ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – On the day after Thanksgiving, kids will have a new way to explore Minnesota’s history.

A new exhibit called “Then Now Wow,” is opening at the Minnesota History Center. The $2.5 million project was done with the help of the state’s legacy funds.

One of the featured pieces of the exhibit is a large tree, which emphasizes Minnesota’s past. Back in the 19th century, Minnesota’s white pine trees were very big. The exhibit also has an original board that was milled from the tree.

The main idea of the exhibit is to give today’s children an idea of what Minnesota was like back in the 1800s. Another feature built was a mining area, giving visitors an idea of what the mining culture was like in northern Minnesota. Visitors go through with the mindset that they’re a mile underground and see rail cars with iron ore, one of the state’s core minerals.

It’s an interactive exhibit that also includes a chance for kids to try drilling for their own minerals. It’s hands on and family-friendly. There’s also a sod exhibit from the state’s prairie land.

History officials said families that show up for the exhibit between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. Friday will be eligible for several giveaways.


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