It’s hard to miss the distinctive new cantilevered building at the corner of Larpenteur and Cleveland in St. Paul. It may be easier to miss that this is the University of Minnesota’s fabulous new new Bell Museum of Natural History. But don’t miss it… it is beautiful, amazing and wondrous!
We visited on opening weekend, July 14, 2018. In keeping with their mission to inspire, explore and create they have lots and lots for all ages to explore and discover, including a ‘Touch and See’ lab and many interactive exhibits.
Minnesota’s official natural history museum has been preserving and interpreting the state since 1872. Now located on the University’s St. Paul campus, their new home brings together science, art, and the environment from a unique Minnesota perspective.
Our community has been missing a planetarium since 2002, when the Minneapolis Public Library closed. Missing no longer, the Bell Museum has a new planetarium! Revel in a journey through space and time in their awesome 120 seat planetarium. From the comfort of a reclining seat, you’ll imagine yourself flying through Earth’s atmosphere to the far reaches of the universe, or explore inside plant life or the human body, or swimming the deep sea.
The Bell has one of the premiere natural history diorama collections in the nation, and they have carefully restored and moved the best ones to the new museum… not an easy feat! They had to be carefully moved in the construction phase, before the building was completed.
Featuring realistic foregrounds and painted mural backdrops, the Bell Museum’s world-renowned wildlife dioramas uniquely allow visitors to imagine themselves in various natural settings. With their depictions of actual places and real plants and animals, the dioramas have introduced generations of Minnesotans to the variety of natural habitats in our state.
A fascinating documentary, collaboratively produced by the Bell Museum and Twin Cities PBS (TPT) and linked below, follows the historic move and restoration of the Bell’s famous dioramas, now expertly preserved for new generations of museum visitors.
The Bell has created something called Citizen Science
Discoveries unfold, breakthroughs happen, and the future is being made at the U of M. Now more than ever, discoveries are made thanks to crowdsourced projects that connect volunteers—citizen scientists—with active University research.
Gaining new knowledge means digging through a lot of data, and citizen science utilizes a network of people to help professional researchers with data collection, analysis, and reporting. No formal training is required to become a citizen scientist, and projects are designed to make participation easy and accessible.
Want to be a part of it? Contact the Bell Museum!
Open daily: 10am – 5pm
Sharlene and John Hensrud, RE/MAX Results HomesMSP Team – firstname.lastname@example.org – 612-419-0560