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.

The Museum will close at 2 pm on Saturday, February 29, for a private event.

  • FREE Family Fun Night at the Museum – February 20

    Thursday, February 20, 4:30 – 7:00 pm

    Join us at the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota and explore the galleries and exhibits at no cost on Thursday, February 20! This free playdate is intended to provide a Gateway to Play for families that experience barriers to Museum participation.

    Save the date for the upcoming Free Family Nights at the Museum:
    Thursday, May 21
    Thursday, August 20
    Thursday, November 19

  • Haydn Go Seek! Family Concert Series – April 18

    Saturday, April 18, 3 – 4 pm
    Free playtime starts at 2 pm each of these four dates. The performance is available to children and families at no cost.

    The Mankato Symphony Orchestra returns to the Museum! Join MSO for a new Family Concert Series created for children and their caregivers. The performance features musicians, actors, storytelling, and musical activities. Concerts have a run time of approximately 45 minutes and are performed without intermission and all ages are welcome.

    Come to the Museum an hour before the concert (at 2 pm) and enjoy hands-on play at the Museum at no cost!

  • Special Needs Accessibility Playtime – April 24

    Friday, April 24, 4:30 – 7:00 pm

    Children with special needs or sensory challenges and their families are invited to a playdate at the Museum on Friday, April 24, during a time when fewer visitors will be present. Come explore the Museum’s exciting exhibits and enjoy hands-on play! This event is free of charge.

    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.”

    Save the date:
    Friday, July 24, 4:30 – 7:00 pm
    Friday, October 23, 4:30 – 7:00 pm

  • What’s in the AgLab?

    Sheep to Sweater
    The month of February

    Don’t be baashful about coming into the AgLab to check out this exhibit! Sheep’s woll has some special properties and is used for many, many things. Meet Georgia, our model sheep, and learn to shear. Also, take a look at the journey wool takes after it’s shorn from the sheep and how it is made into a sweater.

  • 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 Community Room at the beginning of your session. Toddler Wednesday program is included with Museum membership or daily admission.

    February 5
    Let’s Roll – Can you find things that roll? How do they do it? Fast, or slow?

    February 12
    Move Your Muscles
    – Come explore different movements through play. Let’s see what muscles we can move! This program is developed in partnership with Mayo Clinic Health System.

    February 19
    Who Makes You Happy?
    – In this Toddler Wednesday session, we’ll talk about who makes us happy and how we can show them we care.

    February 26
    All About Art –
    Come explore and play with different art materials, and see what kind of masterpiece you will create.

  • STEAM in the Loft

    STEAM in the Loft
    Thursdays, 3 – 6 pm
    Saturdays, 10 am – 12 pm & 1 – 3 pm
    Sundays, 1 – 3 pm

    Climb into Cecil’s Imagineering Loft and enjoy STEAM programming seven days a week throughout the summer months! 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.

    February 1, 2, 6, 8, and 9
    Art for Everyone – Come to the Loft to learn about different artists and art styles, as well as experiment with art supplies that might inspire you to create a masterpiece of your own.

    February 13, 15, 16
    February 17 & 18, 10 am – 12 pm & 1 – 3 pm (no-school days)
    Jewelry-Making – This project will use creativity and engineering skills as we make jewelry that is interesting and wearable. No-school day programs are part of Reactivating the Potential of STEM-Powered Play Outside of the School Day, funded by the Consolidated Communications Community Fund of the Mankato Area Foundation.

    February 20, 22, 23, 27, 29, and March 1
    Energy & Matter – What happens when something heats up? How about when something cools down? Can we make art with objects that heat up, or cool down? Find these answers in the Loft as we explore 3D printing, construction, and engineering. What all can you make with energy? These activities are part of Powering Play at the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota, a project funded by the Xcel Energy Foundation.

  • Tabletop Activities

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

    February 4 – 9
    Balancing – Balance your body on a beam and blocks on a fulcrum.

    February 12 – 23
    Peppermint Playdough –  Roll, cut, knead, and pat an icy creature out of playdough.

    February 25 – March 1
    Wax-Resist Art – Create a snowy scene with white crayon and paint over to reveal your design.

  • 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.

  • Hy-Vee Reusable Bag Program – February

    The Month of February

    The Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota has been selected to participate in the Hy-Vee Reusable Bag Program during the month of February.

    For every My Heart Reusable Bag purchased at Hy-Vee in downtown Mankato or Hilltop Hy-Vee, the Museum will receive $1.

    Save the planet; support the Museum!

  • 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.