Science Museum of Minnesota

Science Museum of Minnesota
Science Museum of Minnesota (Photo credit: jpellgen)

Updated Feb 2014

Science Museum of Minnesota
Hours: Open daily 9:30 – 5:30 Memorial Day through Labor Day
Prices for Museum Exhibits
$13.00 for adults
$ 10 students 4 – 12 and seniors w/ AARP card
Free Children under 4
Location: 120 W Kellogg Boulevard, St. Paul, Minnesota 55102
Parking: Rates vary by ramp and if there are any special events occurring. Science Museum ramp charge approximately $6 – $8 depending on how long the visit.
Coupons: none available at this time

The Science Museum of Minnesota is a wonderful museum for families to spend the day learning about a wide variety of sciences. The hands on displays and experiments allow kids of all ages to learn about chemistry, biology, geology and paleontology. There are 7 permanent galleries, 2 travelling exhibit galleries, an omnitheatre and several smaller shows available daily at the museum. The omnitheatre tickets and some travelling exhibits will charge an extra fee for admittance. The 7 permanent galleries are:

1.    Mississippi River Gallery
2.    Human Body Gallery
3.    Cell Lab
4.    Collections Gallery
5.    Experiment Gallery
6.    Dinosaurs and Fossils Gallery
7.    Big Back Yard – seasonal gallery

Each gallery has hands on displays and information specific to the topic. Some galleries also have shown and scientists available to answer questions.

Mississippi River Gallery
This is the first exhibit guests walk into when entering the museum galleries. The highlight of this gallery is the tug boat that everyone can climb into and explore. The boat has an upper area where the captain would steer the ship. The stairway up is quite small and only one person at a time can go up or down so there is some waiting required when the museum is busy. This area also has a river pilot simulator where guests can try to steer a variety of boats down the river.

Human Body Gallery
Guests can learn all about the human body in this gallery. This gallery has a show in the perception theatre with a 20 minute show that teaches about how the human brain functions. The show is free and very fun. This gallery also has displays on the bloodstream and other body parts. The human body gallery is right next to the Cell Lab and the two galleries complement each other.

The Cell Lab
This is the only area of the museum with specific age requirements. The cell lab has 7 different experiments for kids to perform that will teach them about the human body and some of its parts. All items needed are provided for each experiment and the steps are given on an interactive computer screen. There are several experiments that can be done by 1st graders and some that required guests to be 10 and up. Each experiment does take 20 to 30 minutes and there is limited space.

Collection Corner
This is a fun and interactive gallery for kids of all ages. The museum encourages kids to bring in two natural objects to trade. The objects are ‘priced’ with points and the points can be redeemed for other natural objects available. There are a lot of rocks and crystals to trade for. Additional points can be earned for knowing about the items that are traded in. This is a fun way for kids to get something interesting to bring home from their day at the Minnesota Science Museum. This area also has a several interesting displays including questionable medical devices and a real mummy.

Experiment Gallery
This gallery is located near the human body gallery and the cell lab. There are a variety of hands on experiments and displays that teach guests about tornados, steam power and air currents. Each experiment has directions and younger guests may need help reading the instructions.

Dinosaur and Fossil Gallery
This gallery has a small play area specifically for the youngest guests. There are also large fossils of some dinosaur favorites, including a stegosaurus and triceratops. Future paleontologists can take a look at fossils up close and learn about where they can do their own fossil hunting in the twin cities area.

Big Back Yard
This gallery is open seasonally. There is a miniature golf course available for an additional fee. There is a natural maze of prairie plants for kids to explore. The best part of this exhibit is the large water and sand exhibit where water runs over a large incline of sand. Kids can mold the sand into dams, pools and ridges to see how the running water effects what they build. It is a lot of fun for all ages.

On Site Food
There is a food court on the top level of the science museum as well as a small snack counter in the lobby and another café area near the dinosaur gallery. Food is not allowed in any of the exhibits but may be brought on site.

Tips and Tricks
Here are some ideas to help make your next visit to the Science Museum of Minnesota more fun:

1.    Skip the Mississippi River Gallery when you first arrive if there is a line – this is where everyone stops first so it can be a good idea to hit it later in the day when there are less people in the area.
2.    Go directly to the cell lab upon arrival and choose one of the experiments to do. They take about 20-30 minutes and are a lot of fun. Often this area is busy later in the day.
3.    Bring in two natural items to trade at the collectors corner.
4.    Don’t miss the musical stairs that go from the upper level down to the main level.
5.    Listen for the chimes. Whenever a chime is heard there is an earthquake somewhere in the world. The tone and length of time played indicate the location and strength of the earthquake.
6.    Watch one of the shows at the Science Live Stage on the bottom floor. These short presentations are interesting and informative.
7.    Take a look out the windows. The Science Museum has breathtaking views of the Mississippi River.
8.    If you will visit more than once in a year, get a membership. This provides entrance to the exhibits, reduced prices for traveling exhibits and the Omni Theater and parking.

The Science Museum of Minnesota is a great place to visit for families and kids who want to learn about the world around them.

There are many fun family museums in the Twin Cities area. Here are some more suggestions:

Minnesota Children’s Museum
Minnesota Zoo

If you found this information helpful, be sure to sign up for our weekly newsletter filled with information on upcoming events from around the Twin Cities. For only $4 per month you will get a list of family friendly activities as well as information on discounts and promotions.

2 thoughts on “Science Museum of Minnesota

  1. Kimbra Doil September 3, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    It sounds like an incredible travel trip. I’d love to see much more pictures. Our next vacation is in about 6 month so i can just read and dream of travelling through the world .

Comments are closed.