The Bakken will take a sabbatical

The Bakken Museum on the shores of Bde Maka Ska is planning a six-month construction project to bring in new science exhibits — and a lakefront entrance (artist rendering pictured) — to its 44-year-old campus.

Renovations will also add modernized classroom space and improved accessibility to the museum, established in 1975 by Medtronic co-founder Earl Bakken to showcase his collection of historic artifacts relating to science and technology. 

Though the original West Winds mansion, home to the Ben Franklin’s Electricity Party exhibit, will be open for reduced weekend hours, the museum’s modern wing will close in January until its grand reopening, new and improved, in July 2020.

On Dec. 7, families are invited to the museum from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. for an all-ages Discovery Days event with activities focused on coding. 

Kids will be invited to use code to control robotic creatures, program a light show and create music. Community partners will include Code Kitty, Code Ninjas, Market Science, Oscar the Robot, Prime Academy and Sylvan Learning.

Tickets, available in person and online, cost $5–$10 for ages 4 and up (free for ages 3 and younger). Learn more at