Activities & Resources
The Science Museum of Minnesota553in Saint Paul, MN 55102
about The Science Museum of Minnesota:
Board a real towboat in the Mississippi River Gallery, and learn how they got it up there. Explore the Primeval Swamp among the dinosaurs. Find out more about how bodies work than you might care to know in the Human Body Gallery (be sure to open that little door to get "sneezed on"!) and take on the role of an infectious disease fighting detective while exploring three "patients." Artifacts and oddities (no offense intended to the mummy) are on display in the Collections Gallery.
Even the restrooms are educational, with posted information on what ends up where in the waste stream.
In spring and summer, the museum hangs out in The Big Backyard. Features include - who knew there could be such a thing? - educational miniature golf, a giant sluice where kids can pan for fossils and gems, a medicinal garden, a 3D map of the world, a large maze, and more.
When stomachs start to rumble, look to the snack cart in the lobby, or - for more choice and better prices - head to the cafeteria on the sixth floor. The Explore Store entices with an enormous selection of science kits, gems, games, books, toys, and jewelry.
Classes: Family and children's weekend classes, for ages three and up, explore everything from magic to mechanics to mummies, with art-making often thrown into the mix. Many meet for just one session ... and many fill, so register as far in advance as possible.
Homeschoolers have their own selection of choose from, and computer classes are held in the Learning Technologies Center, down on the education level with the class and party rooms.
The museum also offers programs at the Warner Nature Center.
Summer camps: Hands-on experiences and fun learning opportunities abound at the Science Museum when school's out. Half-day and full-day camps are offered for kids ages four to 16.
Birthday parties: Reserve well in advance for these popular packages for ages four and up. Pick a theme from the catalog, and add on options such as Omnitheater admission or pizza, if you please. The basic package includes an hour of hands-on activities in a private room, followed by 30 minutes for cake and punch (provided), decorations and paper goods, and free admission to the exhibit halls. Kids make something to take home - be it dragon eyeballs or dinosaur eggs - and the birthday child gets a special button; $215 non-members; $175 members, for 10 guests.
Membership, at $95/family, provides unlimited exhibit access, free admission to the Omnitheater - or a discount on any special features showing, and discounts on classes, lectures, parties, and summer camps. Members receive a handy monthly newsletter with info on upcoming programming and invitations to members-only events.