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Bakken Museum is tucked back behind Lake Calhoun Park and straddles St. Louis Park and Uptown Minneapolis. It could be a little hard to find, but if you can get yourself to Calhoun Parkway, you can follow the signs the rest of the way. This one-of-a-kind museum explores the mysteries of our electrical world.
Inspiring a passion for science and its potential for social good by helping people explore the history and nature of electricity and magnetism. Check the Family Fun Calendar regularly for more information about all the exciting things happening at Bakken Museum.
"The Bakken Museum inspires a passion for innovation by exploring the potential for science, technology, and the humanities to make the world a better place."
Bakken Discovery Days
Bakken Discovery Days are themed Saturdays when the Bakken Museum brings in experts from various fields to share activities with visitors. These are fun days to visit as a family because there are activities available for every age level.
Tinker Times at Bakken Museum
Saturday visitors can drop in to the makerspace for hands-on, minds-on tinkering challenges. Challenges usually take 30-45 minutes, but you can stay for as long or as short as you like. Find the challenge of the month here.
Skill Builder Workshops
Skill Builder Workshops are held most Sundays from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30pm and offer one day programs for aspiring makers and inventors. The museum encourages families to participate together. Each workshop will have a challenge, carpentry, coding, or circuit project kit for visitors to build and take home. This program is for ages 8-15 (with some projects being harder than others). Kits are an additional fee of $30, with discounts for multiple kits.
Current and Ongoing Exhibits at Bakken Museum
- West Winds - The entire Bakken Museum is actually the old West Winds mansion. It is beautiful to explore in its own right.
- The Great Hall - The Great Hall features a rotating gallery of exhibits that change seasonally.
- Minnesota Made NEW
- Tinkering with Prototypes NEW
- Deep Roots: Plants as Medicine
- Gardens - Bakken has three distinctive seasonal gardens. My favorite is the Medicinal Garden, there is also a native plants garden and an organic garden.
- Ben Franklin's Electricity Party - This is the one everyone takes pictures of with their hair standing on end.
- Spark of Life - Uncover the history and culture of electricity.
- Electropolis - Explore the history of electricity in Minneapolis.
- Frankenstein's Laboratory - This exhibit is kind of scary for the little ones, but interesting for anyone who is a Mary Shelley fan. Maybe you can sneak off on your own for a peak.
- Mary and Her Monster - Less scary - more Mary; but its right next door to the laboratory, so you still may want to visit alone.
Birthday parties at Bakken Museum include admission and full access to all exhibits and outdoor spaces, a private party room for 2 hours, set-up/clean-up, a guided tour (if arranged for in advance), Science Studio participation, experienced education staff. Bring your own food and beverages and party supplies. Prices start at $250.
For more birthday party ideas, we've created FFTC’s Ultimate Guide to Birthday Parties in the Twin Cities
Annual Family Membership to Bakken Museum
A family membership at the Bakken Museum is $65.00 and tax deductible. It includes all members of the household. (If you have four kids in your family, one visit to Bakken Museum is $52.00, so this is an especially good deal for larger families). Benefits include:
- Free general admission
- Free or reduced admission to participating Association of Science-Technology Center (ASTC) Travel Passport when traveling
- Free admission to The Bakken's Discovery Days
- Invitation to special events.
- Discounts on youth programs
- Discounts at the Museum Store
- Free subscription to monthly Bakken Electric e-newsletter (although you can just sign up for that)