Apr 29 2010

Bell Museum in Minneapolis, Minnesota

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.

Touch and Feel Room

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.

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Published by at 3:42 pm under Family Travel
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5 comments so far

5 Comments to “Bell Museum in Minneapolis, Minnesota”

  1. Debi on 29 Apr 2010 at 4:45 pm

    I love that this place offers a scavenger hunt card for kids. My 5 1/2 year old absolutely loves ‘em & it helps him really engage with his environment.

  2. minnemom on 29 Apr 2010 at 8:46 pm

    Yes, scavenger hunts are always a great way to keep kids involved, aren’t they?

  3. Bridget Smith on 03 May 2010 at 12:24 pm

    My kids love anything hands on. We have a little nature center doen the street from us, and they have so much fun touching the snake skins and fox pelts. What a great discovery and a fun way to keep busy before a game.
    .-= Bridget Smith´s last blog ..New Addition to LEGOLAND, California: “Clutch Powers 4-D Adventure”+ Legoland Ticket Giveaway Info. =-.

  4. Emily Zweber on 06 May 2010 at 8:37 pm

    We love the Bell Museum! If your library participates in the MELSA free passes, you can get two free passes to the museum as well.

    The Touch and Feel room is usually our longest stop. If you go on a weekday, there is a lot of traffic (because of campus), but you have the whole museum to yourself.

  5. [...] Bell Museum is not the largest of the Minneapolis-area science museums, but people who enjoy natural history [...]

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