The American Swedish Institute strives to be welcoming and fun for families. They encourage visitors of all ages to explore traditions, immigration, handcraft and art. The third Friday of every month, the museum offers Kids at the Castle, when families can come explore and play from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. for $8/family. Families are invited to spend the rest of the day at ASI! Their Kids at the Castle sticker is their admission for the day. Explore the changing exhibits and Turnblad Mansion, Have fun in the family gallery, eat at FIKA, run around outside and play!
2020 Opening/Closing Information
The museum and café have temporarily closed again as of November 21, 2020. Virtual programming continues and the museum store and Jul Shop will remain open Thursday through Sunday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Walk-in customers will be accepted at limited capacity. During this time, families can take advantage of virtual programming and virtual tours.
When the museum reopens to the public expect the same reduced hours and increased safety protocols it had been operating under, including advanced, timed reservations are required to visit the museum. FIKA will be serving its full lunch menu and offering table service from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. with a limited counter sales during non-serving hours. Takeout and advanced reservations are available by calling 612-524-5108. Please plan to pay with a credit or debit card.
Current and Upcoming Exhibits
extra/ordinary: The American Swedish Institute. At Play
Extended through January 24, 2021
Created from the ASI's permanent collection, this exhibit invites visitors to experience the Turnblad Mansion in new ways through encounters with fun surprises with original watercolor paintings and ink illustrations by the Minnesota mother-son team of Tara Sweeney and Nate Christopherson.
7 Family Friendly Features of ASI:
- Strollers are generally welcome. However, the historic Turnblad Mansion has some tight spaces. A small stroller may be best, and the museum reserves the right to restrict stroller use in special exhibition galleries for the protection of the loaned items and because of the higher volume of visitors in those spaces.
- Family restrooms and changing stations are available. They are located on both the first and second floors of the Nelson Cultural Center and the Lower Level of the Turnblad Mansion.
- Family Friendly Meals Are Offered at the Cafe. If you would like, you can dine outside while the kids can explore the Outdoor Playcart. However, food and drink are not permitted in Turnblad Mansion or the Osher Gallery
- Outdoor Playcart. The ASI offers outdoor spaces as well as indoor galleries. The outdoor playcart offers a rotating supply of fun things to play with while exploring outside, such as binoculars, magnifying glasses; scarves, ribbons, hula hoops, tree blocks; and kubb games. Outdoor Playcart Season runs April-September (weather permitting)!
- There is a Family Gallery and Guides. Turnblad Mansion's Third Floor Family Gallery has rotating installations and an interactive play area that encourages visitors to play, touch, read and learn! This is a good place to start as the topics change with the gallery exhibits and kids can get a child-centered perspective before venturing into an adult-oriented exhibit.
- Write to Tomte. Turnblad Mansion's Tomte has a mailbox on the third floor. Visitors are encouraged to write him a note or ask him a question.
Family Programming at the American Swedish Institute
Families looking for things to do together can check out American Swedish Institute's Youth and Family Programming, which is extensive, varied, fun and welcoming to kids of all skill levels and backgrounds and their grownups. The ASI's eclectic range of creative activities and offerings for families includes the Youth Slöjd (Craft) workshops, extended school year class sessions, and På Gang, a Sunday afternoon Swedish class/social club for teens.
Birthday Parties at American Swedish Institute
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- Meet Ulla the Baker (Past Exhibit)
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- Family Fun: Kids at the Castle at ASI
- Got Preschoolers? 10 Twin Cities Spots to Entertain & Educate
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