The American Swedish Institute
- 2600 Park Ave. S, Minneapolis, MN
- $6 for adults, $5 ages 62 and above, $4 ages 6-18. Children under six are admitted free when accompanied by an adult.
- Restrooms with changing tables available.
I wasn’t sure the kids would be excited about a trip to the American Swedish Institute, but when I billed it as a castle (as the Museum Adventure Pass page described it), they were excited to go.
We arrived on a Sunday afternoon and the volunteer at the desk mentioned that they had a kids’ guide in the gift shop. $2 later, we were on our way with little “Tomte” to explore the mansion. The guide was very well written, taking us turn by turn through the estate, and telling us what to look for in the rooms. The kids love scavenger hunts, so this was right up their alley. At the end of the tour, there was an alcove where kids could write letters to Tomte and try to catch a glimpse of him outside. The guidebook also has plenty of activities for the kids to do at home.
In the basement, there is a small hands-on children’s area, but the rest of the place is look-don’t-touch. There is a small elevator, but the place is not particularly stroller-friendly so we left ours in the car.
There was a free concert with refreshments in the lower level, which the older kids enjoyed. The gift shop has a variety of items, including Swedish treats to eat. (I’m saving my chocolate bar for a rainy day.)
No photography is allowed in the mansion, so I don’t have pictures to show you of the intricate woodwork and other pieces that are found throughout the house.
Without the children’s guidebook, this would not have been a great stop with children, but Tomte’s tour made it interesting for them and educational as well.