Programs & Events

The Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota is all about hands-on play and unique programs and events. Read below to learn more about what is happening in the Museum galleries. If you would like the Museum’s upcoming events delivered to your email address, click here to sign up for our mailing list!

The Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota reserves the right to change the programming plans. Please watch this website and Facebook page for updates.

  • Breakfast With Santa – December 16

    Come play at the Museum before everyone else and enjoy breakfast with Santa on Saturday, December 16, from 7:30 – 9 a.m. Tickets include a hot breakfast by Friesen’s Family Bakery & Bistro, special hands-on activities, and a photo op with Santa. Reserve your spot today!

    Cost for Museum member is $9 per adult and $7 per child.
    Cost for non-members is $11 per adult and $9 per child.*

    *Breakfast tickets do not include admission to Museum galleries for non-members.


    This event is sponsored by Hatanpa Insurance Agency.

  • No-School Day Programs: Dec 26 – Jan 2

    Tuesday, December 26 – Tuesday, January 2, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. & 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
    Note: the Museum will be closed for New Years Day, Monday, January 1.

    Winter Weather Investigations (December 26 – 29): Join us at the Museum to explore tools that help us measure winter weather conditions and to create and melt snow and snow people.

    Clocks & Calendars (December 31 & January 2): Let’s get ready for 2018 together! We’ll investigate the insides of clocks, look into sundials, and create moon phase and other calendars.

    Activating the Potential of STEM-Powered Play Outside of the School Day is a project that provides opportunities for Museum visitors to engage in hands-on STEM learning activities on days when there is no school. This project is funded through the Consolidated Communications Community Fund of the Mankato Area Foundation.

  • After School in the Loft

    Tuesday through Friday, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

    Every week, Tuesday through Friday, spend your after-school time at the Museum, engaging in activities specially designed for school-aged children.

    December 5 – 10
    Use LEGO blocks to make skis, snowboards, and skates, then have LEGO figurines test out the Museum’s mini ski/sledding hill and skating rink.

    December 12 – 17
    Let’s roll snowballs together! We’ll use LEGO Duplo and foam pieces to construct a marble run and then send mini snowballs for a ride on the track.

    December 19 – 23
    Come create cabins, cottages, ice fishing houses and similar objects that together will create a winter village. We’ll use a variety of block sets to practice our building skills.

    December 26 – 31
    Special no-school day programs.

  • Tabletop Activities

    Available daily, Tuesday through Sunday, in the Kato Engineering Explorers’ Lab

    December 5 – 10
    Test your balance on the wooden beams and balance wooden shapes on a tabletop fulcrum.

    December 12 – 17
    Come play with loose parts! Arrange a variety of blocks to see if you can make a snowflake.

    December 19 – 23
    Use found objects to create sculptures in clay. Poke, stick, and sculpt!

    December 26 – 31
    Practice stamping with items that can be found in a shop: gears, nuts, bolts, tubes, and the like.

  • Toddler Wednesday

    Wednesdays, 10:00 a.m.
    Please arrive early to reserve your spot.

    December 6
    Come play with lights and shadows. We’ll bring out the Museum’s light up table and a variety of props that are fun to explore lights with.

    December 13
    It’s a snow day at the Museum! Expect finger painting, snowflake stamping, or snowball fights.

    December 20
    Join us for a session that includes the Museum’s large parachute and different activities centered around it.

    December 27
    Snow day returns! This Wednesday, we’ll explore snow creatures together.

  • STEAM in the Loft

    Thursdays, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
    Saturdays, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. & 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
    Sundays, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

    December  7, 9 & 10
    What do animals do when it’s cold? Come explore insulation and camouflage.

    December 14, 16 & 17
    Snow People Sculpture Scavenger Hunt: head out to the exhibits and look for snow people. Climb into the Loft and make your own sculpture.

    December 21 & 23
    Join us for a Tinkering Workshop and see what you can make with found objects and recycled materials. What will your creation do? Who will it be for?

    December 28, 30 & 31
    Special no-school day programs.

  • Special Needs Accessibility Playtime

    Friday, January 19, 4:30 – 7:30 p.m.

    Children with special needs or sensory challenges and their families are invited to a playdate at the Museum on Friday, October 27, during a time when fewer visitors will be present. Explore the Museum from 4:30 – 7:30 pm at no cost thanks to the sponsorship by Pediatric Therapy Services.

    To help prepare your child for this playtime, check out the Museum’s Social Story.

  • FIRST® LEGO® League Jr.

    FIRST® LEGO® League Jr. at the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota

    Fall/Winter 2017 Season

    FIRST® LEGO® League Jr. (FLLJr) is a hands-on program designed to capture young children’s curiosity and direct it toward discovering how science and technology impact the world around them. Each yearly challenge is based on a different theme and has two main parts, the LEGO motorized model and the Show Me poster. This year, teams will tackle the Aqua Adventure challenge. More information about the challenge can be found here.

    Our teams will consist of 6 children and are guided by 2 adult coaches. During the season, children will work together and as a team they will:

    • Conduct research about the current Challenge theme
    • Build a LEGO® model as a team, based on the Challenge instructions, that contains both a simple machine and a motorized part
    • Display their team’s discoveries on a Show Me poster

    This year the Museum will support 2 teams:  

    • Team 1: 6 year olds
    • Team 2: 7 – 8 year olds

    Teams will meet for 9 practice sessions on Mondays, 4:30 – 5:45 p.m. Practice dates include: October 9, October 16, October 23, November 6, November 13, November 20, November 27, December 4, and December 11.

    The Museum will host a showcase for teams to share about their discoveries with families and invited guest judges on December 16, 2017.

    Information about opportunities for teams to participate in an off-site MN FLL Jr. Expo after the Museum’s program season finishes will be shared during the first 2 weeks of practice. In order to register for the Expo, a team must have at least three interested members who will be available to attend the event. An additional fee for the Expo registration may be involved.

    Registration Information:

    Registration fees:
    $60 members/$70 non-members*

    *Does not include MN FLL Jr Expo registration (if your team decides to participate, there may be an additional fee of up to $10).

    Team 1 (age 6) – full!
    Team 2 (age 7  – 8) – full!


  • Bookmobile Visits

    Wednesdays, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

    The North Mankato Taylor Library Bookmobile  will stop at the Museum every Wednesday from 2:00 – 3:00 pm. Check out some new materials, or return any area library books. During the Bookmobile’s visit, Amy will come into the Museum for a storytime in one of the galleries.

  • Trivia Night – January 26

    Friday, January 26, 2018, 6:00 – 10:00 p.m.
    Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, Hotel and Conference Center, 1900 Premier Dr., Mankato

    It’s time for Trivia Night! Join the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota for a night of fun and games. Get your team together or join a new one, test your knowledge, and support the Museum!

    6:00 pm – Social
    6:30 pm – Dinner
    7:30 pm – Trivia

    Tickets are $40 per person or $320 for a table of eight. Reserve your spot today!

    Thank you to our sponsors!

    Presenting Sponsors: Bonfire Restaurant, Country Inn & Suites, Christy Bode Photography, Gislason & Hunter, Greater Mankato Rotary
    Supporting Sponsors: Consolidated Communications, JBeal Real Estate Group, Mathnasium, Mankato Clinic, Navitor, Pediatric Therapy Services, Prairie Pride Farms, Rosengren, Kohlmeyer & Hagen Law Office, Chtd.