Exploring the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota
Whether you want to escape the winters cold or cool down from the summer’s heat, the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota is the perfect place to take your family for an afternoon of fun. The thing that I love most about this museum is that it’s like a slice of a Minnesota summer that has been brought indoors. Located in Mankato, Minnesota, the museum is about a ninety-minute drive southwest of the Twin Cities. The Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota will easily capture your child’s imagination and entertain your entire family.
Mankato Clinic Tree of Forts Climber
One of the exhibits that will immediately grab your attention is the enormous Mankato Clinic Tree of Forts Climber. This indoor tree house features a 17′ suspension bridge and six different “forts” or rooms where your kids can hang out. The forts are connected by a series of tubes and bridges. Inside the forts, there are beautiful murals that are sure to inspire your children’s imaginations. Rather than crawl up the tube to get to the first fort, I sent my camera up with the kids to take pictures of the fort and murals. My camera survived and they took some great pictures!
Grow it Gallery
The Grow It Gallery is one of the most beautiful exhibits I have seen. There is a gorgeous mural on the back wall that shows a scene of a Minnesota family farm. Your kids will love to climb aboard the restored antique tractor and pretend to drive. Kid’s will also love collecting eggs from the chicken coop! A large train table features a model of a farm and a feed mill/elevator where a train takes the crops to market. They can pretend to be a farmer by the garden where crops can be planted and harvested. After your kids harvest their crops, meet them at the store and kitchen where they can serve you up some “locally grown” produce. Regardless of what kind of toys your kids like to play with, there will be something that will grab their attention.
If you have kids who love to play with blocks, they will absolutely love Coughlan Quarry. Seriously, there is something in this conveyor belt that mesmerizes kids! They put the blocks on the belt, and turn a wheel until the blocks get dropped unto a second roller conveyor. They can also hook the blocks up to a crane where they again can turn a wheel to deliver their block over to a building area. Kids will enjoy digging in a large sand box with toy loaders and haulers to move sand around. The entire exhibit is surrounded by real Kasota limestone, which is an extremely durable stone that is mined in the Mankato area and used in construction. Kasota stone dates back to 450 million years!
The fun continues with several other exhibits. Little ones can play on the Infant/Toddler Play Porch. Outdoors you will find the Dotson Back Forty, a natural play area where kids can explore and create with natural materials. During the summer, children love seeing the animals at the Ridley Farm Animal Experience.
Our family truly enjoyed visiting the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota in Mankato. No matter what age, or interest, children will be sure to find exhibits that will spark their imagination and curiosity.
- Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota
- Visit Mankato
- My family and I also visited Reconciliation Park and the Blue Earth Historical Society where we learned about the Dakota Conflict of 1862. Click here to read more about this amazing part of Minnesota history.