Duluth Children’s Museum
506 W. Michigan St., Duluth, MN. 218-733-7543. www.duluthchildrensmuseum.org
$10 adults, $5.50 ages 3-13, 2 and under free; admission also includes Duluth Art Institute, Lake Superior Railroad Museum, Veteran’s Memorial, and the St. Louis County Historical Society exhibits in the same building. Parking adjacent (fee?). Stroller accessible. Restrooms available.
Reciprocal admission through ACM and ASTM (see “Adventures on a Budget” for more information).
The Duluth Children’s Museum is part of the Depot, a complex that includes a train museum, veteran’s memorial, art museum, and county historical exhibits, so when we made our plans, I expected we’d be there most of the day. We arrived just as the museum opened on a crisp January morning and paid our admission, then visited the train museum first. Then we made our way across the hallway to the children’s museum.
As children’s museums go, this one is small, but it does have some of the traveling exhibits I’ve seen at other museums. On the lower level, there were two exhibit areas, and upstairs another exhibit area and a hallway displaying children’s toys through the years. Connecting the two is a treehouse staircase. As an adult, the treehouse isn’t spectacular, but my parents had taken us to the museum when I was a young child, and I fondly remembered the treehouse. It’s just a lot bigger when you’re small than when you’re grown! An elevator is also available for moving strollers up and down.
Although the museum is small, it had enough to keep the kids busy for a while, but because of their different interests and the fun of playing in the treehouse, it was hard to keep track of them. Eventually my husband went downstairs and I stayed up so we could successfully keep an eye on all of our children.
The museum is located in downtown Duluth, and we didn’t find any eating establishments nearby (within a quick walking distance) so I was glad we saw what we wanted before lunch, when we made the short drive to the Canal Park area to eat. I believe there were vending machines with snacks in the building, so you could probably tide the kids over if you needed to, but but there is no on-site cafe.
Combined with the train museum, this was a nice stop for us although the children’s museum itself isn’t as spectacular as some others. A note about membership, however–their membership rates that include reciprocities with ACM and/or ASTM are some of the best bargains in the country.