Minnesota History Center

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345 West Kellogg Boulevard, Saint Paul, MN, USA
(651) 259-3000

Minnesota History Center Saint Paul Reviews

WalterC WalterC
316 reviews
Probably appeals more to those from the state than those from out-of-state Sep 27, 2015
Located close to downtown St. Paul, the Minnesota History Center is a museum that tells stories about Minnesota.

All of the exhibitions are on the 2nd floor, as there are 5 different ones. One of them is a temporary one, that rotates from time to time. When I was there, the temporary one was “We Are Hmong”. I would talk more about it in the blog. This review will focus on the other parts.

One of them is “Open House”, which tells the story of a particular address over the years, about the different families that lived there. And how the neighborhood that the address is located in, has changed over the years. There are displays of period furniture from the different time periods.

Another one is Then Now Now, which has a somewhat focus on the history of Minnesota, being full of interactive exhibits. Not much in terms of displays that tell the story. You can go inside a trolley car, and go through a replica of a coal mine, among others. One notable item on display, is the back door of a school bus, that was on the I-35 bridge that collapsed in 2007. There is a small subsection called Grainland, which looked nothing more than a playground. Overall, not terrible, but at the same time, I was expecting more, as this part is not told in chronological order.

There is “Minnesota’s Greatest Generation”, telling the story of growing up during the Great Depression, World War II, and the baby boom after the war. There are displays and interactive exhibits, telling with a more local focus. Easily, this was the most interesting part for me.

And there is “Weather Permitting”, which gets into the climate and weather of Minnesota. And how the residents deal with the weather, and some of the things they do for fun. Kind of interesting.

Going through this place, it was not so much of a history museum that gives an overview on the history of the state, from its beginning to the present day. Instead, it feels like it tells different types of stories in relation to the state, depending on what the topic exhibition is. Basically, I felt like it was made more for the Minnesota resident who grew up there rather than out-of-town visitors.

Therefore, just for the permanent exhibitions, I will say this, it would make it a good option when the weather is very bad outside. Or if there is a temporary exhibition that has really caught your interest. Overall, not terrible at all, but I also don’t think it is really worth going out of your way to see this place.
museum building
old plane on display
period furniture from late 1800's
old projector
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
WalterC says:
I would not be in town that day, otherwise I would have saved my visit for that night, as I am a huge advocate of museums open late.
Posted on: Dec 24, 2015
alyssa_ob says:
I think it is free on Tuesday nights, too. I've only been there once, but thought it was nicely done.
Posted on: Dec 23, 2015
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