Runestone Museum

Runestone Museum, Alexandria: Hours, Address, Runestone Museum Reviews: 4.5/5

Runestone Museum
4.5
Speciality Museums • Natural History Museums • History Museums
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Monday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
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About
Rated a Gem “must-see” point of interest by AAA. This kid-friendly museum has a Scavenger Hunt for the young and young at heart! Our most famous artifact is the Kensington Runestone and its mysterious runic message. Was it carved in 1362? Recent laboratory and linguistic analysis of the stone suggests yes! But even as more supporting evidence of its authenticity is revealed, controversy continues to swirl around this internationally renowned artifact. Visit the museum, see the Runestone and learn its story…then decide for yourself. The Runestone Museum also features pioneer displays, a wildlife exhibit, a World War II living room with 1940’s music playing, a children’s discovery area and special limited time exhibits. The museum’s Native American exhibit garnered national attention when our rare 1920s Ojibwe jingle dress appeared in the American Indian Art magazine. There is now a decorated full sized Tipi in the Native American camp diorama. Fort Alexandria is a delightful collection of restored buildings from 1868 to 1910 that includes a furnished township school, pioneer church, log home, and stage stop. The large Annex has many displays, including a 40 foot replica Viking ship and a huge 1906 steam tractor. The third annual History Live! in Fort Alexandria will be Fri. and Sat. June 23 - 24, 2017. Enjoy live historic reenactments from the Fur Trade, Pioneer, and Civil War eras, kid’s activities and family fun. Check the museum website for dates and admission prices. The museum is open year round.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
192 reviews
Excellent
114
Very good
66
Average
10
Poor
2
Terrible
0

Erika W
1 contribution
Couples
Very fun experience, especially for kids! It was a little expensive ($10 per adult) for a small museum, but it does feature a famous attraction, the money goes to the chamber of commerce, and you get discount vouchers for another museum. My one major issue was the fact that the museum doesn't make it clear that the runestone was almost certainly a hoax, making the "birthplace of America" slogan pretty offensive to all the Native Americans whose artifacts are also featured. Otherwise I loved the variety of exhibits and the effort put into the restored buildings. There are great photo opportunities. The surrounding shops on the same street make the trip well worth it!
Written August 8, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

paulJ3717PW
Alexandria, MN6 contributions
The Runestone is displayed and memorializes a Viking journey to America in 1362. Traveling through the waterways of northwest Minnesota from the Hudson Bay and through Canada, the Runestone tells the story of the Vikings on an expedition and the tragedy of loosing 10 of their men to an attack. Runes are etched on a two hundred pound stone telling the story. This has been a heavily studied artifact and it is a must see.
Written January 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

mw4au
Mobile, AL37 contributions
Couples
A great visit from the moment we arrived. In spite of the fact that they are short on staff, the lady behind the counter took us into the museum, pointing out the best path to take, not to miss anything. Be sure to watch the video, telling the story of the Kensington Runestone... very informative and includes details not covered in the television show (according to another visitor). At the back of the museum is the entrance to "Fort Alexandria", a collection of pioneer era buildings moved to this site. An unexpected surprise was a replica Viking Merchant Ship. A nice bonus, having visited three Stave Churches and The Hjemkomst Center in Morehead.
Written June 20, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Richard R
Bushnell, FL6 contributions
Couples
My wife and I visited them yesterday. It is a very nice museum that shows you history of the area along with the Runestone. Very informative and interesting. Gives you a great insight of early MN and that the Viking people did inhabit the area. Very cool how the stone was actually found. A great help was the ability to use your phone and scan codes as you walk through and actually hear about the displays.
Written August 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you so much for supporting the museum with your visit and your review! We appreciate it and hope to see you again if you're able.
Written August 7, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

nebtraveler
Lincoln, NE69 contributions
I’m always game to check out small-town museums, which are often kitschy or quaint, so we stopped at the Runestone Museum while visiting Alexandria. I’m glad we did.

Whether you believe in the Runestone, this museum is rich in Viking and Minnesota history, including Native American artifacts. A short film explains the Runestone’s history and several historic buildings give you a firsthand sense of the life of early European settlers. The displays are extensive and surprisingly well curated for a small museum. Definitely worth a visit.
Written March 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you so much for your visit to the museum and for your review--much appreciated! We hope you'll be able to visit us again.
Written March 13, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

George D
Cleveland, OH188 contributions
Couples
From the moment we walked in, it was a good visit. COVID-19 statement on the door and everyone following the rules made my wife and I feel safe. You can use your phone for a guide tour. It really helped us understand many of the exhibits. If you do not know that much about the history of Alexandria and the Runestone, this trip is a must. And across the street, a giant Viking. Does it get any better?
Written September 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kara J
Badger, SD10 contributions
Family
Very nice museum about something that I had not heard of. Wish I could have taken more time to stop and read. Kids were not to interested.
There is a short video at the beginning that tells you the history of the stone then you are on your own to look around. The pirate ship was very nice.
Written August 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kirsty S
Buffalo, MN70 contributions
Couples
And truly I am glad that all we paid for was the gas to get there. The admission fee is quite expensive without this special discount. It's somewhat interesting, but very small town and amateur. If you've been to any professional museum, you'll be disappointed. Good for a grade school field trip to introduce kids to history, but not worth going out of your way to see.
Written September 21, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Arjan
Saint Paul, MN37 contributions
Triggered by a feature on National Geographic Channel we visited Alexandria to check out the Runestone Museum. What an interesting experience and well done!
Written October 21, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Fambly101
Minneapolis, MN77 contributions
Family
We visited the Runestone Museum on a rainy weekday morning. For $20 a family of 4 can visit this quaint and eclectic museum. The kids (9 and 13) both enjoyed the scavenger hunt and earned some free gifts for finding all of the item on the list. This is a bit of a hodgepodge of artifacts and buildings but this made it more interesting to read the different historical facts and to see all of the random bits and pieces on display. As for the Runestone, I say it is real but everyone is free to make their own judgement. A good, “I only need to see it once,” rainy day activity.
Written June 19, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Runestone Museum

Runestone Museum is open:
  • Mon - Sat 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM


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