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“Pleasantly surprised”

Minnesota History Center
Ranked #4 of 119 things to do in Saint Paul
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: An interactive museum with both permanent and changing exhibits, the Minnesota History Center hosts concerts, lectures, family days and other special events throughout the year. The building is also home to the Minnesota Historical Society library and archives, a research destination for schoolchildren, family historians and academics.
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
31 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Pleasantly surprised”
Reviewed September 5, 2012

We were really just looking to "pass time" for a few hours. We din't expect to become too engaged in the exhibits since neither my husband nor myself are from Minnesota. However, this museum is very well done and should appeal to anyone who has the least interest in the development of a northern US state. A few exhibits were closed off, so that was disappointing, but all in all we enjoyed the time we spent. Besides interesting and informative exhibits, the building itself was spotlessly clean.

Visited September 2012
1 Thank SeeingTheWorld56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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454 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Eden Prairie, Minnesota
Level Contributor
374 reviews
108 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
“A Fun Place to Spend a Few Hours!”
Reviewed September 4, 2012

This museum is great, lots of interesting reading, videos and hands on exhibits! I especially enjoyed "If Walls Could Talk," the story of a house in St Paul that saw many families living in it throughout the years, from the immigrant German family that built the house to some of the Hmong families that lived in it after it was converted into a duplex. Very, very interesting! We ended up buying a membership and are looking forward to the new exhibits opening in November!

Visited September 2012
Thank 7ContinentsExplored
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
25 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“See "If Walls Could Talk"”
Reviewed September 2, 2012

The exhibits are interesting, but If Walls Could Talk was the best. This museum is not as large as it looks. All of the public exhibits are on the 3rd floor so you can see it in a couple hours. Many other sites are in the area - St. Paul's Cathedral, James J. Hill House and Summit Avenue. I recommend all of these. If you have time go to Cafe Latte on Grand Ave. for lunch. We did all of this in one day including the Capitol.

Visited September 2012
Thank MarySunshineMaryland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manila, Philippines
Level Contributor
51 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Excellent exhibits, with lots to do.”
Reviewed August 14, 2012

Went here during the time for free admission (Tuesdays 5-8pm). It's about a half mile from Downtown St Paul and is opposite the St Paul Cathedral, so if you don't mind trekking uphill a bit, it's within walking distance. There were lots of families and groups picnicking outside, there's a library, and there's a cafe there too. Seems like there's lots to do here.

We were pressed for time, but we thoroughly enjoyed the museum on the 3rd floor. My favorites were the "If Walls Could Talk" exhibit in the Open House section, where you'll walk through a recreated home, showing also different eras of the home, and another favorite was the exhibit on the US-Dakota War. The latter gave me so much insight on the history of Minnesota and the stories of the Dakota Sioux Indians. Explained a lot also on why the places are named "Minnesota", "Minnetonka", "Minnehaha", etc.

It was a pity we didn't have much time; otherwise we would have stayed for the free outdoor concert.

Visited August 2012
2 Thank im0206
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Simi Valley
Level Contributor
22 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“One of the best”
Reviewed August 9, 2012

I have been to many museums and I found this one to be one of the best. My favorite exhibit was
"Open house - if wall could talk". It was highly interactive for children as well as adults. Unique, creative and imaginative presentations impressed me at every turn. Skip the Mall of America and spend the day at the museum.

Visited July 2012
1 Thank travelinsis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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