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As Children's Museum renovates, a play space will 'pop-up' at MOA

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The newest tenant at the Mall of America isn't selling shoes or high-end fashion, but playful learning.

That's what the Minnesota Children's Museum hopes the mall's younger visitors will experience at its new "pop-up" play space, opening at the megamall in Bloomington this fall.

According to a press release, the new storefront will feature "hands-on exhibits that help children develop skills through play," similar to the galleries at the museum's St. Paul home.

Scheduled to operate until January 2017 while the museum undergoes a $28 million expansion project, the 4,440-square-foot storefront's attractions will include a Ball-o-Rama, an adventure through the age of the dinosaurs, as well as Clifford the Big Red Dog and Curious George exhibits.

Two exhibits will be featured at a time.

The new space will give Twin Cities families an alternative to the museum's home site, where construction on new galleries, a cafe and a skyway entrance are beginning this fall will lead to some temporary closures, the release says.

According to the museum's website, the expansion will also include a four-story climbing tower, a new reception area and more bathrooms. The project is expected to increase the facility's space by 34 percent.

The museum says the St. Paul site will remain open for most of the construction, but will close in September 2016 and stay that way until the following January (when the pop-up space at the mall is scheduled to close).

The play space at the mall is scheduled to open in late September; admission prices have not been set.

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