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 be closed on January 18 due to the dangerous blizzard conditions. Stay safe!

  • No School? No Problem! – January 20

    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.

    Monday, January 20
    10 am – 12 pm & 1 – 3 pm

    Crazy about Crystals – Learn about different types of crystals, how they form, and where to find them.

    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.

  • Winter Adventures – January 20

    Monday, January 20
    10 am – 2 pm

    Spend your no-school day at the Children’s Museum and enjoy a variety of winter-themed adventures! Due to extremely cold weather planned for Monday, we’re moving our programs inside.

    Instead of snowshoeing, Scott Kudelka, Minneopa Area Naturalist will bring a different program to the AgLab, “Wild About Wildlife.” Come learn about some of the cool animals that can be found throughout the state and learn how these mammals have adapted to survive in their natural environment.

    This adventure day is part of SnowKato Days, a 10-day winter festival in Mankato, full of activities for all ages and interests. Included with Museum membership or daily admission.


  • Barnes & Noble Bookfair – January 22 – 27

    Barnes & Noble Bookstore, River Hills Mall, Mankato
    January 22 – 27

    Are you a Barnes & Noble shopper? Make sure to mention the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota before you check out between January 22 and January 27, and the Museum will receive a percentage of your sale. You can also print out this voucher and show it at checkout, or use a Barnes & Noble Bookfair ID 12587119 of  if you shop online, via this link. We are always excited to receive this donation, as it helps replenish the books used in the Museum’s programs and exhibits.

    On Wednesday, January 22, Museum Educators will be at Barnes & Noble at the River Hills Mall in Mankato with a hands-on program for shoppers and other bookstore guests. Check out what they’ve planned from 3:30 – 5:50 pm.

  • Special Needs Accessibility Playtime – January 24

    Friday, January 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, January 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, April 24, 4:30 – 7:00 pm
    Friday, July 24, 4:30 – 7:00 pm
    Friday, October 23, 4:30 – 7:00 pm

  • Haydn Go Seek! Family Concert Series – January 25

    Saturday, January 25, 3 – 4 pm
    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!

  • Trivia Night – February 1

    Saturday, February 1, 2020, 6:00 – 10:00 pm
    Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Hotel and Conference Center, 1900 Premier Dr., Mankato

    It’s time for our annual fundraiser, Trivia Night! Join us for a night of food and fun, casual dress, and a cash bar. (P.S. You’ll need cash for a meat raffle and other fun games, too!)

    Have a team already? Reserve a table of 8 and make sure you all stick together! Your team table reservation will include dinner, beads for each person, and mulligans for your team. (Beads? You’ll need them to participate in a variety of games between the rounds of trivia questions. Mulligans serve as one free answer per round.) The cost of a table of 8 with all add-ons is $480.

    Individual tickets are $45 per person and include dinner. Individually purchased tickets do not guarantee seating at the table of choice.

    Reserve your table or buy tickets today!

    Doors open at 6 pm, dinner is at 6:30 pm, and Trivia and Games start at 7:30 pm. Dinner options include a burger & topping bar or vegetarian option.

    This year’s sponsors are Federated Insurance, Gislason & Hunter LLP,  MinnStar Bank N.A., and Ophthalmology Associates & LASIK Center.


    We are still looking for a few business sponsors. If your business is interested in supporting this event and the Children’s Museum, please contact Kaaren.


  • FREE Family Fun Night at the Museum – February 20

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

  • What’s in the AgLab?

    Tracking Minnesota’s Wild Animals
    The month of January (opening January 7, 2020)

    How many wild animals have you seen in Minnesota? Follow the animal tracks to the AgLab and find the furs from several wild animals found in our state. Touch and feel these furs and learn how they help the animals survive in their surroundings. Learn to identify animal tracks and scat so you can watch for signs of wild animals on your next outdoor adventure.

  • 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.

    January 8
    Creating Healthy Habits – Join us in finding tools to create different healthy habits in the new year. This program is developed in partnership with Mayo Clinic Health System.

    January 15
    Warm up in the Winter
    – Museum’s youngest visitors and their caregivers will have an opportunity to learn about wild animals in Minnesota through play and storytelling.

    January 22
    Parachute Play
    – Can you help us fly our parachute and help make things fly?

    January 29
    Light Play –
    Let’s play with lights and explore colors and shapes.

  • 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.

    January 2, 4, 5, 9, 11, and 12
    Energy in Action – Explore mechanical energy: how it’s made and what it can do. This program is part of Powering Play, a project funded by the Xcel Energy Foundation.

    January 16, 18, 19, 20, 23, 25, and 26
    Crazy about Crystals – Climb into the Loft for a close-up look into the sparkling world of crystals. Learn about different types, how they form, and where to find them.

    The Museum will be open on Monday, January 20. No-school day programs are funded by the Consolidated Communications Community Fund of the Mankato Area Foundation.

  • Tabletop Activities

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

    January 2 – 5 & 7 – 12
    Pom Pom Sorting – Use chopsticks, tongs, tweezers, and clothespins to sort pom poms by color, size, or however you’d like.

    January 14 – 19 & 21 – 26
    Spielgaben –  Use different colors and shapes to create designs with wooden blocks.

  • 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.