5701 Normandale Rd, Edina, MN. 952-848-4848. www.theworks.org
$5 ages 3 and up, 2 and under free. Free parking. Stroller accessible (although I didn’t see any there). Restrooms available.
I heard about The Works a while ago, but since they’re only open to the public on Saturdays, we hadn’t made it there yet. A coupon for $1.50 off the $5 admission for the month of January was all the motivation I needed to head to Edina when we ended up with a free Saturday.
I saw that The Works was intended for ages 5 and up, so before we left I called to be sure my toddler and preschoolers would be welcome. We followed the directions given on the website to the Edina Community Center (a former school building), found a place to park, and found the third floor where we hung our coats in lockers. We paid our admission and were told about the day’s special projects that were going on in one room, and then were directed to the main area.
What a neat place! The rooms and displays aren’t anything fancy, but they sure have a lot to offer. It’s a small enough place that we could easily keep track of all four kids even if they were headed in different directions, but big enough and with enough different things to do that even when there were a lot of people there, it was busy but not crowded.
The kids wandered from thing to thing, often returning to something they had done earlier. From light sensors on street lights to mixing colors to turning water red with a laser to using pulleys to lift a sibling on a platform, there was a lot to learn in the fun. Other areas had toys that you wish you had at home–a block marble run on a table with edges so you don’t lose the marbles, a K’nex building area and a racetrack to test your creations, foam blocks to build an igloo or a castle, and more gears than you’ve seen before, all there for your imagination.
We went into the classroom and made paper airplanes, and tested them to see which designs were the best. It was a simple project, but one that I hadn’t yet introduced at home. The kids loved being able to sail their planes without getting in trouble.
Each of the kids had their favorite area of the museum. Our 6-year-old liked the computer that morphed pictures of himself. Our 5-year-old liked the marble run and the color-light area. Our 3-year-old had fun building with the foam blocks, and the toddler couldn’t get enough of the carnival-type mirrors.
The Works offers field trips during the week, and I’m passing along recommendations to our schools about that. They also offer birthday parties, and this is the first place I have ever considered renting for a party.
This is another one of those gems that you find every so often. It just may be one of the Twin Cities’ best-kept secrets for Saturday outings.
It was really cool. I really liked it. I liked building the castle and I also liked the electronic harp.
I liked building paper airplanes. I really liked it when Dad and I got to make race cars and we raced.