the maker’s space at the Children’s Museum the most. We love all the different ways they call children in to make and create. She has tried woodworking, hot glue, painting, and clay. I love that creating art takes her outside the box of paper and crayons and does it in a way that gives her autonomy in her creations.
Right now the space features “Monsters!” Kids use their imaginations to create their very own monster and tell its story. Then they use different art materials to bring their monster to life. It’s a great way for kids to be silly, express themselves, or just explore something they might find a little scary. We especially loved searching around the room and finding all of the fun hidden monsters.
Special Exhibit Gallery: Framed
Have you ever seen a painting and wondered what it would be like if you could actually be in that party, at the table, working in that field? Well now, you actually can quite literally step into art at the current traveling exhibit Framed: Step Into Art now through May 7.
Here famous paintings come off the wall and into a hands-on experience. Kids can help prepare for the corn festival in Diego Revera’s mural “The Maize Festival.” They can get inside a tent and pretend to camp in John Singer Sargent’s painting “Camp at Lake O’Hara.” They can even make their own face in place of Leonardo da Vinci’s iconic “Mona Lisa.”
Not only does this provide a space for imagination and problem-solving and peer interaction, but it also exposes children to a world of fine art in a fun and interactive way. I imagine a visit to the art museum to never be the same again. We will just be wondering how we could step into the art!
Coming Soon this May…
Emotions at Play with Pixar’s Inside Out
This summer, the Special Exhibit Gallery transforms into an interactive experience all about exploring the themes from one of our favorite movies, Inside Out. Visitors will learn about how emotions, memory, and imagination have an impact on our everyday lives. This hands-on exhibit will explore the five emotions featured in the film: Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust, and Fear. I’m excited to find out how the exhibit brings a complex concept like emotion into a fun learning opportunity.
We will, of course, still be making a visit to all our favorite Minnesota Children’s Museum exhibits. Who can resist that Big Slide?! But I have a feeling these new spaces are going to be the ones my kids talk about long after we leave.
Minnesota Children’s Museum
Location: 10 West Seventh Street, St. Paul, MN 55102
Tickets: $15 in advance, $16-$19 at the door. Memberships are available!