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 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

    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 chemistry projects, building with Legos, and animals. For more information about birthday party packages and pricing, follow this link.

    All parties include:

    • Museum staff to help plan and host the party.
    • Museum admission for all party guests.
    • Private celebration space for 90 minutes.
    • Table coverings, decorations, and storage for presents and personal belongings.


    Host your birthday party at the Museum in July or August 2017 and enjoy a FREE upgrade to a themed party (Great Outdoor or Animal Theme), and a FREE birthday cake, cupcakes, or party favors for your guests from Dairy Queen West.

    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

    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. This discount applies to teachers and educators responsible for grades K-6 in public or private schools. We hope you will become advocates for the learning environment the Museum provides and return with your students! Read more about  School Group Visits here.

    Educator discount cannot be combined with any other offer or coupon.

    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

    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

    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

    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.

  • 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.