Skip to main content

$28 million expansion, renovation plan will 'reinvent' the Children's Museum

  • Author:
  • Updated:

On Friday, patrons, parents and fans of the Minnesota Children's Museum will get a look at its future as museum officials preview the prototypes for an expanded version of the space in downtown St. Paul.

The Pioneer Press reports the renovation that will begin this fall will expand the museum's footprint from 65,000 square feet to 74,000 square feet. The 13 percent increase in space will include a more prominent facade facing West Seventh Street, a new skyway entrance, coffee shop, and four-story climbing structure.

The Star Tribune reports museum officials indicate they are 82 percent of the way to their $28 million fundraising goal; $14 million of that came from the state bonding bill and about $9 million more has been raised from donors and the city of St. Paul.

The Children's Museum is regarded as one of downtown St. Paul's top visitor destinations, drawing more than 433,000 visitors from July 2013 to July 2014.

The construction at the museum is scheduled to begin in the fall. The museum will remain open until the fall of 2016, when it will close for about three months. It is expected to reopen in January 2017.

"We're reimagining the museum to give families new ways to play," said museum spokesman Robert Ingrassia. "Every gallery in the building is going to change."

On Saturday, the museum will lift the curtain on two new interactive exhibits.

"Make" is a hands-on learning workshop, featuring real hammers, real nails, sewing machines, fabric and other materials ready to be assembled by youngsters.

The "Imagine" display features a large gallery room will feature "movable and semi-movable objects," from inflatable yoga balls to tall, swiveling silos affixed to the ground. Colored lights, swaying wall cloth and a small stage complete the play area.

Next Up

Amber alert wisconsin

Amber Alert in Wisconsin: Search for missing 15-year-old girl

Police believe 15-year-old Kryssy King may be with a 22-year-old man.

Screen Shot 2022-10-01 at 10.18.12 AM

3 St. Paul fast food restaurants robbed in space of an hour

The thieves struck between 7:15 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Screen Shot 2022-10-01 at 9.06.40 AM

What to do with the Kmart site? Minneapolis wants your ideas

The project will connect Nicollet Avenue south of Lake street and north of the Midtown Greenway, reestablishing a street grid.

Screen Shot 2022-10-01 at 7.53.55 AM

Crowd evacuated at end of homecoming football game in Brooklyn Park

Police blamed 'unruly teens' in the stands and some who were trying to enter the stadium.


State to help 44 Minnesota gas stations add E15 pumps

The yellow 88 button is coming to more gas stations in Minnesota.

Screen Shot 2022-09-30 at 4.54.42 PM

FBI, police investigating bank robbery at Edina's 50th and France

An ATM technician was robbed by four men at a U.S. Bank.

Ethan Glynn

Paralyzed Bloomington football player begins rehabilitation in Colorado

Ethan Glynn is at a world-renowned rehabilitation hospital.

Press Bar fire

Owner of St. Cloud bar gets 6 years for arson, ordered to repay $3M

A February 2020 fire at the Press Bar and Parlor was later determined to be an insurance job.


Bloomington, Richfield districts tighten security ahead of weekend football

Enhanced safety measures will be in place this weekend.