Science Museum of Minnesota ~ Saint Paul, Minnesota

Our second day of vacation in the Twin Cities brought us to several different museums, our first stop was the Science Museum of Minnesota. Admission prices to get in are a little higher, but several friends on Facebook had informed me that it would be well worth the cost. As we approached the museum, we noticed a TON of buses dropping off school groups for the day…..not a great start. We tried to do parking at the museum, but couldn’t seem to approach the garage the necessary way even though we were using GoogleMaps so we just opted to park near the Landmark Center and walked to the museum. This opted to be a much better choice (although slightly more expensive), as we walked to all the other locations we wanted to visit that day and this parking garage was more centrally located to all of our stops.

You enter the Lobby on what is actually the 5th floor, and the first level that contains exhibits. There was a very short line for us to buy our admission in and they give you and wristband to show that you paid. The Lobby is also home to the visitor center for the Mississippi River National Recreation Area, although we’d visited a different visitor center for that a few years back so we skipped that and headed straight into the exhibit area.

The first level (Level 5) focuses on the Mississippi River and is aptly named the Mississippi River Gallery. Here you can explore the history of the Mississippi River and learn about Lake Itasca, the source that starts it all. They also have a towboat on display that you can climb in and explore.

From there, we took the elevator down to the next level, which offered several different exhibits. The first was called “Weighing the Evidence” which gave you a chance to explore and learn about different questionable medical devices that have been used throughout history. The next section was an exhibit on Race and whether or not we are as different as we think. The final section to explore on Level 4 was The Human Body Gallery. This part was really neat as it had an interactive display on how blood is pumped through your body and a giant hand that showed different common sores that change the texture of your hand from warts to blisters to scabs and scars.

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We took the stairs down to the final level of exhibits, Level 3. Here is the floor where you can find the dinosaurs. We are not big dinosaur people, so skipped that portion, but greatly enjoyed the other two exhibit areas down there, despite me not taking any pictures as we were too buy interacting with the exhibits. The first section was Math Moves, which lets you use your body to conduct interactive experiments with how math affects many things in our every day life. The other exhibit was our personal favorite: Sportsology. This area gave hands on experiences in the science of balance, running, hitting a racket, playing lacrosse, and even jumping high enough to dunk a basketball. We had so much fun in this section and that alone made us feel like we got our money’s worth out of our admission price.

Before we left that level, and the museum, we decided to grab a quick snack at Chomp!, the concession area on Level 3. We wound up sharing a Bavarian pretzel and was more than enough of a shared snack for lunch as we weren’t super hungry after a larger breakfast at the hotel. They also offer more filling options for food, as well as a full blown restaurant on Level 6 that offers views of the river.

We were glad to say we stopped by the museum to give it a try, but probably wouldn’t revisit unless we were traveling with kids. However, it still made for a fun morning.

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