When we went to see the Declaration of Independence, we also got tickets to see the rest of the History Center, using our Minnesota Historical Society membership. New this year is the “Sesqui-Scouts” program, where you can ask for a button and get a discount on admission to historic sites or on membership to MNHS. If you head to any Minnesota historic sites in 2008, be sure to ask for or wear your Sequi-Scouts badge.
We’ve been to the History Center before, but they’ve added some new exhibits recently.
While I was waiting in line for the Declaration of Independence, my husband took the kids up to the weather exhibit. My 7-year-old especially likes the model of the St. Paul Winter Carnival Ice Castle that lights up. the didn’t take time to go into the house basement during the tornado this time around.
When we went back to the History Center after being at the Capitol, Grainland was the kids’ first request. Grainland is a mock-up of a grain elevator that kids can climb and slide in, and it’s a great place for kids to run off some energy while possibly learning a little something.
Then we headed over to the mock-up of a house in St. Paul that includes the history of the many families who have lived there over the years. A guide outside the house spoke directly to the kids. “Now, kids, when you’re in this house, I want you to snoop around and open as many drawers and doors as you can to find clues about the people who lived here.” The kids took that advice to heart and enjoyed finding information about the families and playing in the “backyard.”
The Minnesota 150 exhibit showcased 150 special things about Minnesota, its history, and its people. The highlight there for the kids was driving the Greyhound bus. (Did you know Greyhound originated in Minnesota?)
Unfortunately, the museum was closing so we had to cut our visit short. We’ll have to return again this summer because I really want to see the “Suburban World” exhibit of Norling photographs.