Visit the Museum

The Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota offers much more than just everyday play. We host or organize birthday parties, summer camps, group visits, and a variety of fresh and exciting activities to keep you excited and engaged. Explore below to learn more!

  • Museum Hours & Holidays

    Regular Museum Hours:

    Tuesday: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    Wednesday: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    Thursday: 9:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
    Friday: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    Saturday: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    Sunday: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    Monday: closed


    The Museum will be open on Monday, March 27.


    The Museum will be closed in observance of the following holidays:

    • New Year’s Day
    • Easter
    • Independence Day/July 4
    • Labor Day
    • Thanksgiving
    • Christmas Day

    Snow Days: The Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota closes due to  winter weather when Minnesota State University, Mankato, closes. We should be here for you most of the time area schools are closed for snow days.


    Please watch our website, Facebook page, or our newsletters for updates and information regarding any other closings or changes to the Museum’s regular open hours.

     

     

  • Birthday Parties
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    Celebrate your special day at the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota and invite friends and family to join in the fun! We now offer themed parties, including art projects, building with Legos, scavenger hunts, and stop-motion videos. For more information about birthday party packages and pricing, follow this link.

    All parties include:

    • A Museum staff member to help plan and host the party.
    • Admission to the Museum for party guests and adult chaperones
    • Use of one of the Museum’s celebration spaces for 90 minutes.
    • Table coverings and decorations and storage for presents and personal belongings.

    To book your party or ask questions, please contact Kaaren Grabianowski, Event Sales Manager. Phone: 507.344.9103.

    Birthday party information for party hosts and guests can be downloaded here. Prepare for your party ahead of time by downloading the sign-in sheet and waiver form.

  • Field Trips
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    The Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota engages school and community group visitors in self-guided and facilitated experiences that connect the Museum’s exhibit areas, curriculum topics, and learning standards while featuring exciting and developmentally appropriate activities. Located in the heart of Mankato, the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota engages visitors in the joy of learning through the power of play. From toddlers through teens, indoor and outdoor learning environments offer diverse opportunities for self-exploration as well as targeted programming related to STEM, art, agriculture and Dakota content.

    To browse a variety of group visit programs and field trip options, download our new Group Visit Guide 2016 – 2017.

    To book your visit, please complete the online request form. A Museum staff member will respond to your request as soon as possible. Submitting a request form does not guarantee a reservation. You will receive an email confirmation for your visit when it has officially been booked.

    Mankato Area Public School second and third grade educators, please follow this link for more information about guided programs.

    For more information, or for questions about group visits, please contact Mia Forslund, School Programs Manager. Phone: 507.344.9107.

    To learn more about funding opportunities for group visits, please follow this link.

  • Gateway to Play

    The Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota is guided by a vision to ensure all children and families have access to hands-on learning and irresistible fun at the Museum, regardless of income, language or cultural factors, isolation, ability, or special needs. Through the Gateway to Play access initiative, the Museum provides several ways for families, organizations, and early learning and school groups to enter into Museum exhibits, activities, and fun for free, or at greatly reduced rates.

    These opportunities include:

    • Free Family Fun Nights
    • Free or reduced family admission fees and Museum memberships
    • Scholarships to participate in Museum programming

    Schools and early learning groups may request half-price group visit admission fee when 50% or more children experience access barriers.

    To apply for a Gateway to Play Museum membership, download this form.

    For more information, please contact Sue Larsen, Community Outreach and Impact Director. Phone: 507.344.9101.

  • Discounted Admission Rates

    Educator Discount: The Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota welcomes teachers and educators to discover its galleries. Show your school badge when you visit the Museum with your family and friends, and your individual admission is free.

    Military Discount: 10% off of daily admission for military members and their family.

    Gateway to Play: Click here to read more about reduced rates or free admission to the Museum.

  • Sensory Accommodations & the Museum’s Social Story
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    Through its Gateway to Play initiative and with the help of its Center for Childhood Community Partners, the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota focuses on breaking down barriers and opening doors for all children to enter the joy of learning through the power of play.

    To help with sensory accommodations, the Museum offers sound-muffling headphones and bean bag chairs, which are available by request at the front desk. Do not hesitate to connect with Museum staff if you need assistance, or would like direction to a quiet space to relax or regroup.

    To help prepare for your visit to the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota, please download our social story, “A Trip to the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota”, which includes a helpful checklist of possible must-see and must-do activities.

  • Museum Merchandise
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    Have you seen a selection of handcrafted nutcrackers, beautiful wooden trucks, or T-shirts and baby onesies that are sold in the Museum Gift Shop?  We now offer locally handcrafted items made by our irreplaceable volunteer sewing group. Choose from a variety of child and youth-sized aprons, tag lovey blankets, bird and butterfly wings, guitars, and more. Wonderful, handmade, and local! Right here at the Children’s Museum and now on display in a handcrafted display case in the Lobby!

    Stop by our front desk to browse our wonderful selection!

  • Museum Café
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    The Museum Café, presented by Mayo Clinic Health System, is a delightful (and delicious!) part of every visitor’s adventure. This winter season, we invite you to enjoy our warm café, offering fresh bakery options, such as muffins and cookies, and hot chocolate, coffee, and tea. Stay tuned for news as we think about more tasty, wholesome treats for all to eat!

     

  • Programming

    STEAM Saturdays. Offering hands-on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) programming every Saturday.

    Toddler Wednesdays. Mornings dedicated to children five and under, to engage in interactive activities, from music play with dance and musical instruments, to prop play and storytelling.

    Daily drop-in activities. Each day at the Museum there is a variety of activities available within exhibit areas, including tabletop play for toddlers and preschoolers, materials for building or art projects for school-age children, and agriculture-themed activities in the Ag Lab for all ages.

    Special events. Throughout the year, the Museum will offer theme days or events to celebrate the goings on of our community and sponsors, with special projects, guest performances, and costumed gatherings.

    For day-to-day programming and events, please follow this link, or sign-up for our mailing list and get our events schedule delivered to your mailbox every Monday.

  • Summer Camps & Workshops
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    Summer 2017 Camps and Workshops at the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota

    It’s time to start preparing for warmer weather, right? With an exciting assortment of camps and workshops, the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota is the place to be this summer – both inside and out! Check out the camp and workshops descriptions below and sign up today to reserve your spot!

    For more information about camps and workshops, registration process, cancellation policies, or to download the waiver or registration form, follow this link.

     

    Creative Drama (Age 3)
    June 12 – 16
    10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

    $38 Museum members/$48 non-members

    In this camp, students will use stories, drama games, visual art making, and their imagination to explore characters and environments. Students will practice group participation by listening, speaking, sharing, and using expressive movement skills. The last camp session will include a sharing time for family members to see the class’s collaborative work. Click here to sign up.

     

    Creative Drama (Ages 4 – 5)
    June 12 – 16
    5:00 – 6:30 p.m.

    $38 Museum members/$48 non-members

    In this camp, students will use stories, drama games, visual art making, and their imagination to explore characters and environments. Students will practice group participation by listening, speaking, sharing, and using expressive movement skills. The last camp session will include a sharing time for family members to see the class’s collaborative work. Click here to sign up.

     

    Hands-on STEM (Ages 5 – 6)
    June 19 – 23
    10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
    $50 Museum members/$60 non-members

    Looking for some STEM fun this summer? Make your way to the Museum! Let’s tackle exciting engineering challenges and test our a variety of robotics sets. Click here to sign up.

     

    Hands-on STEM (Ages 7 – 9)
    June 19 – 23
    5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
    $50 Museum members/$60 non-members

    Looking for some STEM fun this summer? Make your way to the Museum! Let’s tackle exciting engineering challenges and test our a variety of robotics sets. Click here to sign up.

     

    Garden & Farmyard Explorations (Ages 4 – 6)
    July 17 – 21
    10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
    $50 Museum members/$60 non-members

    Get your hands dirty in the Museum Farmyard’s growing beds. Use songs, stories, crafts, and play to discover how we are connected to the food we eat, and why gardens and farms are so important. Click here to sign up.

     

    Summer Arts Playdate (Ages 5 – 7)
    July 29
    10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
    $10 Museum members/$12 non-members

    Join us for an art-making extravaganza and draw, paint, and sculpt together to celebrate the summer weather. Click here to sign up.

  • Donation Request

    The Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota strongly supports worthy causes, organizations, and events throughout our community. We accept requests for Museum passes, coupons, materials, and other items that would make a fitting difference and, in order to make sure we can honor your request, please give us at least a three week notice.

    Follow this link to complete the Donation Request Form. Thank you!

    All contributions are subject to change, availability, and our discretion.