This post updated June 2021.
This is not your typical history museum! No roped-off areas where you just gaze at decaying smelly artifacts. Interactive. Full hands-on experiences and some very unique immersion experiences await you at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul. Easily you and your kids can spend a better part of the day here. Age recommendation: 3 years to 100. Seriously, there are things for all ages to enjoy.
Currently, there are six separate exhibits.
Sinclair Lewis 100 Years of Main Street, Extraordinary Women, Out Home: Native Minnesota, Minnesota’s Greatest Generation, Weather Permitting, Then Now Wow (As of June 2021, Grainland is temporarily closed.)
Through these exhibits, all kinds of adventures are to be found. Time travel back to a basement in Fridley to live through the tornado of 1965 in the Weather Permitting exhibit. Serve up ice cream at an old-fashioned soda shop and climb into a C-47 bomber plane on D-day in Minnesota’s Greatest Generation exhibit. Drill for iron ore, wearing your hard hat, of course, put dynamite into holes and push the trigger to blast away rock in the Now, Then, Wow exhibit. Grainland is connected to this exhibit where little ones can stretch their legs and climb and slide as they explore a replica of a grain silo (temporarily closed).
From Rochester, it will take you about an hour and 15 minutes. Open Thursday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $12 per adult, $8 per child ages 5-17, Children under 5 are free. Daily parking is $6.00. Or if you plan on visiting several Minnesota History sites like we did, you might want to purchase a membership to the Minnesota Historical Society. Then you can visit the museum for free. With a Household Membership visit 26 different Minnesota Historical sites: the cost of membership for a year is $79.00.
We definitely will be going back to this museum!