Non-School Day/Spring Break Camps

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

Child by raised garden bed at the Childrens Museum in Mankato

Camp Overview

No school? No problem! Join us for one or all four of these full day Curiosity Camp options. Engaging topics, hands-on fun, and lots of exploration!

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 to Fourth grade.


$70 per camp day. *must register separately for multiple days.


8:50 - 9:00 AM Camper Drop Off
9:00 AM - 3:50 PM: Camp Time
3:50 - 4:00 PM: Camper Pick Up

Camp DAtes

Tuesday, March 26

Art for All Camp - Campers will discover many opportunities to create their own unique creations and explore with various tools and mediums. Each camper will get to create a painting on a canvas to bring home.

Wednesday, March 27

Imagineering Challenge Camp - Come to develop and apply ideas about scientists, scientific inquiry, engineers, engineering, inventors, inventing, energy, light and sound as they participate in their own museum-based challenge. Campers will practice working together with partners to ask questions, brainstorm ideas, create a design, and experiment with a variety of materials.

Thursday, March 28

Making a Museum Camp - Campers will be a part of visioning for what an expansion at CMSM might look like! Dreaming, sketching, and designing will all be a part of the experience. A behind the scenes tour of offices, shop, and learning about how we fabricate our materials will round out this experience.

Wednesday, April 10

Grow It Camp - Campers will get to help the CMSM gardens prepped for planting! We will be starting seedlings and have the opportunity to learn about what healthy plants need to make them grow!

A Day at Non-School Day/Spring Break 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 at 8:50 a.m. 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. Staff will wait there for drop off until 9:05. 

If you arrive past the time a staff member is able to wait at the drop off door 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 for 10 minutes before the scheduled end of the camp.  Please do not come into CMSM through the front doors for pick up unless prior arrangements have been made. 

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
  • Lunch
  • Light jacket or sweatshirt
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. 

Curiostiy Camp Policies and FAQ

We do NOT provide lunch for campers; please send a packed lunch with your camper(s). Lunches must be packed and stored in a lunch box that will keep the lunch cool or warm as needed. No refrigerator or microwave will be available. We will provide an afternoon snack. You are more than welcome to provide your own daily snack if you’d like. 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.

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 fees include a $50 non-refundable fee per camp. 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.

Most direct communication for camp will be through email or phone. 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