Field Trips

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GROUP VISITS

Come play with us! At the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota, our mission is to ignite the natural curiosity of every child through the power of play in a dynamic, awe-inspiring environment. Visit our galleries and discover the many exciting opportunities to engage in hands-on learning that await your group.

GROUP VISIT OPTIONS

Explore the Museum’s exhibits on your own with a self-guided visit or add a guided program to your experience!

Self-guided visits include an introduction to the Museum from a Museum staff member and up to 2 hours of time in the Museum.

Visits with a guided program are also 2 hours in length, with 30 minutes of that time designated for a themed guided program session with Museum Educators.

Self-guided visits are available all year, and guided programs are available for visits October through August. For more information about guided programs, please visit the Guided Programs page.

When preparing for a group visit, consider the Museum’s handouts for group leaders and families.


BOOKING A VISIT

Group visits must be booked at least two weeks prior to the date of the visit. To book a visit, please submit an online request form. Submitting a request form does not guarantee your visit has been booked, and a Museum staff member will respond to your request as soon as possible. You will receive a confirmation email for your visit when it has been booked.

Group visits may be scheduled on:

  • Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday afternoons between 12:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.
  • Thursdays between 9:00 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Visits may be up to 2 hours in length. For groups with younger children, the recommended length of a visit to the Museum is 90 minutes. Time for eating lunches or snacks is not included in the 2 hours of time for the visit.

Please notify the Museum as soon as possible if you need to cancel or reschedule your visit. You may be billed for the amount listed in your confirmation email if you do not show up for your scheduled visit and do not notify the Museum of the cancellation in advance.

RATES

For self-guided group visits the cost is $4 per child. Visits that include a guided program cost $7 per child.

For both visit options 1 adult chaperone per 5 children in the group is required for the visit. 1 adult per 3 children in the group will receive free admission. Additional adult chaperones (outside of the 1 to 3 ratio) pay the group child rate. Adult chaperones include educators, school and/or program staff, parents, and other adult caregivers that visit with a group.

The Museum asks that groups include a minimum of 10 children and a maximum of 100 children. Groups with more than 50 children are strongly encouraged to consider multiple visits in smaller groups. Guided programs for group visits are limited to 25 children per session, with a maximum of 3 sessions per visit.

Reduced rates may be available to eligible groups. Please inquire about eligibility when booking your visit.


PAYMENT

To qualify for the discounted group visit rates, we require 1 collective payment for all of the children and adults in the group who visit the Museum. Family memberships, day passes, and coupons may not be used for group visits.

When booking a visit you may select a payment option: to pay at the Museum the day of the visit or to receive an invoice for payment to be submitted after the visit. Payment must be received no later than 2 weeks after the visit.

The Museum accepts all major credit cards, checks, and cash for payment. Checks should be made out to Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota and include the billing address of the organization.

 

ADDITIONAL GROUP VISIT INFORMATION

Accessibility. The Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota strives to be a place that is accessible to all visitors. All entrances are accessible to visitors who use wheelchairs and the Museum has a lift for visitors with limited mobility to access Cecil’s Imagineering Loft. Service animals are welcome in the Museum. Groups are encouraged to share information about how the Museum can help make a visit successful when scheduling a visit.

Group visitors are also encouraged to review the Museum’s Social Story together to prepare for a visit.

Lunches and Snacks. The Museum’s Rotary Education Center or Cecil’s Imagineering Loft may be reserved by groups who wish to eat lunches or snacks at the Museum. Groups may not eat lunches or snacks inside the main floor exhibit areas or Café during regular Museum hours.

There is a fee of $25.00 to reserve a space for up to 1 hour of use for a maximum of 50 people (larger groups will need multiple reservations, or to use a space in shifts). Groups are encouraged to include lunch or snack space needs on their group visit request form and/or contact the Museum as early as possible, as availability is limited. The Museum may not be able to accommodate lunches or snacks for groups who do not reserve a space before the day of the visit.

Parking. The Museum has a parking lot with spaces available for cars and vans to park free of charge. Parking spaces are available on a first come, first served basis.

Group organizers should make arrangements with van and/or bus drivers to drop off and pick up students from the Kato Engineering School Group Entrance on Lamm Street. Limited bus parking is available on Lamm Street on the side of the street closest to the Museum.

Photography. Please be respectful of other visitors when you take photos inside the Museum. The Museum takes photos of group activities for use in communications. Please let Museum staff know if you or any member of your group wishes not to be photographed.

Safety and Supervision. For the safety of all visitors to the Museum, we do not allow any adults in the Museum who are not accompanied by children or a staff chaperone, and no children who are not accompanied by an adult chaperone. Group chaperones are asked to stay with their group members during the entire visit and are responsible for ensuring that group members follow Museum guidelines during the visit. Adults who are supervising children who are not group members are not counted as chaperones for the group and may be asked to pay regular Museum admission fees.

If you or a member of your group needs assistance during your visit, please ask any staff member on the Museum floor. Please report any accidents or emergency situations to Museum staff immediately, so that they may contact the appropriate emergency responders and provide assistance.

Have questions? Please send us an email!