Feb 02 2012
Since discovering The Works science/technology museum several years ago, it’s been on of our family’s favorites. We’ve attended special events and camps as well as during regular hours, and our kids always ask to go back again.
Earlier this winter, The Works moved from its old location in Edina down the road a few miles to Bloomington. We visited the new location in December and found all of our old favorites, plus some new exhibits and activities.
The Works’ new location is at 9740 Grand Ave S in Bloomington. From 35W, take the 98th Street exit and go a few blocks east, then left on Grand and a quick left into the parking lot. The parking area is much more convenient than the Edina location’s was.
All of the familiar exhibits from the old The Works came over to Bloomington except the robots. In addition, there’s a new traveling exhibit area (currently hosting displays about the science of toys). The space is large and open, and each exhibit seemed to hold our kids’ interest for longer periods of time than before. It will take a lot more people now to make the exhibits seem crowded, and there’s plenty of natural light coming in to brighten things up.
In addition, there’s a special “design lab” upstairs with do-it-yourself projects and experiments. Staff move in and out to help with questions or ideas, but visitors can stay and work (or play?) as long as they want. Our kids didn’t want to leave until they’d each completed all four stations. The projects in this area will be changed periodically so there’s always something new to try.
Hours and Admission
During the school year, The Works has these expanded hours at its new location: Thursday-Friday 10-8, Saturday-Sunday-Monday 10-5, Tuesday-Wednesday closed. Groups, such as schools or birthday parties, can be scheduled any day of the week.
Admission for ages 3 and up is $6 for the exhibit area, and $8 for both the exhibit area and design lab. The extra $2 is well worth it if the projects have changed since you last visited. Members of The Works and children 2 and under are free. ASTC reciprocal membership is accepted for the exhibit portion of the visit only.
Membership at The Works is affordable at $70 for a family, which includes free visits, discounts on camps and classes, and reciprocity at related museums around the country.
Tech Fest is held each February and includes admission at a discounted rate plus a variety of special activities and shows. If you have kids who love science, or you want to show your kids some really exciting things about science, TechFest should be on your list to visit.
Moving The Works to a new location has done nothing but make it better. We loved the new space and more easily accessible location, the increased exhibit area, and especially the design lab. If you haven’t been to The Works yet, I really do recommend it as a kid-friendly hands-on science museum in the Twin Cities.