Finding things to do over the summer can be difficult and wind up costing a fortune. After the pools, the family vacations, and the hours spent at the park, a trip to a local museum may be just the thing to keep the entire family occupied, interested and educated. In Minnesota, there are a plethora of museums, historical sites and destinations to bring the kids that incorporate fun and learning together. These are some of the best exhibits going on this summer that are guaranteed to make for a fun, educational day.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Minnesota Zoo Conservation Carousel
Minnesota Zoo
13000 Zoo Blvd.
Apple Valley, MN 55124
(952) 431-9200
www.mnzoo.org

Bring your kids to the zoo this summer and take a ride on the Conservation Carousel. This wooden, hand-carved carousel is new this year and part of an effort to raise awareness for wildlife conservation. Rides are $2 each and children have the opportunity to ride on 56 different hand-carved animals including seals, tigers, and buffalo. The carousel is totally enclosed and located in the middle of the zoo, the perfect location for this beautiful and interactive exhibit. Families can ride the carousel and learn about endangered species during their tour of the zoo.

Critter Corner
Great Lakes Aquarium
353 Harbor Drive
Duluth, MN 55802
(218) 740-3474
www.glaquarium.org

The Great Lakes Aquarium in Duluth, Minnesota offers a full day of exploration in itself, but one of the most fun and interactive exhibits at the aquarium is Critter Corner. A touch tank where children and visitors can interact with species of birds, fish, and other sea creatures, the Critter Corner is among one of the most popular exhibits. Visitors can touch a sturgeon in the touch tank and get up close to snakes and magpies all in the same day. Learn about mudpuppies while you’re there and why they aren’t related to regular puppies at all.

Trolley (credit: Colleen McGuire)

Trolley (credit: Colleen McGuire)

Stillwater Trolley
400 E. Nelson St.
Stillwater, MN 55082
(651) 430-0352
www.stillwatertrolley.com

Hop aboard the Stillwater Trolley for an adventure. The Stillwater Trolley is a popular attraction in Stillwater, Minnesota that introduces locals and visitors to the rich history of the town and offers a glimpse into several points of interest along the river. The regular 45-minute tour may be a bit long for children in itself, so a shorter, more fun, storytime trolley program has been created to engage and include children in the fun. Children will take a ride on the trolley to Pioneer Park and have a snack and a story all in the same day. Pick a nice day and take the kids to an attraction they will love.

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Mysteries Of Magnetism
The Bakken Museum
3537 Zenith Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55416
(612) 926-3878
www.thebakken.org

Located in a beautiful mansion on the shore of Lake Calhoun, the Bakken Museum always has something fun and educational for kids. On nice days, check out the rooftop garden and grounds of this amazing museum. Learn about electricity, art, and science all in one place. The exhibit “Mysteries of Magnetism” is an interactive display designed to teach kids about magnetism and how it is used in everyday life. Visitors can design their own experiments or just have a good time playing with magnets.

Back To School, Children's Museum, Learning, Museums

Arthur’s World
Minnesota Children’s Museum
10 W. 7th St.
St. Paul, MN 55102
(651) 225-6000
www.mcm.org

Favorite characters from popular children’s books are the theme of the Arthur’s World exhibit at the Minnesota Children’s Museum. Kids will be transported to the fictional town of Elwood City and engage in a hands-on experience. Areas to play and run are available as well as learning activities and promotion of literacy. Children may also be familiar with Arthur and his friends from the PBS television show and will have an opportunity to be on television along with the characters.

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Andrea Wodele is a freelance writer who has lived in the Twin Cities for the last 10 years. Her hobbies include exercising, driving kids around, watching Minnesota sports, and reading self-help literature. Examiner.com.

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