For 20 years, the Minnesota Children’s Museum in Saint Paul has been a destination for parents and young kids. Now the museum is transforming into something bigger and better, undergoing a $28 million expansion and renovation to be completed by early 2017.
Bob Ingrassia, vice president of external relations at the Children’s Museum, says the changes will be for convenience and educational purposes. New amenities will be added, including a café and coffee bar as well as a new elevator, additional restrooms and an entrance at the skyway level. All five permanent galleries will be “reinvented and reimagined.”
“Since we’ve opened the museum, we’ve learned a lot about how children learn to play,” Ingrassia says. “The galleries are being designed very purposely to allow children to have fun while at the same time develop important skills that they’ll have for their entire lives.” One of the new features will be the Scramble, a multi-story climbing structure.
Work begins this month, but the museum will remain open for most of the construction. During that time, Ingrassa says visitors can expect parking and entrances to remain the same until May when the skyway doors open. He says there will be traveling exhibits taking place during construction, like “Eric Carle’s Very Hungry Caterpillar” and the beloved “Curious George.” The museum will officially close from September to December 2016, and is tentatively scheduled to reopen in January 2017.