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Walker Art Center
Dubbed “possibly the best contemporary art museum in the U.S.” by Newsweek, the Walker Art Center has been a spot for modern and contemporary art lovers alike since it started as the Upper Midwest’s first public art gallery in 1927. The museum's collection focuses on media, performing and visual arts, showcasing a collection that contains more than 11,000 works. During your visit here don’t miss making a stop at the adjacently located Minneapolis Sculpture Garden to see the iconic Spoonbridge and Cherry, along with 40 other sculptures.
See what resulted from a collaboration between a choreographer and a Japanese haute couture designer in Dance Works III: Merce Cunningham/Rei Kawakubo (through March 24). This exhibit features costumes, photographs, video interviews and memorabilia from the pairs work for the 1997 dance Scenario, all within a space that echoes the original setting and score. As the Walker’s first group painting show in more than a decade, Painter, Painter (continuing)showcases recent works by approximately 15 artists from the U.S. and Europe, most of who are under the age of 40. Named for the 1938 film, Midnight Party (continuing) digs into various reflections on the world that spawn from dreams, fantasies, meditations and visions. More than 100 artists are featured in this exhibit that contains close to 150 drawings, films, paintings, photographs, prints and sculptures.
Good to know: The museum offers free admission on Thursdays from 5-9 p.m. as well as the first Saturday of each month. Children under 18 free daily.
1750 Hennepin Avenue
Minnesota Children’s Museum
Dig, dance or draw—and learn while you’re at it. The Minnesota Children’s Museum believes play is at the heart of learning and seeks to make it fun for the young and old alike. Parents are welcome to join in and help reinforce their kids’ learning while the young ones crawl, climb and scamper through interactive exhibits that promote development, creativity and imagination.
Take an adventure with Dora and Diego (continuing). Kids will be too busy sliding down the purple planet with Dora and Boots, donning a spacesuit and piloting a ship and helping care for the animals in Diego’s Animal Rescue Center to realize they’re learning problem-solving skills and Spanish vocabulary. Secrets of Circles (continuing) reveals the mystery behind these shapes and how they influence our daily lives. Kids can create circle ripples on a digital table or climb inside a giant tire to witness firsthand how math, science and engineering intersect. The Children’s Museum also has several renowned exhibits open year-round, including Earth World and Habitot.
Don’t miss: Seeing your little star perform hits on stage as they watch themselves light up the big screen in the Our Worlds exhibit.
10 W. Seventh Street
St. Paul, MN
Minnesota History Center
Come learn about the 32nd state at the Minnesota History Center, home of the Minnesota Historical Society’s collections. The museum pieces together artifacts from the past and shows how they have influenced the state as it exists today. Interactive exhibits and fun twists on history means there’s plenty to keep kids entertained as well.
Commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War by visiting the History Center’s Minnesota and the Civil War exhibit (opens March 2). It may come as a surprise that Minnesota—a state that saw no battles on its soil—made significant contributions to the Union effort, including the first Union volunteer (Aaron Greenwald of Anoka) and longest-surviving veteran (bugler Albert Woolson of Duluth), but these are just a couple examples of the state’s accolades. Then Now Wow, the largest exhibit in the museum’s history and designed with kids in mind, presents all of the “wow” moments from Minnesota’s past and present. To hear the stories of those who experienced the Great Depression, WWII and post-war boom, head to the Minnesota’s Greatest Generation exhibit where you can join a Rosie the Riveter style assembly line or watch a recreation of a WWII combat flight.
Good to know: Time your visit right and take advantage of free admission every Tuesday evening (5-8 p.m.)
345 W. Kellogg Boulevard
St. Paul, MN