CMSM is Reopening on October 1!

We’ve missed you.

So. Much.

It is with immeasurable joy we announce that the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota will be reopening at 9am on October 1 on a limited schedule and with new safety protocols in place. Before you plan your visit, please read through the full COVID-19 Reopening FAQs here, but I’ll highlight the most important changes below.

New Hours of Operation

The Museum will be operating on an updated schedule. For the time being, open hours are as follows:

  • Wednesday 9am-12pm
  • Thursday 9am-7pm
  • Saturday 9am-4pm

Limited Capacity

In accordance with state and federal guidelines, the Museum will be operating at limited capacity. At the time of reopen on October 1, we are permitted to operate at 25% capacity, which translates to 132 guests at any given time. If we reach this limit, no additional guests will be granted access until space opens up.

Mask Policy

All visitors ages 5 and up will be required to wear a mask covering their mouth and nose at all times. This applies to both the indoor and outdoor spaces. For the safety of guests and staff, the Museum reserves the right to deny admittance to anyone unwilling or unable to comply with the mask mandate (including those with medical conditions). Masks will be available for purchase in the Museum Gift Shop.

Safety and Security at the Children's Museum of Southern Minnesota


One of the first things you’ll notice upon arrival are designated entrances and exits. Please use the appropriate door when entering and exiting our facility. We require all visitors wash their hands immediately after entering the Museum. In addition, hand sanitizing stations have been placed throughout the Museum gallery space and exhibits for your use as well. You will also notice floor stickers and other signage reminding visitors to socially distance themselves from others.

“Contact Free” Check-in

The Museum will now be using eMembership cards in place of printed membership cards. After downloading the app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, click on “Find my membership cards” and enter your information to get your electronic membership cards. Simply present this barcode at the Front Desk and you’re in! Added bonus: no more searching your wallet for your membership card!

For non-members, admission is now $9 per person, ages 1+. We are unable to accept cash or check at this time, so please bring a credit or debit card to process payments. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, and appreciate your understanding for this additional safety protocol.

Cleaning Protocols

The Museum has always had robust cleaning and sanitizing procedures in place, something we have prided ourselves on from the beginning. During the pandemic, we will be ramping up our daily disinfecting of high-touch surfaces and our after-hours deep cleaning of loose parts, props and exhibits to keep our Museum safe for families and staff. Please note our Community Room has been converted to space for staff to clean and sanitize items and is currently inaccessible to visitors.

Membership Extensions

During these unprecedented times, your support is needed more than ever so we also ask that you consider renewing your membership at the regular rate as an additional way to support the Museum. We understand that not everyone is willing or able to renew their membership at this time. As a way to compensate for the time the Museum was closed, members have the option to extend their membership for six months at no additional cost. To choose this option, please send an email to guestservices@cmsouthernmn.org with your name, address, telephone number, and Membership ID (if available). Due to limited staff resources, your patience and understanding are appreciated while we process these requests. Extension requests will be honored if submitted via email before 12/31/2020.

New (and old) Exhibits!

At this time, all past exhibits will be open for visitors, although some will have increased safety measures in place. In addition to all your favorites, we will also be opening the much-anticipated Energy: Powered by Play rotating exhibit. In this exciting space, children (and their grown-ups!) will learn all about energy — where it comes from, how to conserve it, and even create their own!

The Grid electricity learning experience in the Energy Powered by Play seasonal temporary exhibit at the Childrens Museum of Southern Minnesota in Mankato

A new Mud Kitchen has also been added to our outdoor exhibit space in the Dotson Back 40. Just as the name implies, children are encouraged to mix, stir, bake and more with nature’s ingredients. Smocks included 🙂


During Phase 1 of our re-opening, STEAM in the Loft and other special events will not be offered. Toddler Wednesday will continue with new safety protocols in place.

Let’s Play!

We cannot wait to have smiling children and families back at the Museum! We thank you for your understanding and patience as we navigate re-opening during these unprecedented times. It is only with your cooperation that we are able to open and provide children a safe place to play and grow! As always, should you have any questions or concerns please consult any staff member wearing an apron. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Read the full Re-opening FAQs here.


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