{Christmas Vacation Fun} Minnesota History Center

We are enjoying our Christmas vacation and I just wanted to take a break in the action to say hi! My husband and kids are on vacation until the day after New Year’s Day. Yesterday we visited the Minnesota History Center with some friends of ours. We have so much fun when we visit this museum and are always impressed with the work that went into making Minnesota history fun to learn about! This isn’t just a small county museum where you walk around and read facts. It is a hands-on, interactive museum with lots of technology, videos and sounds to bring history to life.

Paul Bunyan and his ox Babe were outside the Minnesota History Center. If you don’t know that story of Paul Bunyan, you can read an online story book about the tall tale here. A gigantic Curt Teich & Co Minnesota postcard welcomes visitors to the museum. 

First we visited the new exhibit to the museum called Then Now Wow. This display gives museum guests the opportunity to try starting a Model T.

We walked through what was meant to look like an Iron Range mine. The kids tried drilling and blasting the ore.

Next, we visited the Minnesota’s Greatest Generation exhibit. We saw a 1955 Ford sedan that was produced at the St. Paul Ford plant. There was a 1930’s soda fountain, vintage toys and clothes.

At this display, you can press a button to make the clothes at the dry cleaners rotate. Each section of clothing has a story about the family that wore the clothes.

Anyone remember these vending machines? I even remember cigarettes being sold out of these machines! I guess that dates me doesn’t it?

We watched a recreation of a World War II combat flight in a C-47 plane. It is a very powerful display of sound, video and movement that makes you feel as though you are in the plane.

This is a small clip of the video we watched in the plane. The small squares of lights that show up are the view from the plane windows.

Next came the Weather Permitting exhibit. It is all about the weather in Minnesota!

One of the most exciting parts of the museum is the tornado room! This is the cool looking tornado outside the entrance to the tornado room. We got to sit in what looks like the basement of a home to experience what it is like to go through a tornado. Here is how the museum describes it:

“Experience a tornado from a recreated 1960s home in “Get to the Basement!” a powerful multimedia show focusing on the human experiences and emotions evoked by a series of tornadoes that struck Fridley in May 1965.” 

We drove past the Minneapolis skyline on the way home from the museum. There was light snow falling and although it was pretty it did make for some heavy traffic but since we were riding with good company no one complained too much.

What have you been doing on Christmas vacation?

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