The Minnesota History Center is the mothership of Minnesota history. From here, the Minnesota Historical Society administers a huge array of programs and activities at historic sites across the state.
Yet, the Minnesota History Center is a fantastic destination all its own. It’s an architectural masterpiece made of Minnesota materials including Rockville granite and Winona limestone. And, it offers great views of downtown St. Paul and the State Capitol. But you’ll find the best of the History Center inside.
With activities and exhibits for all ages, the History Center is home to an innovative, hands-on, multimedia museum. The center has a wide range of exhibits for all ages. That makes visiting the center a perfect multi-generational outing. Adults may share their memories of Minnesota life decades ago while children experience it in the exhibits. Examples include climbing the replica grain elevator in the exhibit called Grainland, experiencing a tornado in Weather Permitting or playing hopscotch in Open House.
Each weekend, and holiday and summer weekdays, actors play different characters from Minnesota history among the exhibits of the Minnesota History Center. Watch one of these History Players perform at the top of each hour and spend some time visiting with them one-on-one about their lives in Minnesota.
History lovers should check out the center’s History Forum series. It features presentations and lectures from nationally-recognized academics and experts. Topics include the women’s movement, the Supreme Court, civil rights and more. Visitors may also attend musical events, plays and other activities. These further highlight exhibit stories and themes.
Take home a souvenir from The Minnesota History Center’s Museum Stores. They feature Minnesota-themed books, children’s gifts, hand-crafted jewelry, collectibles and much more.
Hungry after all this exploration? Café Minnesota at the center serves continental breakfast and weekday and weekend lunches that are a cut above. The menus includes fresh ingredients, vegetarian and vegan options, savory entrees and an assortment of desserts.
Finally, if you’ve been inspired to explore further, the Minnesota History Center offers tours galore. They lead excursions to historic Twin Cities neighborhoods and along the riverfront. Don’t miss their food and beverage tours and Insider Tours that cover St. Paul’s gay and lesbian history or its ethnic and religious heritage.