Apr 29 2010
We stopped at the Bell Museum of Natural History on the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis on our way to the Gophers football scrimmage last weekend. Since we were already on the campus, and had the car parked, it was the perfect time to check out this science museum that we hadn’t visited before.
The primary exhibits of the museum are a series of dioramas depicting wildlife and their various habitats. The glass of most of the dioramas extends to the ground, so even young children can see them without difficulty. The dioramas are divided between the first and second floors of the museum by the type of animal featured. There are scavenger hunt cards available for kids as well, so that they can try to find various items as they explore the museum.
For hands-on fun, the Touch and Feel Room offers the opportunity to pick up rocks, shells, animal skins, and more, and staff will assist you if you want to touch a snake or other animal.
We also enjoyed the special exhibits–posters telling of the U of M’s work in developing fruit, vegetable, and grain varieties over the years–and an exhibit about how families eat around the world. I liked learning that the Beacon apple was developed in the 1930′s, and seeing the foods that are common around the world, as well as what they cost. The food exhibit also included a staffed hands-on area for kids.
While not as interactive as other museums, you should go to the Bell Museum if your kids like dioramas, or if there are special exhibits that interest your family.
If you go to the Bell Museum, do no follow the map that shows up if you Google “Bell Museum.” It’s not accurate. Follow the directions on the museum’s website to be sure you get to the right place.
This post was included in Spotlight Thursdays at Trekaroo. Check out Spotlight Thursdays each week for great ideas of fun family things to do.