Programs & Events

The Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota is all about hands-on play and unique programs and events. Read below to learn more about what is happening in the Museum galleries. If you would like the Museum’s upcoming events delivered to your email address, click here to sign up for our mailing list!

The Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota reserves the right to change the programming plans. Please watch this website and Facebook page for updates.

  • Are You Smarter Than the 5th Graders? – April 16

    Tuesday, April 16, 6:30 p.m.
    Mankato West High School Auditorium, 1351 Riverfront Drive, Mankato

    Are YOU smarter than the 5th graders? Find out on April 16, at our 6th  annual event!

    Come watch 11 local 5th grade representatives compete to win prizes for their classrooms! These students scored the highest at their school on a qualifying test offered to all 5th graders in the Mankato area. This year’s celebrities are Sue Desteian, retired teacher, Ann Hendricks, ISD77 board member, and Les Koppendrayer, retired principal.

    Purchase your tickets today!
    $7 General Admission Student
    $10 General Admission Adult
    4 years of age and under get free admission

    All proceeds benefit the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota. If you are unable to attend the event, please consider making a donation.

    Thank you to our sponsors: Greater Mankato Rotary, Mathnasium, Kato Engineering, MedExpress, Carlson-Tillisch, Mankato Clinic, Scheels, Old National Bank, True Real Estate

    In-kind sponsors: Radio Mankato, Carlson Craft, Inspired Photography


  • Spring Break: March 25 – 31

    On Mankato Area Public Schools no-school days, make your way to Cecil’s Imagineering Loft and see what we’ve planned!

    These drop-in activities are developed for children ages 6 and up and their adults and are included with daily admission or Museum membership.

    Tuesday, Monday, March 25 through Sunday, March 31
    10:00 am – 12:00 pm & 1:00 – 3:00 pm

    a-MAZE-ing Creations Spend your spring break at the Children’s Museum and explore a-MAZE-ing Creations in the Loft! Build marble mazes and attempt to solve them, and use a variety of found objects to design Rube Goldberg machines.

  • Experiencing Psychology – March 15 & 25

    Friday, March 15, 1 – 3 pm
    Monday, March 25, 10 am – 12 pm & 1 – 3 pm

    Ever wondered what a human brain looks like or how you could improve memory skills? The 2nd annual Experience Psychology will offer demonstrations and a variety of exciting ways to explore how psychological science shapes our lives.

    Students from Minnesota State University, Psychology Department, will bring the science of Psychology to the Children’s Museum by engaging young visitors in fun demonstrations!

  • What’s in the AgLab?

    Beaver Builders
    March 2019

    Can you build like a beaver? Build and explore a lodge, learn how beavers harvest trees and use their tails, feel a soft beaver felt, and more.

    Thursday, March 7, 10 am – Beaver Ecology
    Join Scott Kudelka, DNR Minneopa Area Naturalist, as he shares some special characteristics of a beaver by having a visitor dress up like one! Learn what makes the largest rodent in North America special and what effect beavers have had on Minnesota history.

  • Toddler Wednesday

    Wednesdays, 9:30, 10:00, 10:30 am

    Toddler Wednesday is a weekly program geared towards the Museum’s youngest visitors. Children are naturally curious, and in these sessions, that curiosity is embraced and nourished. Toddler Wednesday enhances Museum experience by encouraging children to move around and take a closer look at things that are going on. There is no worry about making it through the whole session, or showing up at the very beginning. Your child will sometimes get into it and enjoy the program, and sometimes they won’t, which is perfectly okay!

    As you arrive and check in, pick up your “ticket” at the front desk, then take it to the Rotary Education Center at the beginning of your session. Toddler Wednesday program is included with Museum membership or daily admission.

    March 6
    Fort Building

    March 13
    – A Toddler Wednesday session about sharing and taking turns. Learn the difference and practice with other visitors. This program is developed in partnership with Mayo Clinic Health System.

    March 20
    Things that Spring –
    Let’s celebrate things that spring, jump, and bounce.

    March 27
    Toddler Wednesday session with our guests from Pediatric Therapy Services.

  • STEAM in the Loft

    Thursdays, 3:00 – 6:00 pm
    Saturdays, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm & 1:00 – 3:00 pm
    Sundays, 1:00 – 3:00 pm

    Climb into Cecil’s Imagineering Loft and enjoy STEAM programming on Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. These programs are designed with children age 6 and beyond in mind, but everyone is welcome to play and learn in the Loft! Included with Museum membership or daily admission.

    March 7, 9, 10, 14, 16 & 17
    March 2 & 3
    Brain Models & Brain Teasers – Work with clay or paper and make a model of the brain. Learn about different parts of our brain and give it a good workout by solving and creating brain teasers.

    March 21, 23 & 24
    Celebrating Spring: Birds Return to Minnesota – Explore the birds that are starting to make their return to Minnesota. What do different beaks do and why are they shaped differently? How do birds build their nests?

    March 25 – 31 (Monday through Sunday)
    a-MAZE-ing Creations – Spend your spring break at the Children’s Museum and explore a-MAZE-ing Creations in the Loft! Build marble mazes and attempt to solve them, and use a variety of found objects to design Rube Goldberg machines.

  • Tabletop Activities

    Available daily, Tuesday through Sunday, in the Kato Engineering Explorers’ Lab

    March 5 – 17
    Exploring Loose Parts: Using objects found in nature to arrange a pattern or picture.

    March 19 – March 31
    Design a Bird: Working with glue and colorful papers.

  • Family Series: Viva Vivaldi – April 20

    Saturdays, 3:00 pm
    September 15 & November 17 2018
    January 18 & April 20, 2019

    Join Mankato Symphony Orchestra at the Children’s Museum for Viva Vivaldi, a series of four shows designed to introduce children to the delights of classical music. The show will be performed on Saturday afternoons and will feature musicians, actors, storytelling, and musical activities. Come to the Museum an hour ahead of the performance and play at no cost!

    Mark your calendars for September 15 and November 17, 2018 and January 19 and April 20 of next year.

    During the week of each Family Series show, join us at the Museum for a special program, Igniting STEM Learning Through the InterPLAY of Music-Science-Math, funded by the Xcel Energy Foundation. This program is included with daily admission or Museum membership.

  • Special Needs Accessibility Playtime – March 1

    Friday, March 1, 4:30 – 7:30 pm

    Tonight’s event has been rescheduled for Friday, March 1, due to the weather. We apologize for any inconvenience. Stay safe!

    Children with special needs or sensory challenges and their families are invited to a playdate at the Museum on Friday, January 18, during a time when fewer visitors will be present. Explore the Museum from 4:30 – 7:30 pm at no cost thanks to the sponsorship by Southern Minnesota Autism Coalition.

    To help prepare your child for this playtime, check out the  Museum’s social story: “A Trip to the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota.”

  • Bookmobile Visits

    Wednesdays, 2:00 – 3:00 pm

    The North Mankato Taylor Library Bookmobile will stop at the Museum every Wednesday from 2:00 – 3:00 pm. Check out some new materials, or return any area library books. During the Bookmobile’s visit, Amy will come into the Museum for a storytime in one of the galleries.

  • Baby Café

    Thursdays, 12:30 – 2:30 pm

    New mothers and mothers-to-be interested in breastfeeding are encouraged to visit the Mankato Area Baby Café. Baby Café is a national network of breastfeeding drop-ins, combining breastfeeding information with a relaxed, informal environment where mothers can chat and learn about breastfeeding from skilled practitioners and each other. Mankato Area Baby Café is made possible by Mayo Clinic Health System.

    For more information, call 507.594.2967.