Ever want to take your kids somewhere and not have the resources or know where to go? Your public library has been home to a great resource for families just like yours. The Museum Adventure Pass is a great way to be able to regularly take advantage of various deals on adventures for your family. To use get a pass simply go to any MELSA library in the Twin Cities and use your library card to check out an available pass. Passes are good for a week and are available on a first come first served basis. However, you can use the libraries computer tracking system to see what passes are available at the library of your choice. The Museum Adventure Pass can get you free admission for two to any of the following attractions:
American Swedish institute, Minneapolis A great place to explore Swedish culture and activities. Children and adults alike can discover the journey of an immigrant family to America. There are tons of exhibits of Swedish art, craft and heritage to view and interact with. Make sure you plan your trip carefully- the ASI is open only on Tuesday and Thursday thru Saturday. They will be closed for some renovations this year from May 2nduntil the fall of 2011.
Museum of Russian Art, Minneapolis- The only museum exclusively dedicated to Russian art and artifacts in the Nation is right here in Minnesota. A great way to learn about a culture is through their art, and this museum really meets that. Best suited for a trip with school aged children, this adventure is available every day and has free parking.
Minnesota History Center, St. Paul– This is a great way to let your child experience all things Minnesotan. Exhibit about Minnesota history are hands on and frequently updated. Also some special traveling and featured exhibits include national historical figures like George Washington and Benjamin Franklin. Some admission to special exhibits may not be covered by the adventure pass. The History Center is open every day except Mondays. One of the great things about this adventure is that there is a large indoor play place themed after a farm for your kids to climb and play.
Bell Museum of Natural History, Minneapolis-Let your family experience all of the Minnesota habitats under one roof. Awesome dioramas feature Minnesota wildlife and a touch a feel room lets people have tactile experiences with snakes, antlers and more. This trip is great for doing some hands on research about wildlife in Minnesota. The Bell Museum is open every day except for Mondays.
Firefighters Hall and Museum, Minneapolis-Though only open on Saturdays, this Museum has heroic adventure written all over it. Kids can have hands on experiences doing things like pumping water, riding a fire truck and sliding down the pole. There are also displays of vintage equipment, photographs and prevention videos. Special exhibits may be extra.
Hennepin History Museum, Minneapolis- This is a great way to study social history. Covering past present and future, Hennepin History Museum explores everything from rural to urban life. See artifacts and exhibits from days gone by and understand how we have gotten to where we are now. This can also be a great place to help bring the old family stories to life. Open every day but Mondays, this museum is sure to help put a handle on local history.
Foshay Museum and Observation Deck, Minneapolis- Check out a piece of history in person. Foshay tower is the only building in the world modeled after the Washington Monument and in on the National register of Historical Places. Art and architecture enthusiasts can check out the Art Deco design, while history buffs can explore its history since 1929. The greatest part of this experience is the open air observation deck with a flawless 360 degree view of the Twin Cities. Open daily, this is a fun trip anytime.
The Works, Edina– A great hands on experience for science and technology adventures. Best suited for children 5 and older, explore the science behind mechanical devices, electrical equipment and more. They are only open Thursday thru Saturday so plan ahead. Parking is free, but there are no picnic facilities on site.
Minnesota Streetcar Museum, Excelsior- Take a trip back to the days when streetcars were the cool way to get around town. Try a streetcar ride on one of two short length (1 mile) rail lines with your child. This attraction is open primarily during warm months beginning in May, but there are special extra events in October, November and December too.
Minnesota Transportation Museum, St Paul- If your child is a “Thomas” fan, this museum of trains and busses will be a hit. Explore a round house, caboose and more to learn how transportation has changed over the years in Minnesota. Your child can also experience what it takes to drive a train when they explore the Engine. This attraction is only open on Wednesdays and Saturdays, so be sure to plan in advance.
The Landing, Shakopee- The Landing is a village from the Minnesota Settlement era of the 1800s. Ride horse drawn trolleys and experience the pioneer culture that began Minnesota. Open from May through the summer months primarily, but there are special events in December as well. Your children will be amazed at what the world was like before the TV and computers. Your family can choose guided or independent walking tours all week long, and extra building access during Heritage Days.
Bakken Museum, Minneapolis- Dedicated to the mysteries of electricity, the Bakken helps you discover where it all began. Explore electric devices, make shocking discoveries and even sit in on a cool Frankenstein exhibit that your older children will be sure to love! This museum is targeted for school aged children, but does have some fun elements that will appeal to younger children. Located on lake Calhoun, there are plenty of places for picnicking and parking is free. The Bakken is open Thursday thru Saturday so plan ahead.
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis- If your family is into Modern and Contemporary Art, then the walker is a must see stop for you. Displays of traditional art forms abound and are accented with electronic and video pieces. Artistic dance, music and performance pieces are presented as well. This location has wonderful outdoor areas that you can picnic in for some extra enjoyment. Open daily except for Mondays, this place is an easy to see treat.