CMSM Acquires Additional Land for Future Expansion

Spring has sprung here at the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota, and like the leaves on the apple tree in the Dotson Back 40 we are all about growth!

On April 20th Museum CEO Louise Dickmeyer announced the purchase of the half-acre lot adjacent to our existing building and grounds.


Long time Museum supporters Carole and Denny Dotson along with Kay and her late husband Lyle Jacobson have been talking about the need for the Museum to purchase the land for some time. They understand the impact we have in the lives of children, families, and ultimately the community. So when the opportunity presented, they were ready to act. The Dotson Family Fund of the Mankato Area Foundation joined with Kay Jacobson to provide the funds needed to purchase the land late in 2021.

”This project highlights the next chapter in the museum’s history,” said Denny Dotson. “Sixteen years ago it was an idea, eight years ago it was a building, today it’s a proud accomplishment. I can’t wait for another eight years to see it fully and sustainably meet its mission.”

Nature play is something we understand and value deeply. More land definitely means more outdoor spaces to ignite curiosity and play. It could also mean year-round outdoor play. Among other development under consideration are; indoor exhibit space devoted to children with neuro-sensitivities, new office and community space, expanded workshop and fabrication, and early learning classroom space. Museum leadership is excited to engage the voices of the Mankato region and begin imagining the possibilities ahead.

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