Mill City Museum
704 S 2nd St, Minneapolis, MN. 612-341-7555. www.millcitymuseum.org
$8 adults, $6 seniors and college students, $4 ages 6-17, 5 and under free. Parking available nearby for a fee. Stroller accessible. Restrooms available. Cafe on premises.
Many people from greater Minnesota have a fear of driving in the Twin Cities area. My husband and I are both pretty adept at driving in “The Cities,” but we’ve never been comfortable getting around downtown Minneapolis. So for a July 4th outing, we parked the car at the Mall of America, took the light-rail train to the Metrodome station, and walked the last few blocks to Mill City.
Mill City is one of the newest Minnesota Historical Society sites. It lies in the ruins of the Washburn A Mill along the Mississippi River and tells the story of the flour mills that once were prevalent in that area. A highlight of the visit is always the ride in the “Flour Tower,” which goes up and down to depict different scenes from the flour mill. At the top, there’s a beautiful view of the riverfront. Back at the bottom, there’s always fresh bread in the test kitchen, and the kids are welcome to try their hand at rolling some dough. The exhibits tell not only of the mills, but of the international products that have come from the Minnesota mills and baking companies. The kids love the room with the various water activities, where they can try their hand at sorting logs in the river, and the play table where they can get their goods from farm to market.
A new addition since our last visit was the film “Minneapolis in 19 Minutes Flat,” and interesting and comedic history of Minneapolis, which was fast-moving enough to keep the kids interested.
After our visit to Mill City, we wandered around the new Guthrie Theater, which is right next door, before walking two blocks to the Old Spaghetti Factory for an early supper and heading back on the light rail.
Although it’s not particularly a children’s museum, the kids have enjoyed the two visits we’ve made there, and it’s on their list of places to go again next summer.
I really liked going on the elevator.
I liked the Flour Tower. I also liked the train car loaded with flour.