Ag and Nature Lab

The place to explore agriculture and nature education.

Bird Exhibit in the Ag and Nature Lab at the Children's Museum of Southern Minnesota in Mankato

There is always something going on!

Our exhibits change every month and programs pop up frequently. You might catch baby chicks hatching, a sheep shearing demo, or dig in the compost for worms. Enjoy working the manure spreader as you care for the cows in the dairy barn display, assist staff in releasing monarch butterflies, or role play moving crops and livestock across our roadways and rails. 

This exhibit is great for...

encountering experiences and conversations about our natural world.

Ag Education

Play-based experiences are a great way for children to learn about agriculture. In What’s Underfoot? children can crawl underground with the roots, worms, and bugs to learn about the importance of soil health. In Ag on the Move, the role of transportation is highlighted as children move ag commodities from farm to table on trains, trailers, and tractors. And in the Dairy Barn, children clean the barn, feed the cows and keep our cows comfortable. Come learn with us!


Hands-on play in our exhibits such as Beaver Builders, Tracking Minnesota’s Wild Animals, and All About Birds lead children to a better relationship with our natural world. Research shows children who spend time in nature have stronger emotional health and longer attentions spans. The Ag and Nature Lab is a fabulous place for families to get an introduction to the wide range of nature’s offerings.

Animal Programs

Visiting animals are always a highlight for families! When animals visit the Museum, there's always something to learn. Whether it's a kangaroo, hedgehog, or bald eagle, you'll get to study insects, birds, mammals, and reptiles from Minnesota--and all over the world!

What's Going on in the Ag and Nature Lab?

Each month, discover a new exhibit in the Ag and Nature Lab at the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota. You might learn about composting, watch animals grow, learn about how our food is grown and gets to the dinner table, or any number of other nature-based play activities! The Ag and Nature Lab exhibits are always included with admission or Museum membership.

12 July 2022
31 October 2022
Pollinators Bee Exhibit in the Ag and Nature Lab at the Childrens Musuem of Southern Minnesota Mankato


We will be expanding our focus on Pollinators with the addition of the Bee Box and …

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09 August 2022
31 October 2022
Three Sisters Garden Ag and Nature Lab

Three Sisters Garden

Many Native Americans believed the Three Sisters: corn, beans and squash, could only thrive if …

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