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.

Check out the new fall hours here!
Looking for more Loft explorations? It’s open more often this Fall. Check it out!

  • Bison in Minnesota – November 16

    Friday, November 16, 10 – 11 am

    Join Scott Kudelka, Minneopa Area Naturalist, and learn about the largest mammal living on the Great Plains and the bison at Minneopa State Park. A Build-a-bison activity will be available, too!

  • Family Series: Viva Vivaldi – November 17

    Saturdays, 3:00 pm
    September 15 & November 17 2018
    January 18 & April 20, 2019

    Join Mankato Symphony Orchestra at the Children’s Museum for Viva Vivaldi, a series of four shows designed to introduce children to the delights of classical music. The show will be performed on Saturday afternoons and will feature musicians, actors, storytelling, and musical activities. Come to the Museum an hour ahead of the performance and play at no cost!

    Mark your calendars for September 15 and November 17, 2018 and January 19 and April 20 of next year.

    During the week of each Family Series show, join us at the Museum for a special program, Igniting STEM Learning Through the InterPLAY of Music-Science-Math, funded by the Xcel Energy Foundation. This program is included with daily admission or Museum membership.

  • No-School Day Programs: Thanksgiving break

    On Mankato Area Public Schools no-school days, make your way to Cecil’s Imagineering Loft and see what we’ve planned!

    These drop-in activities are developed for children ages 6 and up and their adults and are included with daily admission or Museum membership.

    Thursday through Sunday, November 20 – 25
    10 am – 12 pm & 1 – 3 pm
    The Museum will be closed on Thanksgiving (Thursday, November 22). On Sunday, November 25, the Loft is open from 1 to 3 pm.

    Inventor’s Workshop: Exploring Energy Through Making Calling all budding toy inventors! The Museum needs you to climb into the Loft to work with recycled materials, motors, wires, batteries, lights, and your imagination to explore energy as you dream up and make toys that other visitors can enjoy. Completed designs can be added to the Museum’s showcase to inspire others.

    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.

  • Decorate a Gingerbread House
    gingerbread

     

    Thursday, November 29
    Saturday, December 1
    Sunday, December 2

    Decorate a gingerbread house at the Museum, where you’ll get a pre-constructed house and a variety of decorative foods! Design your festive dream home, then leave the mess behind! Work on one house per family or purchase one for each person.

    $20 per house for Museum members
    $25 per house for non-members*

    There is a limited number of houses–make sure to reserve your spot today!

    Click here to purchase a house for Thursday, November 29, 4:30 – 6:30 pm
    Click here to purchase a house for Saturday, December 1, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
    Click here to purchase a house for Saturday, December 1, 1:00 – 3:00 pm
    Click here to purchase a house for Sunday, December 2, 1:00 – 3:00 pm

    * Price of house does not include admission to Museum galleries for non-members.

    Gingerbread houses are made in partnership with Hy-Vee.

  • Breakfast with Santa – December 8

    Saturday, December 8
    7 am – 9 am

    Santa returns to the Children’s Museum!

    Come hang out with the most-wanted guest from the North Pole! Eat a delicious breakfast, explore the Museum’s exhibits, and participate in winter-themed activities. Of course, don’t forget all the photos you can take!

    $9 per member
    $13 per non-member*

    Buy your tickets today!

    * Non-member ticket includes admission to the Museum after 9:00 am. Come explore our seasonal exhibit, A Northwoods Winter…

    Admission to the event, as well as the Museum, is free of charge for children 12 months and under.

  • What’s in the AgLab?

    Three Sisters Garden
    October 2 – November 11

    Native Americans believe the Three Sisters (corn, bean, and squash) can only live and thrive if grown together, in turn providing foods to support a healthy diet. This interactive exhibits provides Museum visitors with a chance to learn how to plant and harvest a three sisters garden.

  • Toddler Wednesday

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

    November 7
    Light Play: exploration of shadow and light on the Museum’s light tables, and more.

    November 14
    Time for guests from Pediatric Therapy Services

    November 21
    Sensory Play

    November 28
    Building Blocks

  • STEAM in the Loft

    NEW Loft Hours!
    Thursdays, 3:00 – 7:00 pm
    Fridays, 3:00 – 5 pm

    Saturdays, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm & 1:00 – 3:00 pm
    Sundays, 1:00 – 3:00 pm

    November 1 – 4
    Pumpkinvestigations!
    – Learn more about pumpkins during the pumpkin season! We’ll get messy with pumpkins and gourds in the Loft, as we investigate their guts, make geo-boards, and conduct a variety of experiments.

    November 8 – 11
    Clay Lab: Reptiles and Amphibians
    Leading up to a Rad Zoo visit on Saturday, Loft visitors will have an opportunity to sculpt reptile and amphibian friends out of polymer clay.

    November 15 – 18
    Playing with Fractions and Beats while Making Music Together –
    Move to the beat all the way to the Loft where we’ll be making music and recording our celebration soundtracks.*

    November 20, 21, 23, 24, and 25
    Inventor’s Workshop: Exploring Energy Through Making
    – **

    November 29 – December 2
    Snowy Stories – Make a stop-motion movie that shares a snowy story.

    * Igniting STEM Learning Through the InterPLAY of Music-Science-Math is a project funded by the Xcel Energy Foundation.

    *** 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.

  • Tabletop Activities

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

    November 1 – 4
    Pumpkin Playdough – Shape a pumpkin and decorate it with found objects.

    November 6 – 11
    Balancing – Test your balance on a beam and balance objects on a fulcrum.

    November 13 – 1
    Pie Party –
    Join us for pie party fun and assemble and serve felt pie piece as you explore connections between pies, music notes, and fractions.*

    November 20 – 25
    Fruit Stamping –
    Use apples, lemons, oranges, and cucumbers to create a beautifully stamped mural to hang in the Museum.

    November 27 – December 2

    *Igniting STEM Learning Through the InterPLAY of Music-Science-Math is a project funded by the Xcel Energy Foundation.

  • Bookmobile Visits

    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.

  • Baby Café

    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.