ST. PAUL, Minn. - The highly anticipated Grand Reopening of the Minnesota Children's Museum is fast approaching, bringing with it special opportunities to take in the $30 million expansion and renovation.

While official opening night is set for Wednesday, June 7, families can secure a limited number of tickets for "Sneak Peek" days, which run June 2 to June 6. That will allow them to get an early look at 10 new exhibits, including a climbing adventure that soars four stories high, plus a gallery for special exhibits.

“We’ve created a bigger, better and bolder children’s museum,” said Dianne Krizan, president of Minnesota Children’s Museum. “Families will find ways to play, explore and learn together like never before.”

Among them are:

  • The Scramble: A four-story vertical adventure with climbing towers, a spiral slide and a netted catwalk suspended more than 40-feet high.
  • Super Awesome Adventures: Laser maze, carpet skates, balance boards and green-screen climbing wall
  • The Studio | Target Gallery: Tinker, make and create with real tools and authentic materials
  • Creativity Jam | Target Gallery: Lively and bright collaborative space with face-painting, loose parts and surprising materials
  • Forces at Play | 3M Gallery: Air-powered ball launchers and a wacky car wash
  • Sprouts: Joyful landscape of discovery for babies and toddlers
  • Our World | Best Buy Gallery: Vibrant Minnesota city with a fire station, hardware store, post office, food stand and more
  • Imaginopolis: Fantastical play space where children shape and share their own stories
  • Backyard: Quirky outdoor space for exploring the natural world
  • Tip Top Terrace | Ecolab Gallery: Outdoor space on the roof to see, hear and talk about the city

The renovation also includes a new cafe with coffee bar, a skyway-level entrance and other visitor amenities.

Besides the Grand Opening and ribbon cutting June 7, the Minnesota Children's Museum will also host a Free Day and Block Party on Saturday, June 17, which will include free admission and a street festival. Target Free 3rd Sunday on June 18 winds up the opening celebrations.

The expansion is the first significant renovation since Minnesota Children’s Museum moved from Bandana Square to downtown St. Paul in 1995. Since that move, the museum says attendance has grown from 300,000 visitors per year to more than 430,000. In all, the project added 35% more visitor space and increased the number of galleries from seven to 11.

Here is the Minnesota Children's Museum Grand Reopening schedule:

  • June 2-6: Sneak Peek Days: Visitors with advance reservation tickets get a sneak preview | How to Get Tickets [link]
  • June 7: Grand Opening & Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony to celebrate the opening of the all-new museum. All visitors welcome; no advance reservations needed. Museum open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • June 7-16: Open for Play Regular Hours Sunday-Thursday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday-Saturday: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • June 17: Free Day & Block Party: Free museum admission (with advance reservation ticket). Free block party on West Seventh Street with activities, music and entertainment (no advance ticket needed for block party)
  • June 18: Target Free 3rd Sunday: Free museum admission (with advance reservation ticket)
  • Adults-Only Play For All Ball: May 20: The museum hosts its annual adults-only fundraising gala at the museum