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

Crane Lake

Flooding expected to worsen in MN's Arrowhead region

Hundreds of private homes are at-risk in northern St. Louis County.

St. Paul Police crash

St. Paul police: Kids in stolen car rammed squad, hid in porta-potty

The incident sent the Minnesota Capitol into a brief lockdown.


Watch: Storm updates after heavy hail slams Twin Cities

Sven Sundgaard is providing an update after Thursday's flash hail storm.

kim crockett facebook sos

MN GOP apologizes over antisemitic sequence in candidate's campaign video

Party leader says candidate didn't know the imagery perpetuated an antisemitic trope.

storm, severe

Tornado, severe thunderstorm watches issued in Minnesota

In addition to possible tornadoes, there is a threat for damaging winds and very large hail.

House sale keys door

High prices, stiff competition putting off homebuyers in Twin Cities

Prices continue to rise in the metro, but there are signs of buyer fatigue.

Screen Shot 2022-05-19 at 1.59.51 PM

Series of explosions at manufacturing plant injures 6 in Wisconsin

The blast rocked the Wisconsin town just before 7:45 a.m.

police lights squad car dark - Unsplash

Medford man dies in Le Sueur County crash

The 49-year-old was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.

Denisovan molar

MN researcher part of team behind 'revolutionary' discovery of ancient tooth in Laos

The molar found in a remote cave is believed to have belonged to a Denisovan girl who lived 164,000-130,000 years ago.

Eagle Ridge Middle School

Charges: Sting catches MN principal trying to hire child prostitute

Authorities alleged Mohamed Selim attempted to meet a 15-year-old girl for sex on Tuesday.

cub donuts 1

Nominate a 'local hero' to get a dozen Cub donuts from Salvation Army

The organization is looking for 1,000 volunteers to help with the effort in the metro.