Sure, spring is technically “around the corner,” but in Minnesota, our reprieve from the cold usually comes not in March or April, but as late ...
Museum opening delayed
The Minnesota Children’s Museum in St. Paul, rather than reopening in mid-April as planned, will welcome visitors in June, due to a logistical delay in its multi-million-dollar renovations.
The contractor hired to fabricate the parts of The Scramble — the museum’s new four-story climbing adventure, featuring two towers, a spiral slide and a netted catwalk 40 feet above the ground — went out of business, which waylaid construction and forced the museum to find a new fabricator, which it did.
Work has resumed on The Scramble, steadily rising in the museum’s huge glass addition along West Seventh Street.
Museum officials say the wait — which began with a Dec. 5 closure — will be well worth it, thanks to 10 new exhibits, including The Scramble, plus an expanded toddler gallery, a maker studio with real tools, an exhibit for collaborative art projects, two outdoor spaces, a water and air-play space, a ninja-training course and a carpet skate park.
And it’s all designed to emphasize open-ended, child-directed play, including more space and freedom to explore (35 percent more visitor space overall) and experiences that cultivate essential skills.
The Scramble (geared toward ages 5 and older) will include stairs and platforms that will allow adults to ascend alongside kids as well as a separate Tot Spot with a ramp, webbed walking challenges and other components for younger children, all designed to teach problem-solving, calculated risk-taking and motor skills.
Other updates — as part of the first major renovation for the museum since its 1995 opening in St. Paul — will include a cafe with a coffee bar (hooray!), more bathrooms, another elevator and renovated party and event spaces.
The museum’s Mall of America pop-up play space, meanwhile — set up to tide members over during the construction — will close as planned in late April.
To make up for the two-month delay at the St. Paul location, the museum will automatically extend memberships by two months at no cost to families.
Pricing at the expanded museum will be $129 for annual Passport memberships (includes two adults and all the kids in the home). General admission (formerly $9.95) will be $12.95 for ages 1 and older.
Learn more at mcm.org.
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