Play is a powerful factor in a child’s healthy development.

From birth, children practice and develop a wide range of skills as they play, explore, discover, and learn. Play encourages critical thinking and problem solving, cross-cultural competence, creative thinking, collaboration, persistence, communication and curiosity.

It’s essential to family and community life. Great River Children’s Museum will deliver learning experiences through five platforms:

Exhibits and environments

Large-scale, physical settings that engage children and adults in interactive, self-directed, shared learning experiences. These year-round activities can be explored over time during multiple visits.

The images here represent three of our eight core exhibits.

Climber to the Clouds (left) will be the heart of the museum, awing visitors as they enter the spectacular atrium. Higher and higher, kiddos will climb above cityscapes and rivers, exploring and interacting to learn about weather systems and even create their own rain, thunder, wind, and rainbows.

Great River (middle) meanders along as museum goers learn about the importance of water as habitat, a means of transportation for commerce as well as a lifeline and sacred space for communities. Rest assured, you’ll get wet!

Headwaters (right) ushers in all that is inspiring about the outdoors in Minnesota. The call of Loons, crackling of a campfire, leaves whispering on a light breeze. This exhibit will share the sights and sounds of the great outdoors.

Live programs

Workshops, performances, drop-in programs, and field trips that engage children and adults in active hands-on exploration. Facilitated by staff, volunteers, and guest presenters, Live Programs are time-limited experiences using special materials, tools, or techniques.

Co-learning resource center

A space that supports shared learning opportunities for the museum and its partners, such as internships, practicum placements, community service, volunteering, and research projects with higher education institutions.

Initiatives

Collaboration with multiple partners in seasonally inspired activities that allow the museum to better serve its audience. Initiatives offer the museum an opportunity to respond to timely issues, build awareness around a topic, or deepen its impact.

Outreach

Activities that connect selected museum offerings with children, parents, caregivers, and educators at parks and festivals, in schools, and other community venues. Outreach extends the museum’s reach across the region to increase its access.

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