Minnesota is chock full of art, culture, and beautiful places, and the occasional oddball attraction. Sure we have a lot of “world’s largest” and interesting spots in nature, but the real gems are the museums that are just a little strange, and a lot unique. Next time you’re looking for something fun to do in MN, try one of these awesome museums that are sure to keep you curious and entertained.
1. Ed's Museum (Jack Sprat Food Store), Wykoff.
Edwin Julius Krueger, proprietor of the store, upon his death left the store and the mess he had been accumulating for years to the city for the purpose of creating a museum. Ed kept EVERYTHING, including his dead cat, and the Wykoff Progress Club made this into the strange museum it is today; full of 50 years of interesting (and not so interesting) junk.
2. Allen Christian's House Of Balls, Minneapolis.
Sculptor Allen Christian's masterpiece full of unique works is in Minneapolis just waiting for you to interact with it and leave your mark. Speak into the microphone and make your own statement, answer the intriguing questions on the blackboard, and explore the works of art inside. Especially the carved bowling bowls. Christian says "we all possess the creative impulse and owe ourselves the balls to express it."
3. Pavek Museum of Broadcasting & Media Production, Minneapolis.
The Pavek Museum displays a massive collection of antique radio, television, and broadcast equipment. It doesn't look like much from the outside, but venture in and find yourself in a perfectly curated museum that tells the story of radio and TV since its inception.
4. Runestone Museum, Alexandria.
Decide for yourself if you believe the story of the runestone and experience the history of Minnesota through the interesting artifacts and Scandinavian games and clothing. It's one of MN's most unique attractions, and worth a visit from everyone.
5. Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame, St. Cloud.
Made to honor those who dedicate their lives to amateur baseball, this museum is an epic monument to locals that is worth a visit from every Minnesotan. In true local spirit you can experience the history of MN baseball and experience the nostalgia of the little league, high school, and town teams that caused residents of their hometown to swell with pride.
6. The Bakken Museum, Minneapolis.
A mishmash of all things electrical, medicinal, and technology related, The Bakken is known for its combination of fun exhibits. They even have Frankenstein's Laboratory, a show featuring Frankenstein's monster. It's the perfect place to entertain kids and everyone is bound to find something interesting.
7. Mill City Museum, Minneapolis.
One of the most fascinating buildings and former world's largest flour mill, it certainly is strange that Minnesotans so enjoy touring a mostly destroyed flour mill. However, it is not without merit, the history of the milling industry in Minnesota is not only a huge part of our state's identity, but the museum educates and explores the history of the state, local area, and milling industry in a beautiful and unique way. This iconic ruins are part of the Minneapolis riverfront, and hold a special place in many a Minnesotan's heart.
8. The SPAM Museum, Austin.
Re-opening this Spring! The SPAM museum will be all shiny and new and we can't wait! Hawaii might get the reputation but all Minnesotan's know the real birthplace of this canned masterpiece. More than a million people marveled at the old curated meat museum, so the new one is something you won't want to miss!
9. Museum of Questionable Medical Devices, now part of The Science Museum of Minnesota.
While it's not a standalone museum anymore, Bob McCoy had curated the most unique collection of hilariously useless gadgets meant to serve medical functions. The collection is now displayed by The Science Museum of Minnesota, so fortunately, we can still enjoy McCoy's legacy of exposing nonsense medical practices.
Have you been to any of these places? What did you think? Share your stories with us on the Only In Minnesota Facebook Page!