Museum: Bigger and better!

Good news! The Minnesota Children’s Museum has announced a $28 million building expansion to provide 34 percent more space for visitors.

All the museum’s galleries will be reinvented to focus on the important skills kids develop through free play. Other new additions will include a four-story climbing tower, a cafe with a seating area, a skyway-level entrance, a new reception area for groups, more bathrooms, an additional elevator and easier navigation.

Since the museum moved to downtown St. Paul in 1995, attendance has grown nearly 50 percent.

Construction is scheduled to begin this fall. Though the museum will be open for most of the renovations, it will have to close for about four months — from September 2016 through December 2016, with a re-opening in January 2017.

Want to get involved? Curious kids are invited to test two prototype play areas — open through May 10 this year — to help shape the future expansion: The Creativity Jam: Imagine playscape is full of abstract objects that encourage kids to use their imaginations.

The Creativity Jam: Make workshop is stocked with real-world tools (yes, real hammers and nails) so kids can build take-home projects.

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