One of the many benefits of being in the Twin Cities area is the museums the region has to offer. Families can enjoy time together learning about all sorts of different things without driving farther than an hour. The hardest part is deciding which museum to visit first. Part of that might depend on what you want to learn. Here are just a few of the options your family has in the region.
Museum of Lake Minnetonka
The Museum of Lake Minnetonka is just a half an hour drive away from Chanhassen and features the history of streetcar boats that were launched in 1906 by the Twin Cities Rapid Transit Company. The boats were designed to resemble streetcars and served the summer cottages and resorts on Big Island Park, carrying passengers to locations around the lake. The boats stopped operating in 1925 after automobiles took over transportation needs, but they have since been restored and have resumed serving the public. The history of the transport can be viewed within the museum from the beginning all the way through the restoration project to today. Visitors can also take cruises on the boats to see the area from a new vantage point.
Wings of the North Air Museum
For those who love planes, the Wings of the North Air Museum is a great destination in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. The museum holds three award-winning aircraft, all of which have been beautifully restored. In addition to those aircraft, the museum has other traveling aircraft that come and go throughout the year as well as engines, ejection seats, and other displays. The Museum is $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 7-17. Kids under the age of 7 are free. Keep in mind that the museum is free to everyone on the second Sunday of the month, so that is always a good time to visit.
The Minneapolis Institute of Art
This museum is the most complete collection of art in the state. The Minneapolis Institute of Art is known for its Chinese collection, but also has a full breadth of art from prehistoric carvings all the way through contemporary media. Some of the most popular pieces include Picasso, Van Gogh, Rembrandt, and more. Art lovers enjoy browsing the moving exhibits as well as some of the standard favorites. Visitors can reserve tickets online and visit the museum Thursday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Memberships are also available for locals who love checking out the various exhibits that come through the area.
The Bakken Museum
The Bakken Museum of Minneapolis was named for Earl Bakken, who grew up in the city and founded Medtronic in 1949, a medical equipment repair company. The company began devising its own items with special purposes, including the first wearable external pacemaker. The museum showcases newly renovated spaces, like Frankenstein’s Laboratory. Kids and adults can try out Ben Franklin’s favorite electricity experiments and enjoy the potentials of science, technology, and humanities all in one place. Plan to visit Tuesday through Saturday anytime from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adults are $11 while kids ages 4 to 17 are $6. Younger kids are free.
Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul
The Science Museum of Minnesota is an attraction that puts wow on the lips of both kids and adults. The permanent exhibits include weather experiments, full dinosaur skeletons, and a trading post where you can swap artifacts. For the summer, the museum features a riverside mini-golf course and the Omni theater gives large-scale film experiences all year long. Touring exhibits come through often as well with NASA space expeditions, Titanic artifacts, and more. Visitors can come Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets need to be reserved online.
Bell Museum of Natural History
On the University of Minnesota’s campus in Minneapolis, the Bell Museum of Natural History offers historic relics around every corner. Visitors can tour taxidermy dioramas that go through the flora and fauna of the state, and there are also hands-on experiences and interactive opportunities. The collections are brought to life by naturalists and interpreters that infuse history into every item. Summer camps are available and kids can enjoy virtual camps as the in-person camps are already filled up. Visit the museum Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with advanced, reserved tickets.
The Museum of Russian Art
For those who love art and different cultures, The Museum of Russian Art is an intriguing stop in Minneapolis. Children under the age of 13 are free while students and military only pay $5. Seniors over 65 are $11 and adults are $13. Admission is paid upon entrance with no advance reservations needed. Families often enjoy exploring the galleries with a Seek and Find activity, provided by the museum, which has rotating art displays and special exhibits that come through each year. Overall, the museum promotes the understanding of history throughout Russia through the artwork in the exhibits.
Hennepin History Museum
The local Hennepin History Museum promotes the history of the region by collecting stories and other artifacts from the county. The museum was started in 1938 and the space in the 44-room mansion gives the museum plenty of educational areas. With plenty of programs and tours open to the public, the museum has something for everyone. The hours are Thursdays and Fridays 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adults cost $8 and students and seniors are $5. The Great Room always features an Introduction to Hennepin County while some of the traveling exhibits include things like Local Heroes.
Now that Crème de la Crème of Chanhassen, MN has shown you some educational museum activities to enjoy in the area, you can look into furthering your child’s education with our programs. With before and after school programs, summer camps, and a high-level curriculum, we can help your child not only learn but enjoy the learning process. Call us for admission and enrollment details or to schedule a tour of our facilities.