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.
Thursday, March 15, 4:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Join us at the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota and explore the galleries and exhibits at no cost! This event is sponsored by Wells Fargo and their support helps to provide a Gateway to Play for families that experience barriers to Museum participation.
In Cecil’s Imagineering Loft, have some Wall to Wall Fun: make courses for balls to travel through on a new magnetic wall and create amazing structures with LEGO bricks on our new LEGO wall.
These events are funded in part with money from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund that was created with the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008. Museum access opportunities are especially intended for families that may experience barriers to Museum participation, but everyone is welcome to attend these events.
Sunday, March 18, 8 am – 12 pm
Join us on Sunday, March 18 at the WOW!Zone from 8 am – 12 pm and enjoy a brunch that will include pancakes, breakfast potatoes, french toast, ham, bacon, eggs, sausage, and a beverage. This Sunday brunch will benefit the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota ($5 from each adult and $2.50 from each child meal will be donated to the Museum).
Adult meal: $12
Children, ages 5 – 12: $5
Children, ages 4 & under: free
Saturday, March 31, 7 – 9 am
It’s time to be done with the winter and to look forward to longer days, green grass, and everything else warmer weather will bring! To kick off this wonderful season, the Museum is hosting a fun-filled family event.
Come celebrate spring with us on Saturday, March 31, from 7 – 9 am! Meet baby chicks and STEM bunnies, enjoy a breakfast buffet by Friesen’s Family Bakery & Bistro, decorate eggs, and participate in other spring-themed activities. Have you ever seen an egg-bot at work? We’ll have one running a demo! Ever launched an egg rocket? No? Come do it!
Make sure to bring your camera, as there will be many special moments to capture.
$9 per person for Museum members
$13 per person for non-members
Children under the age of 1 get free admission.
Tuesday, April 17, 6:30 p.m.
Are YOU smarter than the 5th graders? Find out on April 17, at our 5th annual event!
This fun event will take place at Mankato West High School Auditorium, 1351 S Riverfront Drive in Mankato.
Come watch Dr. Matt Downs from Carlson-Tillish Eye Care, Dr. Saul Ovalle from Pediatric & Adolescent Dentistry, and Dr. Katie Smentek, from Mankato Clinic test their knowledge! The 5th grade representatives are Grady Hatlestad, Jacob Goblirsch, Alex Jacob, Sophia Post, Jadyn Meyer, Regan Burke, Cameron Lamphear, Emmy Gengler, James Hollerich, Maddie Cooney, and Taiton Moore. These students scored the highest at their school on a test offered to all 5th graders in the district and will compete to win prizes for their classrooms.
$7 General Admission Student
$10 General Admission Adult
4 years of age and under get free admission
Friday, April 27, 4:30 – 7:30 pm
Children with special needs or sensory challenges and their families are invited to a playdate at the Museum on Friday, April 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 the Southern Minnesota Autism Coalition.
To help prepare your child for this playtime, check out the Museum’s Social Story.
Sheep to Sweater
Visit the AgLab to learn more about wool! Explore the Sheep to Sweater exhibit component to learn about processing wool and to handle a fleece from a locally raised sheep.
Wool is removed from a sheep through a process known as shearing—clipping the wool from the sheep’s body. Skirting the fleece removes ragged edges, as well as dirt, straw, and organic matter that collects in the sheep’s wool throughout the year. After that, the fleece is ready to be washed to remove lanolin and the remainder of dirt and other organic matter.
Come visit the exhibit to learn where the process goes from here: explore both commercial and do-it-yourself processes.
Saturday, March 17, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Join the Pioneer Spinners and Fiber Arts Guild as they card, spin, and weave wool! Participate in these hands-on activities and learn about different types of fibers produced by a variety of animals.
Friday, March 16: Experiencing Psychology
10:00 am – 12:00 pm & 1:00 – 3:00 pm
Have you ever wondered what a human brain looks like or how you could improve your memory skills?
Check out a series of demos by Minnesota State University, Mankato Psychology students and see exciting ways to explore how psychological science shapes our lives.
Museum visitors will have an opportunity to create a brain with Play-Doh, build neurons with fun, colorful supplies, construct a human memory board with giant stuffed toys, and more. With the help of night vision and perceptual shift goggles, children will be able to try throwing squish balls, picking up bean bags, or explore the changes in vision in different environments. The Museum’s guests from the Psychology Department will demonstrate the work of a real EEG, a machine that measures brain and body activity.
Getting Ready to Grow
March 28 through April 2*
10:00 am – 12:00 pm & 1:00 – 3:00 pm
On Mankato Area Public Schools no-school days, make your way to Cecil’s Imagineering Loft and get messy as you explore the science of soil, investigate the chemistry of rainwater, and check out the Museum’s 3D printers, working on printing mini planters for starting seeds.
Join us to learn how the right soil can make the difference between sparse, sickly plants and thriving, lush-green crops. What is dirt, and what makes some kinds of dirt better than others? What is in rainwater and why do we need it?
These drop-in activities are developed for children ages 6 and up and their adults and are included with daily admission or Museum membership.
*The Museum will be closed on Easter Sunday, April 1, but open on Monday, April 2
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.
Wednesdays, 10:00 am
Please arrive early to reserve your spot.
Thursdays, 5:00 – 7:00 pm
Saturdays, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm & 1:00 – 3:00 pm
Sundays, 1:00 – 3:00 pm
March 1, 3 & 4
Experimenting with Static Electricity: Have a simply-electrifying time as you experiment with different materials to learn about static electricity!
March 8, 10 & 11
Kinetic Sculptures: Work with a variety of materials to create sculptures with moving parts. Explore levels, links, and other mechanisms.
March 15, 17 & 18
Luck and Probability: Let’s toss coins and roll some dice!
March 22, 24 & 25
Celebrating Spring: It’s time for birds to return to Minnesota.
March 29 & 31
Getting Ready to Grow: no-school day programs
Available daily, Tuesday through Sunday, in the Kato Engineering Explorers’ Lab
March 1 – 4
Wrap a board with rubber bands, press into the paint sponge, and stamp on paper.
March 6 – 11
Use tweezers, tongs, and clothes pins to sort colorful pom poms into bins and baskets.
March 13 – 18
Walk across balance beams and balance different wooden shapes on a tabletop fulcrum.
March 20 – 25
Color-sorting: use the color wheel and sort a variety of found objects.
March 27 – 31
Design an egg by creating colorful patterns on egg-shaped templates.
Come stretch your body and relax your mind in a yoga class at the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota!
Register for the whole series, or pick and choose sessions you’d like to attend. Classes are intended for adults, but children over 10 are welcome to register and participate with a registered adult. Please bring your own yoga mat. Cost is $30 for the whole series (6 sessions) or $10 per session. Register today!
Session dates and times:
Wednesdays, 2:00 – 3:00 pm
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.
Thursdays, 12: 30 – 2:30 pm
New mothers and mothers-to-be interested in breastfeeding are encouraged to visit the Mankato Area Baby Café. Baby Café is a national network of breastfeeding drop-ins, combining breastfeeding information with a relaxed, informal environment where mothers can chat and learn about breastfeeding from skilled practitioners and each other. Mankato Area Baby Café is made possible by Mayo Clinic Health System.
For more information, call 507.594.2967.