Minnesota museums, theaters excited to reopen

St. Paul, Minnesota. Science museum. Geometry in motion. 4 year old girl creating a sculpture that moves. (Photo by: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Just in time for Minnesota’s longest, coldest stretch of winter, indoor entertainment venues are opening back up with capacity limits.

The Children’s Museum in St. Paul is one of them. Right now quiet and empty, but the museum will reopen Thursday at 25 percent capacity.

"It’s sad to come into the museum and not hear the fun, the joy," said Bob Ingrassia, of the Minnesota Children’s Museum. He said he’s excited to see the building come alive again.

"During the past year, with all of the stress and anxiety we’ve been through, we just think play is more important than ever before," said Ingrassia. "Play brings joy and I think we all need a lot more joy in our lives."

Sometimes finding joy means searching through our past, too.

"Families are looking for something to do," said Annie Johnson, of the Minnesota History Center Museum. "People are looking for something safe to do to get out of the house and, I think, museums really provide that. We’re big spaces and low volume in visitation."

Johnson said it feels like history is being made once a week and feels as though looking at our past can help us better understand what is ahead of us in the future.

"History is now and giving people a chance to reflect on what’s happened in the past and really think about what we’re doing today, what are people going to say about that in five years, in ten years. What is an exhibit about this time going to look like in the future," said Johnson.

If museums aren’t your style, other indoor entertainment venues like bowling alleys and movie theaters are back open.

"We are ecstatic and thrilled to be able to open," said Michelle Mann, the co-owner of Mann Theaters.

With 25 percent capacity, there’s plenty of room to social distance in her theaters, Mann says.

"Every single auditorium has its own HVAC unit, so it’s not circulated air," she said. "You are just in a unit that has one dedicated to the auditorium."

With Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, if kids aren’t in school, a lot of families will be looking for something to do.

Many of those indoor spaces require reservations ahead of time, so before you plan your visit, make sure you check out their website.


The Children’s Museum opens Thursday. It will be at 25 percent capacity.

The Minnesota History Center opens Thursday. It will allow 10 percent capacity as an extra precaution. More information here: https://www.mnhs.org/covid-19.

Mann Theaters open Friday. It wanted to wait until they could secure more films. It will be open all day on MLK day.

The Minnesota Institute of Art is waiting to open until Jan. 28. A spokesperson said they wanted to hold off a while longer to protect their staff. When they do open, they will allow no more than 150 guests at a time. In the meantime they have online programming you can check out here: https://new.artsmia.org/programs

The Twin City Model Railroad Museum will reopen Saturday. Visit their website for more details.