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.

Now open 7 days a week, Monday through Sunday! (June 3 – August 26)

  • Zero Waste: Composting – July 18

    Thursday, July 18, 1 – 2 pm

    Join our guest from Mankato Zero Waste and learn how you can work towards having no waste at your home. The guests will bring fun composting games and tips.

  • Special Needs Accessibility Playtime – July 26

    Friday, July 26, 4:30 – 7:30 pm

    Children with special needs or sensory challenges and their families are invited to a playdate at the Museum on Friday, July 26, during a time when fewer visitors will be present. Come explore the Museum’s exciting exhibits, including A Healthy Me.

    Enjoy the Museum from 4:30 – 7:30 pm at no cost thanks to the funding support provided by the Otto Bremer Trust.

    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.”

  • Fire Safety Day – August 10

    Saturday, August 10, 10 am – 2 pm

    Come see a fleet of different-colored fire trucks, watch demos, and participate in a variety of activities, including the famous Fire Safety House. Smokey the Bear and Sparky the Fire Dog will be here, too!

    This event will be held in the Museum’s parking lot and alley and is free to attend. Regular admission rates or Museum membership apply to indoor and outdoor exhibits and galleries.

  • Hydration & Healthy Snacks

    Friday, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
    June 7 – August 23

    Join Museum Educators and Family Medicine Residents from Mayo Clinic Health System for a summer of healthy snacks and beverages! Every Friday, Museum visitors will have an opportunity to taste some healthy snacks and try infused water.

    This program is developed in partnership with Mayo Clinic Health System.

  • The Science of Me – August 15 & 16

    The Science of Me
    Thursday, August 15 & Friday, August 16, 2019
    10:00 am – 12:00 pm: 1st & 2nd grade – FULL (wait list)
    1:00 pm – 3:00 pm: 3rd & 4th grade

    in our guests from the Bakken Museum in Minneapolis for The Science of Me, a program all about the science of the human body. In this two-day program, students will have an opportunity to learn about the digestive and circulatory systems, how our brains send messages, and about the DNA that makes us unique. This program is offered at no cost* to students entering 1st and 2nd, as well as 3rd and 4th grade in the fall of 2019. Space is limited: only 15 students per age group!

    To read more about this program and to register, click here.

    The sessions are filling fast! The session for students entering 1st and 2nd grade is now full. To be added to the wait list, please send us an email.

  • What’s in the AgLab?

    Dairy Barn Cow Care
    June – mid July 2019

    June is Dairy Month and our popular Dairy Barn exhibit returns to the AgLab! Be a good dairy farmer and care for your cows and calves by feeding and watering them, scooping manure to haul to the fields, and controlling lighting and temperature in the barn. You will have an udderly delightful time in the AgLab this month!

  • Who’s in the Alltech Farm?

    Museum Pigs

    The white pig is a Yorkshire gilt, and the red pig is a Duroc gilt. Gilts are young female pigs. They arrived at the end of May, weighing between 55 and 60 pounds at two months old. They will be raised at the Museum and will go to market in the fall. The local ECHO food shelf will receive the meat.

    Thank you to Compart Family Farms for donating the pigs, Minnesota Pork Board for sponsoring our pig program, and Alltech for donating the feed.


    Museum Chickens

    The chickens in the Farmyard hatched in the incubator at the Museum the first week in May. These chickens will be raised as egg-layers and the hens will start laying eggs this fall. Breeds that we have in the coop are: Barred Rock, Rhode Island Reds, White Chochin, Easter Egger, and a Blue Andalusian. Do you think we’ll have any roosters in this bunch? Keep watching to see how they grow and develop!

    Thank you to Compeer for a grant that allowed us to build the chicken coop and update the pen for this exhibit, and to Alltech for providing feed for the chickens.

  • 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.

    July 3
    Explosive Colors – This is a messy toddler day: we’ll experiment with colors and textures.

    July 10
    Tantrums, Whining, Sibling Rivalry
    – Let’s talk about things no one likes to talk about: we’ll discuss strategies caregivers can use to help children maneuver through the challenging emotions. This program is created in partnership with Mayo Clinic Health System.

    July 17
    Sensory Sensations
    – Let’s use our senses to explore different textures and temperatures.

    July 24
    Rainforest Rampage
    – Paint a rainforest with our hands in this session of messy art Toddler Wednesday. Visitors will also have an opportunity to become explorers and travel through a wild rainforest.

    July 31
    Messy Art: Outdoor Edition – Let’s play outside and get messy as we explore the elements of art.

  • STEAM in the Loft

    Summer STEAM Hours
    Monday – Saturday: 10 am – 12 pm & 1 – 3 pm
    Sunday: 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.

    July 1 – 7
    Art Lab – Get creative in the Loft and experience everything art! Explore the elements of art (line, shape, space, value, form, texture, and color) through a variety of projects. The Museum will be closed on July 4.

    July 8 – 14
    What Once Was Old
    – Let’s turn old things into new by reducing, reusing, and recycling. Can we use paper scraps to make new paper? What about empty water bottles? Can they become bird feeders? Your imagination is the only limit!

    July 15 – 21
    Blueprint-Making – How are buildings planned and designed? Check out this program in the Loft and experiment with drawing and printmaking to find answers to this question.

    July 22 – 28
    Astronomy – What’s out there in space? How do we know? Come be astronomers in the Loft!

    July 29 – August 4
    Animation Studio – What do you like to do in the summer? Come create a stop motion movie about your favorite summer activities.

  • Tabletop Activities

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

    July 1 – 7
    Glue a Garden: Practice using a glue stick on paper and sticking tissue paper and other craft objects to create a colorful garden to take home.

    July 8 – 21
    Magnets:
    Explore how magnets attract and repel each other and test which found objects are magnetic.

    July 22 – 28
    Water Play: Build an underwater environment for our fish friends.

  • 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.