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Twin Cities Mom Collective

Come See What’s New at the Minnesota Children’s Museum this Spring!

This post is sponsored by the Minnesota Children’s Museum

minnesota children's museum
our favorite!

Do you know a place that never disappoints? Where there is always something new to explore? And constantly provides inviting and engaging spaces? The Minnesota Children’s Museum is a perennial favorite in our home.  My eight and nine-year-olds are always happy for a trip to the museum and that makes me happy. Standing nice and tall, bright and inviting in a sea of gray and beige buildings is the Minnesota Children’s Museum.

 

minnesota children's museum
Always something new to explore at the Minnesota Children’s Museum!

Since opening its doors in 1981, the Minnesota Children’s Museum has fostered creativity, exploration, and a love of learning. Hands-on discovery reigns supreme and the happy (and tired, yay!) smile on my kids’ faces at the end of a trip, proves it.

minnesota children's museum
The Studio in Target Gallery features an ever-changing maker space. Examples include spin art, clay, painting, crafts, and more!

Current Exhibits

One of the highlights of the Minnesota Children’s Museum is its ever-changing lineup of exhibits that never cease to amaze me with the topics and ideas covered. Science! Art! Technology! Culture! The exhibits are carefully created to offer learning and FUN. Did you know the Minnesota Children’s Museum has a world-class exhibit development and creation department? That’s right! The creative geniuses behind many permanent exhibits are located right in St. Paul! Additionally, Minnesota Children’s Museum creates exhibits that travel throughout the country.

What does this mean for you?  Just that our kids get to experience some of the best children’s museum exhibits in the entire country – right in our backyard.  Lucky for us!

Some of the most popular exhibits include::

The Scramble: This forty-foot play space encourages physical activity, exploration, and social interaction. That’s the technical language!  For my kids, it means they can jump, slide, climb, crawl, and laugh their way through a maze fit for even the most adventurous child. Don’t miss the huge slide! (You really can’t, it’s big, shiny, silver, and smack in the middle.)

Imaginopolis: Here you’ll find larger-than-life plants, animals, insects, and more.  Climb through tunnels and play structures, navigate through fish bones, have a little party with your family and magical guests, and learn about the Earth’s environments. My kids told me an amazing story about four-leaf clovers (it was St. Patrick’s Day) that came to life and invited all the fish in the sea to tea. Tell your own story through soft-play objects, twists and turns, and even giant fish scales!

minnesota children's museum
Explore the world with larger-than-life hands-on experiences in Imaginopolis

 

Forces at Play: This hands-on exhibit features two distinct areas for visitors to build and experiment.  The first is a fun and zany car wash with water, bubbles, scrubbers, dryer vents, and more!  The second allows for creativity and experimentation as you launch ping pong balls through tubes of air as you aim for hoops, cones, and more. Basically, kids get to launch ping-pong balls at each other which is endless entertainment.

Wild Kratts: Creature Power!

minnesota children's museum
Wild Kratts: Creature Power! is open through May 12

A huge hit this spring at the Minnesota Children’s Museum is Wild Kratts: Creature Power! I’ve heard from no less than four friends how much their kids loved this exhibit!  We knew we had to check it out.

The exhibit is inspired by the super popular PBS Kids show. It takes kids along with the Kratt Brothers (say it with me, parents: “I’m Martin and I’m Chris!”), to explore the wonders of the animal kingdom and the importance of wildlife conservation.

 

minnesota children's museum
Explore the Creature Trail in Wild Kratts: Creature Power!
minnesota children's museum
Keep on creature adventuring!

My kids loved this show when they were younger.  I think they’ve seen every episode!  I’ll be honest that they were a bit hesitant to head up to the 4th-floor exhibit as they thought it might be for “little kids.” With some nudging, they agreed to go and check it out.  And my my, if mom wasn’t right. It took them approximately zero seconds to remember how much they loved the show and dive right in on all the exhibit had to offer.  I even caught my nine-year-old playing with a much younger kid, telling them everything she loved about the show and bonding over their love of penguins.

minnesota children's museum
Tortuga HQ

The Wild Kratts: Creature Power! exhibit features interactive stations where children can:

  • Learn about different animal species and their characteristics (like a spider monkey or jaguar!)
  • Engage in role-playing activities as animal rescuers and conservationists (start your adventure at Tortuga HQ!)
  • Explore the concepts of adaptation, biodiversity, and animal behavior through hands-on experiences (hop between icebergs like a penguin!)
minnesota children's museum
observing penguins in Wild Kratts: Creature Power!

Wild Kratts: Creature Power! is open through May 12 and entrance to the exhibit is included with regular museum admission.

minnesota children's museum
Learn to hop like a kangaroo in Wild Kratts: Creature Power!

Our World: Vet Clinic

minnesota children's museum
Caring for animals in the Our World Vet Clinic

Another fun new thing this spring at the Minnesota Children’s Museum is located in Our World. The Vet Clinic might be one of the cutest things I’ve seen. What is it about kids and animals?  My daughter has told us since she was four that she would be a veterinarian.  It was so fun to see her thinking through what her actual office could look like when she is older.

The space allowed her the ability to step in the shoes of an actual veterinarian and go through the motions of caring for animals.  She even went as far as to tell us how she would set her office up differently when she became a vet!  The Vet Clinic provided her with a hands-on learning experience that was so fun to watch.  And it wasn’t just her.  We observed a little girl who simply delighted in “grooming” every little stuffed pet she could find at the bath and grooming station.

minnesota children's museum
What will the X-ray reveal in the vet clinic?

At the Vet Clinic, kids can:

  • Examine and diagnose plush animal patients using real medical tools and equipment (look up close at fur with a microscope!)
  • Learn about the anatomy and physiology of different animals (see an x-ray of your favorite pet!)
  • Practice compassion and responsibility while caring for their “patients” (that puppy needs a cuddle!)
  • Role-play scenarios where they must decide about animal welfare and treatment (which kitty needs care first?)
minnesota children's museum
Patient intake chart at the Our World Vet Clinic

Role-playing and imaginative play are the keys to this super darling exhibit. Not only that but the Vet Clinic encourages children to develop empathy towards animals (and others!), critical thinking, and a sense of responsibility.

minnesota children's museum
a very happy pet groomer in the Our World Vet Clinic

 

These two exhibits were only a portion of our fun at the museum.  My kids also spent nearly 20 minutes with the green screen located near the Shipwreck on the first floor, went through the laser maze just on the other side 6 times (and happily waited in line!), and led several other kids in seeing how many ping pong balls they could (and subsequently blast) out of the air tubes in Forces a Play.

When it was time to leave, we stopped for our traditional soft pretzel at Tomato Tomäto, the café adjacent to the entrance. We all shared our favorite parts of our trip and agreed that we’d have to make a plan to come back soon.

 


The Fine Print

General Admission tickets ($16 – weekday, $19, weekend and special dates) are available to purchase the day of your visit at the box office, OR save by purchasing your tickets online ($15)! Check museum hours and the events calendar beforehand as times vary throughout the week and around holidays.

Parking is simple and convenient.  The Minnesota Children’s Museum recommends parking in the World Trade Center Parking Ramp connected to the museum via Skyway. Bring your ticket to the box office for validation at a discounted rate ($7.50 for 3 hours and $1 for each additional 30 minutes).

If you love the museum, and think you might like to visit more than just once per year, consider becoming a member! We love a Minnesota Children’s Museum membership and the benefits of becoming a member are plentiful.  Memberships can be purchased online or at the box office and member benefits begin immediately.

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