Early out Camps

Ignite your childs’ natural curiosity through the power of PLAY in an awe-inspiring environment!

Camp Overview

Looking for something for your child to do on M.A.P.S. Early Out Days?  Here is the answer! Come join us for play and exploration in our awe-inspiring environment!  Each Early Out day will have a fun theme, enriching activities, and opportunities to explore our spaces!

The details

Each camp will have the opportunity to engage in specific programming topics for the group.  Opportunities for exploration of the Museum environment and programs will be a part of each experience.  The CMSM Community Room will be “Camp Central” and campers will be able to engage together as a group in that space for directly supervised experiences created for each camp.    

The Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota education team consists of highly qualified and trained program educators. The team is lead by Minnesota Licensed Educators. These educators work closely to imagine and facilitate experiences that are engaging, unique, developmentally appropriate and fun for the campers.

Age Group

Current Kindergarten - 4th graders


$40.00 Each Day. Registration will be separate for each day


12:50 - 1:00 PM: Camper Drop Off
1:00 - 4:00 PM: Camp Time
4:00 - 4:05 PM: Camper Pick Up

Camp DAtes

January 10

S.T.E.A.M Lab Adventures Camp - Pop, fizzle, mix, and create in this hands-on exploration time.

February 14

"Hearts" and Crafts Camp - Campers will "LOVE" to work together to create some collaborative partner art and more!

March 13

Solve It Camp - Do you have a child who loves to solve puzzles, riddles, and figure out mysteries? Join us for an afternoon of sleuthing!

April 17

Slimy Wonders Camp - Dread hearing "Can we make slime?" Let them do it In our space!

May 15

Nature's Lab Explorers Camp - We will be celebrating the start of summer in our outdoor learning environment. Campers will develop their sense of wonder as they are surrounded by nature and natural elements that they can explore and create with.

A Day at Early Out Camp

Drop-off and pick up Information:

DROP-OFF occurs at our Kato Engineering School Group Entrance at 224 Lamm St.  A Museum Staff will be at the door starting 10 minutes prior to the camp start time, 12:50-1:00.  You may not drop off a child and leave them at the door if no staff member is present. You can pull up outside at the bus drop off and wait until you see a staff member present. Camp staff will escort your camper inside.

 If you arrive past the start of camp time you will have to bring your child into the Museum and check-in at the front desk so they can contact staff to come get your camper. 

PICK-UP will be at the Kato Engineering School Group Entrance at 224 Lamm St. All campers and staff will be gathered by that door for pick up from 4:00-4:05.  Please do not come into CMSM through the front doors for pick up unless prior arrangements have been made.  All campers are expected to be picked up by 4:05.

Our biggest priority is the safety of our campers, so we will reserve the right to verify the ID of the adult picking up each day. If a caregiver arrives to pick up your child who is not listed, please know that we will call the telephone number that you provided during registration for verification over the phone before we release the camper.

What should my child bring to camp?

Please have all personal items labeled with the child’s name. Although we do our best to encourage each camper to keep their belongings together, The Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota is not responsible for lost or stolen items. Please make sure you bring ONLY what your child needs each day.

In a labeled bag/backpack please provide:
  • Change of clothes
  • Reusable water bottle with first and last name
  • Appropriate dress for the current weather.  It should always be expected that Campers will be going outside.
The following items will not be permitted:
  • Personal electronics and/or valuable, cherished items
  • Mobile phones –  use during camp is NOT permitted – if you need to reach your child during camp for an emergency, please call front desk at 507.344.9109 
  • Toys (unless requested for a specific camp experience)
What should my child wear to camp?

Each camper will receive a CMSM Curiosity Camp T-shirt to wear while they are at camp.  This shirt will go over the clothes they are wearing.  Every camper must have the t-shirt on while they are attending shirt for identification purposes.  Campers will receive a clean t-shirt when they arrive each day and we will take them to wash at the end of each camp day. 

Campers should wear clothes that they can be comfortable in and explore in all of our environments.  Closed shoes are best for playing in the Museum. Sandals or flip flops are not recommended.  We will be climbing, going outside for each camp and we will be interacting with water and elements of nature.  In winter months we will be using our outdoor exhibits and may be playing in the snow. 

Curiostiy Camp Policies and FAQ

Early Out Camps assume that students have eaten lunch prior to arriving to CMSM.  An afternoon snack will be supplied.  Camp snacks will consist of items in individually pre-packaged boxes or bags for each camp attendee.

In order to protect the health of all campers and staff, The Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota has implemented a Communicable Management policy, which incorporates guidelines and recommendations provided by the Minnesota Department of Health, Center for Disease Control (CDC), and the Alliance of Camp Health.  Children must be kept at home when showing signs of the beginning of an illness or contagious disease, or when feeling too ill to participate in an educational setting. We expect caregivers to communicate with us regarding any communicable illness or infection so that we may notify all caregivers of our campers. These conditions include but are not limited to: pink eye; chicken pox; measles; mumps; strep throat; or lice. If a child develops a fever of 100.0°F or higher, vomits, or has two loose stools while at camp, the caregiver will be called to pick them up.

We will ask caregivers to keep their child home until we have written permission from a doctor saying the child is well enough to return to camp. These policies are in place to ensure the child’s well-being along with the well-being of the other children at camp and their families. If a child is sent home for illness during the camp week, a refund will not be issued.

If my camper becomes ill or is sent home sick for the week, will there be a refund?

No. It is the policy of The Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota to not issue full or partial refunds based on the health of a child. By visiting CMSM you voluntarily assume all risks related to any potential infectious or contagious disease, including but not limited to COVID-19.

What are your policies about distributing medicine?

We cannot administer or store any prescription or over-the-counter medication. If a child takes a daily medication, the caregiver is expected to administer it before or after camp. Epi pens can be stored in the camp instructor’s backpack and will be given only if necessary. A certified doctor’s order must accompany the Epi Pen.


The Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota education team consists of highly qualified and trained program educators. The team is led by Licensed Educators. These Educators work closely to imagine and facilitate experiences that are engaging, unique, developmentally appropriate and fun for the campers. At least two-three team members (depending on which camp) will always be actively present with the children.  Our typical instructor-to-camper ratios are 1:8 for kids 5-11 years and 1:6 for kids 4-5 years.

Camp prices are subject to change each season.  Each individual day of camp for Early Out Days are $40.00. 

If the camp you are registered for is canceled by CMSM, you will be refunded your tuition in full. Please Note: Registration funds may not serve as credit for another CMSM camp or program, and camp sessions are not transferable to other campers. If CMSM cancels a camp, refund options will be shared.

Most direct communication for camp will be through email or telephone. Please make sure that when you register your child, you include the email and phone number for the person who will be the main contact for the camper during their time at CMSM. Please expect a confirmation email after you register that will share details needed for the day. Please always check your junk email to make sure that communication from CMSM hasn’t been sent there. 

Additional communication will be shared at pickup, or via email. Please feel free to reach out to our camp staff with other questions via email or phone.

Cell phones, video games, and other personal electronic devices can easily become distractions at camp, so we ask that you please keep these items at home. If your child does bring a cell phone to camp, they will not be permitted to use it during the camp day. If there is an emergency and you need to reach your child, please contact the camp staff.

Our first priority is the safety of our Guests and Staff. Behavior and Discipline procedures in place are to ensure camper safety and allow for healthy learning environments, providing

The following unwanted behaviors may result in the temporary or permanent removal of a camper from a Curiosity Camp:

  • Endangering the health (mental and physical) and safety of children and/or staff
  • Use of profanity, vulgarity, or obscenity (hostile or offensive language)
  • Refusing to follow behavior guidelines or camp rules; disrupting a program
  • Destruction or theft of Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota or personal property belonging to others

CMSM staff will contact the registered caregiver as needed to work through a plan that can support all involved parties if needed

Curiosity Camps are proudly presented by the Xcel Energy Foundation.