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The Minnesota History Center, St. Paul

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It's easy to dismiss the Minnesota History Center as just for tourists. Turns out that it's also fascinating for locals too.

The Minnesota History Center is on Kellogg Boulevard in St. Paul. The attractive building is the home of the Minnesota Historical Society, and also houses a museum, galleries, research library, theater, store and a cafe.

The classic Roman-style building with red tile roofs has picture perfect views of St. Paul's Cathedral and the Minnesota State Capitol through the huge interior windows in the exhibition space.

Permanent Collections

The museum has many significant objects from Minnesota's history, great and small, covering many facets of Minnesota life over the last 150 years. There is one of Charles Lindberg's airplanes, a railroad boxcar, outfits worn by Prince, even a can of Minnesota-made Spam.

More exhibits document Minnesota's history before it became a state, the state's military history, Minnesota family life through the generations, and Minnesota's weather.

Interactive exhibits will engage children. Kids can operate their own soda fountain, work an assembly line, play in a multi-story grain elevator, and control the weather.

Temporary Exhibitions

Major traveling art and historical exhibitions visit the Minnesota History Center.

Library

The library has the world's largest collection of Minnesota materials. The library is invaluable for researching family history, and is used extensively by those studying Minnesotan and Midwestern history. Thousands of records and photographs is freely available online, and still more is in the library's collections. Librarians can assist with searches for a small fee.

Theater and Music

The Minnesota Historical Society stages plays throughout the year in their theater. In the summer, the Minnesota History Center hosts musicians for free concerts on the lawn outside the museum.

Cafe

Selling meals, snacks, and Starbucks coffee. The food is good, with the coffee being the only jarring note: not a local brand like Peace Coffee?

Museum Stores

The museum store is well worth checking out. As well as plenty of Minnesota Historical Society branded items, but there's also a great selection of locally made arts and crafts, and interesting gift items, books and souvenirs. Admission to the museum store is free, and does not require museum admission.

Special Events

The Minnesota Historical Society hosts regular events related to special exhibits, and outdoor events such as a summer music concert series.

Visiting the Minnesota History Center

The Minnesota History Center is in downtown St. Paul. An admission charge applies to everyone visiting the museum.

More information: The Minnesota History Center Website

345 W. Kellogg Boulveard
St. Paul, MN 55102-1906
Telephone 651-259-3000

The Minnesota History Center has a parking lot, which charges a fee. The nearest free parking is on-street parking on Summit Avenue and Selby Avenue. Park on the street and head towards St. Paul's Cathedral, but avoid the designated Cathedral parking lots and parking spaces.

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