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St. Paul Museum Facts

  • Mission: Sparking children’s learning through play
  • 11 Hand-On Exhibits: 10 permanent exhibits, plus a gallery for special exhibits
  • Kid-Powered Play: Open-ended activities that build brains and bodies
  • Amenities: Café and coffee bar, store, party spaces, comfort rooms
  • Renovation: Opened as an all-new museum in June 2017 following a major renovation and expansion
Exhibits

The museum is dynamic. Many of the experiences and materials within the permanent exhibits change to keep the museum fresh and engaging.

First Floor

The Scramble

Four-story vertical adventure with climbing towers, spiral slide and netted catwalk suspended more than 40-feet high

 

Forces at Play

Air-powered ball launchers and a wacky car wash

 

Super Awesome Adventures

Laser maze, carpet skates, balance boards and green-screen climbing wall

 

Backyard

Quirky outdoor space for exploring the natural world (opening June 2017)

 
Second Floor

Imaginopolis

A fantastical play space where children shape and share their own stories

 

Creativity Jam

Lively and bright collaborative space with face-painting, loose parts and surprising materials

 

Sprouts

Joyful landscape of discovery for babies and toddlers

 

Fourth Floor

Our World

Kids play various roles in a vibrant Minnesota city with a fire station, hardware store, post office, food stand and more

 

The Studio

Visitors tinker, make and create with real tools and authentic materials

 

Tip Top Terrace

Outdoor space on the roof to see, hear and talk about the city (opening June 2017)

 

Fun for Kids Up to 12 & Older

Activities in the museum are designed for kids up to age 12 (or even older). Kids of all ages enjoy many of the exhibits, but here’s a general guide on exhibits by age.

Activities geared toward older kids (5-12):

  • The Scramble – Two climbing towers, spiral slide and netted catwalk
  • Super Awesome Adventures – Laser maze, climbing wall, space race and balance boards
  • The Studio – Maker space with real tools and authentic materials
  • Creativity Jam – Collaborative art and building, plus stop-motion animation

Activities enjoyed by younger kids (0-5):

  • Sprouts – Joyful landscape of discovery for babies and toddlers
  • Our World – Pretend play town including post office, food stand, fire truck and more
  • Forces at Play – Air-powered ball launchers and a wacky car wash
  • Imaginopolis – Fantastical environment filled with loose parts
  • Tot Spots – Tot spots are located in Our World, The Scramble and Forces at Play

The two outdoor galleries are perfect for all ages to explore the natural world and city landscape.

Kid-Powered Play

The new exhibits focus on open-ended activities that put children and their imaginations in the driver’s seat.

  • Kids develop lifelong skills such as creative thinking, confidence, communication, collaboration, critical thinking and more
  • Imagining possibilities, tinkering, storytelling, sharing, working together, trying new things, making adjustments
  • Activities that put the focus more on the doing, less on the outcome
  • Activities without directions — seeing the power of kids figuring out things on their own
  • Avoiding telling children what to do and how to do it
  • Avoiding asking kids to memorize facts and figures
Mission-Focused Nonprofit

The museum is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit community organization that relies on the donations of individuals, corporations and foundations to continue to provide one-of-a-kind experiences and education for children.

Inspiring More Play

The museum is dedicated to inspiring more play. Play is powerful and universal. It’s an innate impulse in kids that helps them thrive and grow into healthy, happy adults. Yet, pressures on play — like screen time, adult-led academic activities, safety worries and busy family schedules — continue to decrease the amount of time kids spend playing.

Through play, kids learn how to learn, build relationships with others, and develop life skills that set them up for future success. Equally important, when kids play, they have fun, which leads to joy and happiness. Play is not frivolous, it’s essential.

That’s why we’re focused on inspiring more play by providing a welcoming, safe place for kids and families to explore, discover and learn. We also offer resources for parents [Link to Parent Resource Center] to support their child’s playful learning.

Providing Access for All

The museum is committed to providing access to the museum for all families regardless of their income.

  • Play for All program: free museum memberships for qualifying families
  • Target Free Third Sundays: Free admission to the museum every third Sunday of each month for all visitors
  • Family Nights: Special nights offered to local organizations that specialize in supporting low income families
Museum Pricing
  • General admission tickets will cost $12.95 for ages 1 to 101. The previous price was $9.95. The museum has not increased its admission price since 2014.
  • Membership prices are $129 for Passport, $159 for Deluxe and $189 for Premier. Member families get unlimited free admission for a year. Previous membership pricing began at $99. For many families, the price of a membership pays for itself in two or three visits.
Museum History
  • 1981 – Museum opens in the Warehouse District of Minneapolis
  • 1985 – Museum moves to Bandana Square in St. Paul
  • 1995 – Museum moves to a newly constructed building in downtown St. Paul
  • 2017 – Newly expanded and renovated museum opens
2017 Renovation & Expansion

The museum went through a $30 million renovation to create a bigger, bolder, better museum. The renovation improved visitor flow, added more amenities and put more focus on open-ended activities that offer more variety and give kids space and freedom to explore and grow.

  • Construction began in December 2015
  • Museum closed in December 2016 to complete construction
  • Museum re-opens June 2017
  • Architect: MSR (Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle)
  • General contractor: JE Dunn Construction
  • Exhibit design support: Gyroscope, Inc.
  • Exhibit production support: KidZibits, VStar Entertainment Group
  • Funders and supporters: State of Minnesota, City of Saint Paul, Target, 3M, Best Buy and more than 350 corporations, foundations and individuals.
Museum Attendance & Other Facts
  • Attendance: More than 500,000 visitors per year to locations in St. Paul and Rochester
  • Members: 16,000 member families, including 3,500 free memberships for low-income families
Minnesota Children's Museum of Rochester
  • Mission: To enrich the lives of children, families and people in the Rochester area by creating shared, interactive experiences that engage children and families in the joy of play, the power of learning and a sense of community
  • Exhibits: Experiences rotate regularly and spark creativity and encourage new ideas
  • Visitors: 210,000 visitors to date who have explored the museum since April 2012
  • Members: 1,000 member families

News Media Contacts

Courtney Finn
Director of Strategic Communications
612-940-3280
cfinn@mcm.org

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Photo Credit: Courtesy Minnesota Children’s Museum

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