A Time to Give Thanks

It’s a rare treat when the first snow comes the same week we set up the Northwoods Winter Cabin at the Museum. The exhibit is in full swing (in its new location! Have you seen it yet? Stop in soon!), and as we watch the children love it the same as they have every year, we can’t help but feel so very lucky to have such an amazing community supporting us year after year. Because of all of our community partners, individual donors, and more, we are able to bring this joy to children’s faces day after day. 

Giving thanks at the Children's Museum of Southern Minnesota

As the season changes this time of year, people’s hearts turn to gratitude, and we are no different at the Museum. So, in honor of the holiday, we offer a Top Ten Things We’re Thankful For: 

The Ignite Society

The Ignite Society is a group of leadership donors supporting the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota’s mission to ignite the natural curiosity of every child through the power of play in a dynamic, awe-inspiring environment. The Ignite Society is the driving force behind the Museum’s proposed expansion, providing the funds needed to bring it to fruition. Support our work and join the Ignite Society by contributing $500 or more to the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota.

Our Individual Donors

Generous donations–of all kinds and amounts– from individuals and businesses in our region support the Museum’s Mission and its efforts to engage and enrich children and families from across Minnesota. Your vital support helps the Museum provide a place where all can play with new, creative, and interactive exhibits and educational programming.

Our Corporate Partners

Corporate partnerships benefit everyone! The employees of the corporation enjoy 50% off memberships, and the corporation’s donations support our Gateway to Play memberships. Gateway to Play memberships are provided to families facing barriers at no cost, and account for 30% of all Memberships. CMSM strives to maintain one-third of all Memberships as Gateway to Play members. Our corporate partners show their company’s commitment to the children of southern Minnesota while offering their own employees a valuable benefit. Interested in becoming a corporate partner? Contact Louise Dickmeyer, CEO, for more information regarding benefits, pricing, and details. 

Current Corporate Partners: 

  • Abdo
  • Bolton & Menk, Inc.
  • City of North Mankato
  • Dotson Iron Castings
  • ISG
  • Mankato Clinic
  • Mankato Motor Co.
  • Mayo Clinic Health System
  • MEI Total Elevator Solutions
  • Minnesota State University, Mankato
  • Minnesota Valley Pet Hospital
  • Monarch Healthcare Management
  • Nidec Kato Engineering
  • Schwickert’s Tecta America
  • Scheel’s
  • The Orthopaedic & Fracture Clinic
  • United Prairie Bank

Our Community Partners

We are grateful for all the organizations who engage with us to be the catalyst for building a stronger and more vibrant community around play, so that all children in our region share in a bright future of opportunity and well-being. These partnerships help to create opportunities of connection, resources, and educational opportunities for children and those who care for them. 

thankful for CMSM's community partners

Our Board Members

The Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota is governed by a team of distinguished advisors in the greater Mankato area. CMSM strives to achieve a balanced representation on the board with respect to institutional, organizational, and personal diversity. Our dedicated board members consistently volunteer their time and resources to CMSM. 

Our Volunteers

giving thanks for our volunteers

Volunteers are an important part of our team at the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota. In 2021, we recorded 2,086 volunteer hours! We welcome individuals and groups, aged 16 and older, who appreciate the power of play and enjoy interacting with children and families. There are ongoing and special volunteer opportunities, with scheduling options to fit your personal lifestyle. Prefer to serve behind the scenes? Join our sewing team, help us maintain our beautiful gardens, or work side-by-side with our fabrication staff as we build and repair exhibits. The possibilities are endless. The Children’s Museum is a fun place for groups to volunteer together, and we offer internship and service learning opportunities as well. Stop in for a tour and to visit with our staff! For more information about volunteering contact us at info@cmsouthernmn.org.

Our Staff

At the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota, every one of us is passionate about play.

the Children's Museum of Southern Minnesota is thankful for our staff

Our team is committed to driving our mission through their important work every day. Our Front Desk staff welcomes visitors with a bright smile as soon as they walk through the door. Museum Educators lead engaging programs and experiences in our exhibit spaces while Playworkers are there to make sure children and families get the most out of their time at the Museum. Behind the scenes, we have many happy faces further driving the mission of Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota. We are committed to building a team of people who uphold the highest standards of visitor experience so that every adult, child, and family has the best experience possible. If you share these same values, we’d love to hear from you about joining our team! Explore our current job openings on our jobs page.

Museum Members

Museum members account for 58% of our visitors each day. We get to know them; we watch them grow; and we appreciate them so much! Members enjoy many benefits, including:

  • Unlimited free admission during open hours
  • $2 off regular admission for Guests
  • 10% discount on Gift Shop purchases
  • 20% discount on Birthday Parties
  • Museum eNewsletter subscription
  • Access to Member-only events & promotions


Sponsors help fund all of the exhibits, events, and programs you and your family and community enjoy at the Museum. We are very lucky to have a long list of sponsors to share from 2022. If you want to be included on this list, contact Louise Dickmeyer, CEO, for more information. 

  • Alltech
  • Crystal Valley
  • Mankato Sunrise Lions Club
  • Scheel’s
  • The Mayo Foundation
  • Coldwell Banker Commercial Fisher Group
  • Compeer Financial 
  • Dunkin’
  • Fraternal Order of Eagles 269
  • Good Thunder Fire Department
  • ISG
  • Jones Metal Products, Inc.
  • Nicollet Lions Club
  • North Central International Truck
  • Nuss Truck & Equipment
  • Odin Firemen’s Relief Association
  • Safety & Security Consultation Specialists
  • South Central Regional Fire Department Association
  • Stifel
  • Albert Nagel RADL Post 1648 VFW
  • American Legion Post #475
  • American Legion Post #294
  • AMPI
  • Mankato Eagles Aerie & Auxiliary
  • VFW Post 1803 Le Center

The Children 

giving thanks to our members and visitors

Finally, we are most grateful for each child that walks through the doors of the Museum. As our Mission Statement says, we


We simply would have no mission at all without the children. The families’ and caregivers’ attention to bringing them here just once or every single week allows them countless opportunities to grow. We are so grateful to be a part of their development and fun. 

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