Exploring Nature's History at the Bell Museum
Now that the weather has made a turn for long, cold and dark days, I find myself looking for adventures to be had indoors. So when our friends suggested spending an afternoon checking out the new Bell Museum, I eagerly accepted the invite.
I went to the old Bell Museum only once, but I was totally blown away by the amazing level of detail in the dioramas. It’s always been a dream of mine to one day work on something like that. Alas, I’ll fill that desire by admiring those who’ve already done it so well - like at the Bell!
The new building is now in St. Paul by the fair grounds and opened to the public in July. I recently learned that part of the reason for the move is because some of the original exhibits were literally starting to decay. Due to the toxic nature of some of the old painting and taxidermy techniques, they were only able to safely relocate a handful of the originals.
But because of that, and the beautifully designed new building, the museum was able to add an array of new exhibits, including a planetarium, star gazing deck, earth history exhibits and a touch and see lab just to name a few.
What to Know Before You Go
Open daily: 10am – 5pm
Adult – $12.00
Senior (65+) – $10.00
Youth (3-21, 0-2 yrs free) – $9.00
UMN Student (with student ID) – Free
Adult – $8.00
Senior (65+) – $7.00
Youth (3-21, 0-2 yrs free*) – $6.00
U of M Student (with student ID) – $4.00
There is a paid parking lot right in front of the building entrance.
Day Rate: $5
Free wheelchairs and walkers are available for use anytime during your visit to the museum.
We spent about 2 hours checking out all of the exhibits. We decided to save the planetarium portion of the museum for our next visit, but what I’ve seen from others, it looks amazing!
My favorite part of the exhibit was the Tree of Life room. I loved the immersive environment design that was so impactful from a distance, but also draws you in closer to check out more. It is simply stunning.
The Bell Museum is different from other natural history museums because they do encourage you to interact. They have a very large ‘Touch and See’ room where you can do just that!
So if you’re looking for fun activities to get you out this winter, I highly recommend checking out the Bell Museum! You can even stand next to the sun and pretend it’s super warm. haha.