Open for Play!

Our exhibits spark children’s learning through play.
The experiences are open-ended, allowing children to explore, create and pursue their own interests.
Children build their brains and bodies during a visit to Minnesota Children’s Museum.


Thomas & Friends™: Explore the Rails!

Open Jan. 15 through May 8, 2022

The world’s most beloved blue engine is rolling into St. Paul! Inspired by the popular children’s series and featuring beloved engines and destinations from Thomas & Friends™, this interactive exhibit engages children and families in foundational skills that foster STEM literacy through playful learning experiences.

Visitors will be delighted as they find themselves surrounded by the Island of Sodor’s iconic locations including Knapford Station and Sodor Steamworks. Children will test their abilities as they help Thomas and his friends solve a variety of challenges, with the smiling faces of Thomas, Percy, Victor and others there to offer encouragement.

© 2022 Gullane (Thomas) Limited. Thomas & Friends™: Explore the Rails! was created by Minnesota Children’s Museum, presented by Fisher-Price.

The Scramble

Make your way up two different four-story climbers and test your courage on a 40-foot high catwalk. Whirl and whoosh back down on a giant spiral slide. Socks are required.

The Studio | Target Gallery

Spin, twirl and rotate with spin art. Run a marker across paper on a turntable and test your balance skills by spinning markers to create designs. Or use a spirograph to make beautiful mathematical patterns.

Creativity Jam | Target Gallery

Get creative with big and delightful blocks. The colorful interlocking pieces offer endless possibilities of large-scale creations. Children and adults show off their creative thinking.


Designed especially for toddlers, youngsters climb stairs, venture over a bridge and go down a slide before experimenting at a light table and splashing in a one-of-a-kind water table. Kids may get wet!


Get outside to check out plants, the queen ant from the previous version of Our World and a variety of sculptures made from unexpected objects.

Our World | Best Buy Gallery

Step into a pretend town with a post office, fire station, farmers market, hardware store and food stand. Kids take on new roles, try out new words, make friends and act out adventures.

Forces at Play | 3M Gallery

Spray and scrub a wacky vehicle in the car wash. Engineer your own play with ramps, tubes, balls and cars. Children build critical thinking by building and experimenting. Kids may get wet while playing. 

Shipwreck Adventures

COMING THIS WINTER! Maneuver your way through a 20-foot sunken ship hull in this fully immersive “underwater” experience. Laser maze and green screen climbing wall are open during installation.


Star in your own space adventure. Fly a ship, crawl through tunnels and explore a satellite. Kids stretch their imaginations and build on each other’s stories.

Tip Top Terrace

Take in the sights and sounds of the city. Touch, smell and taste plants in the sensory garden. Play with light by turning a giant kaleidoscope. Paint with brushes and water.

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