It is not much fun to be new in town and on a budget. Do not despair, but read on because these five attractions can fill up a week-long schedule. Better yet, learn how you can get into all of the Minnesota Greater Metropolitan Area museums for free. Go to Best Free Activities For Families In The Twin Cities to unlock that secret.
Minnesota History Center
345 W. Kellogg Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55102
Every Tuesday evening, you can visit the Minnesota History Center for free. It’s a great way to explore new exhibits including “Toys of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s” and “Sights, Sounds and Soul: Twin Cities Through the Lens of Charles Chamblis,” plus visit favorites like “Then Now Wow,” “Minnesota’s Greatest Generation,” “Open House” and “Weather Permitting.”
Minnesota State Capitol
75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55155
Explore the Minnesota State Capitol with a guide who will provide an overview of Capitol history, art and architecture and state government. These 45-minute guided tours are offered during renovation, although some spaces may not be available. For updated information, please call the Capitol Tour Line listed above.
James J. Hill House
240 Summit Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55102
The price of a house tour includes a visit to the stunning James J. Hill House Art Gallery. Pay $9 for the total package or only $2 to visit the Art Gallery on your own. View works of art held in the collection of the Minnesota Historical Society through frequently rotating exhibits that feature Minnesota artists.
Mill City Museum
704 South 2nd St.
Minneapolis, MN 55401
See displays of history, photography and contemporary art adorning the common area walls of this massive and beautiful National Historic Landmark. Feel surrounded by the history of yesteryear in what once was the largest grain elevator in the world. Stroll over to D’Amico & Sons Café for a cup of coffee and sandwich. Pick up some produce at the Mill City Farmers Market before you leave. Exhibits change frequently in this neat community gathering place at the Mill Commons.
Related: Guide To A Long Weekend In Minnesota
66250 County Road
New Ulm, MN 56073
Stop by the 1870s Harkin Store on a Sunday afternoon and enjoy family programming that includes music, storytelling and displays of country life. At one time, this general store prospered as the small town of West Newton was located on a bustling Minnesota River. Rail lines snaked their way through the prairies avoiding the rivers and the town of West Newton that was eventually abandoned. Our unfortunate Harkin Storeowner reluctantly closed his business, leaving many interesting artifacts from yesteryear unaware of the delight and amusement he was leaving for the many succeeding generations. Those items remain on the shelves where they were the day he closed.
Robin Johnson was born in Annandale, Minn. and graduated from Richfield High School and then the University of Minnesota where he studied Political Science, Business and Industrial Relations. A writer for Examiner.com, he also consults with a variety of organizations and individuals helping them develop and grow. His work can be found at Examiner.com.