It seems pretty obvious if you know anything about me at all that I love spending my free time in museums. It works out pretty well for me because my husband is a restless man who loves exploring new cities anytime we have a free day. Usually this means we are in lots of new areas, and a museum is a good way to find out some general information about points of interest.
Here are 5 of my favorite museums we've visited:
- The Minneapolis Institute of Arts
This museum focuses less on local art and historical artifacts and more on art. I have many wonderful memories of coming here as a child and teenager. I fell in love with art inside this building. I saw my first mummy here. Decided I wanted to be an Egyptologist for a time. Became obsessed with Frank Lloyd Wright in their furniture gallery... the memories are endless. Yes, this museum may have had an unfair advantage.
- Minnesota Historical Society
I have done hours and hours of research for clients and personal projects here. What I love about MNHS is the staff is helpful, courteous and kind. The library is well organized and the building itself is gorgeous. The exhibits are always engaging and interesting. I also love that they have so many events including concerts, plays and speakers that bring the community in.
- Crow Wing County Historical Society
This one is a little on the smaller side compared to the others, but compared to many of the other small county museums I've been to I found it most memorable. Located in the historic sheriff's home and old jail they have traditional exhibits that wind through the front half of the house and jail cells and regularly scheduled tours of the other rooms in the back all staged with period-specific items. The tour guide was very knowledgeable about the house and the families who lived there as well as the origination of many of the artifacts on display.
- The James J. Hill House
As part of the MNHS, I was hesitant to put this on the list separately, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought it deserved its own line. The number of interesting and unique activities they run here are so varied that it gives a person reason to come back again and again, not to mention they run different tours so you can see different parts of the mansion at different times. James J. Hill is such a prolific part of Minnesota history that every Minnesotan should see this house at least once.
- Northfield Historical Society
Northfield has such a fun quirky vibe to begin with, as a college town with a young hip populous. Add to that the incredibly rich history of Jesse James attempted robbery of the Northfield Bank and defeat by the townspeople and you have a fun and interesting museum accompanied by the annual Defeat of Jesse James celebration.
Compiling this list was fun, but challenging, so many other great museums were contenders, and I enjoyed all of them! Some of the front runners include:
Winona County Historical Society, Carver County Historical Society, Mcleod County Historical Society, Dakota County Historical Society, Oliver Kelley Farm, Stearns County Museum, The Pioneer Village in Nisswa, LeDuc Historic Estate, Fort Snelling, Sherburne County History Center, The Folsom House
Are you going to visit any museums on National Museum Day this Sunday? Would any of these have made your list? Which would you add?
Hi, I'm Tara! I am more than a huge fan of history, you might say I'm a little obsessed. I would spend a Friday night in with a glass of local wine and a reference book any night of the week. Learn more about me and my work here.