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Our exhibits

Play is the best way to learn, and at the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota, we know play. Here at the CMSM, each exhibit is intentionally designed as a robust educational resource that contributes to the well-being of children and the community. Our exhibits are created with an understanding of children’s development and based on local settings and landmarks with play potential for children, their parents, grandparents, caregivers, and teachers to explore, think, discover, learn, and enjoy.

Ag and Nature Lab

The place to explore agriculture and nature education with new exhibits each month.

Alltech Farm Animal Experience

Seasonal exhibit with a bounty of ways to explore how soil, seed, sun, and water work together to help plants, animals, and people thrive. 

Butterfly House

The Butterfly House at the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota expands nature-based play with a seasonal exhibit where children and families can enjoy the beauty of native butterflies in their natural environment.

Cecil's Imagineering Loft

Up in the Mezzanine, Cecil’s Imagineering Loft provides a variety of programs for hands-on play and learning all around the world of STEAM. Just right for school-aged children (and grown-ups!). 

Coughlan Quarry

At the quarry, it’s all about working together to get the job done. 

Dakota Language and Culture

In the spirit of recognizing our region’s first people, the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota features a thread of Dakota experiences in its exhibits, programs and facility.

Dig It!

Dig, grapple, move, mix and fly in the CMSM’s newest rotating exhibit, Dig It! Your child is in the driver’s seat as they learn about building roads, flying drones, operating heavy equipment (including a tower crane and mini excavator!) and so much more.

Dotson Back 40

The Dotson Back Forty has the overgrown and brushy feel of a field that adults have forgotten and children have made their own. 

Financial Literacy Banking exhibit Children's Museum of Southern Minnesota

Financial Literacy

It’s never too early to learn about managing money!  

Grow It Gallery

The Museum’s largest indoor exhibit is all about farms, fields, and family. 

H2GO Outdoor Water Gallery

Children learn about the principles and properties of water through outdoor play.

Infant & Toddler Play Porch

This charming, Betsy-Tacy inspired setting is the perfect place for the Museum’s youngest visitors to explore.

KATO Engineering Explorers' Lab

Young visitors who enjoy building, cutting, designing, painting, molding, and more, will be right at home at the KATO Engineering Explorers’ Lab on the main floor. 

Lauri Kuch Memorial Stage

The Lauri Kuch Memorial Stage and dramatic play area celebrates Lauri’s love of children, education, and theater.

Mankato Clinic Tree of Forts Climber

Climb, stretch, reach, and imagine in the tunnels, tubes, and bridges that connect the six forts growing from this ginormous climber. 

A Northwoods Winter

Our most popular seasonal exhibit returns each fall, making the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota an always-popular destination during the cold months in Minnesota.