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Historic Fort Snelling
200 Tower Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55111
Admission: $8.00
Adults $12, Children $8
Scroll to the bottom for a ticket link
Hours of Operation:
Mon. Closed
Tue. Closed
Wed. Closed
Thu. 10:00 AM – 04:00 PM
Fri. 10:00 AM – 04:00 PM
Sat. 10:00 AM – 04:00 PM
Sun. Closed
Showing Hours November 1, 2023 – March 30, 2024. Scroll down a link to current hours and admission.

Historic Fort Snelling, located near the airport, sits on a juncture of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers and is managed by the Minnesota Historical Society (“MNHS”). Although it sits on Fort Snelling State Park, the historic site is run by the Minnesota Historical Society and has a separate entrance fee. It was built as a frontier outpost in the early 1820s, and eventually evolved into a military training facility from the Civil War through World War II. Families can learn about military history, fur trade, slavery in Minnesota, the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 and other historical eras. While the fort itself is nearing its 200th birthday, the location has been significant for centuries to many American Indian communities with human history dating back 10,000 years.

Articles Related to Historic Fort Snelling

“Adventure into History” This Summer

Visitors can explore a wide variety of eras and diverse people through 11 interpretive stations created in 2018. The exhibit will lead visitors through the many stories from the area, including the Dakota people, the military men and women, WWII-era Military Intelligence Service Language School where Japanese-Americans trained as linguists, and the lives of Dred and Harriet Scott.

The Minnesota Historical Society tells us that during the summer of 2022, in addition to daily programming such as demonstrations, guided tours and talks, visitors can:

  • Enjoy live outdoor music and performances at the new Klas Overlook featuring a stunning backdrop of the Wakpa Tanka/Mississippi River and the Minneapolis downtown skyline;
  • Learn from nationally-renowned authors and historians as they present on a variety of topics related to the history of the area;
  • Check out documentary film screenings; and,
  • Enjoy family-friendly programming including children’s book release events and hands-on, arts-and-crafts projects.

Watch our calendar for affordable and family-friendly events.

4 Ways to Save on Admission to the Historic Fort Snelling

  1. Blue Star Museums Program. Free Admission for Military Families from Armed Forces Day through Labor Day.
  2. History-Connects. The Minnesota Historical Society’s limited income program offers discounted admission to visitors enrolled in one or more assistance program. This includes the higher-income-threshold programs, like WIC and MA.
  3. Museums on Us. This program gives Bank of America cardholders free entry during the first full weekend of each month.
  4. Become an MNHS member. Not only will you receive FREE admission to this historic site, you’ll also receive FREE admission to museums and historic sites all over the state.

Historic Fort Snelling Revitalization Project

Work will begin on the Fort Snelling Revitalization Project in Fall of 2019. The fort is Minnesota’s first National Historic Landmark and home to the oldest structure and residence in the State. While MNHS only received about half the amount they wanted for this project, they have decided to go forward. The project will be broke up the into stand-alone projects made to allow construction to begin on the largest part of the project.

The revised project includes replacing the visitor center with a 4,000-square-foot exhibit inside a rehabilitated 1905 cavalry barracks; making updates to the landscape to provide opportunities for outdoor learning and for a place of remembrance; improving parking, wayfinding and access; and rolling out an interpretive plan developed with community partners that expands stories of the military, Dakota, African-Americans, Japanese-Americans, women and more. These partnerships are intended to approach Minnesota history with diverse stories.

The site will remain open during construction with work expected to be completed in 2021.

Add a Little Historical Research to Your Visit

An Army Fifth Regiment order book from 1826-1827 was recently donated to the Minnesota Historical Society. This handwritten book details daily life at the fort during some of the first years. At the time, the fort was commanded by its namesake, Col. Josiah Snelling, and soldiers’ duties included protecting U.S. interests in the fur trade and serving as a bulwark against British forces in Canada. MNHS’ already owned manuscripts collections covering earlier years, 1819-1824, in Fort Snelling’s history. Before visiting or after visiting the fort, it could be fun to read excerpts of the order books. They can be found digitally online here.

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