The New Bell Museum is a Grand Experience

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It is finally here!!

The Grand opening of the Bell Museum and Planetarium is ready to shine! The new Museum brings together science, art, and the environment with a unique Minnesota perspective. (Remember their infamous Touch and See Lab?! Their new home features a digital planetarium, high-tech exhibits (including an all-new Touch and See), new wildlife dioramas, outdoor learning experiences and more (like this weekend’s interactive water rocket launching station!).

And a new, state-of-the art 120-seat Planetarium - a community resource that has been missing in the Twin Cities since 2002. From the comfort of a plush reclining seat, you’ll feel like you’re flying through Earth’s atmosphere to the far reaches of the universe, delving inside plant life and the human body, or swimming the deep sea. A 16-meter aluminum dome, constructed using the latest “seamless” technology (first in the world!), surrounds you in our new digital theater, offering larger-than-life views in front, above, and behind. 5.1 digital surround sound audio and theatrical lighting provide the finishing touches.

Planetarium experiences:

Featured productions - Grounded in current science issues, our featured productions combine fast-paced storytelling and beautiful visuals. Each production will engage general audiences while also meeting PreK–12 curricular objectives. Museum educators host Q&A sessions following the show.

Live presentations - Planetarium staff will guide “fly-throughs” of scientific phenomena or locations with real-time software, while providing commentary and answering audience questions. Using this format, theye can quickly respond to current events such as eclipses and space missions, drawing on productions from NASA, the Space Telescope Science Institute, U.S. Geologic Survey, National Weather Service, and other agencies. Planetarium software will be updated with the latest astronomy findings, including new exoplanet and galaxy discoveries.

The latest technology allows them to branch out beyond astronomy. The museum’s grand opening will include an original planetarium production, Minnesota in the Cosmos, which follows the Big Bang through the formation of our planet and the rise of life on Earth. You’ll see examples of continuous change over time, including geologic processes that have molded the Minnesota landscape. They will be leasing productions created at other institutions, featuring topics ranging from the solar system to the microscopic world.

Other Highlights

Green roof and observation deck with a high-powered telescope to explore the universe and  photovoltaic glass railings.

Sustainable landscaping with pollinator gardens and native wildflowers, grasses, shrubs and trees while learning about the importance of bees in nature and society.

Pond and gathering space made from rainwater collected from the museum’s roof–supplemented with well water– which may one day maintain a community of plants, insects, amphibians, and other aquatic creatures.

Geology exploration area with large boulders representing Minnesota’s major rocks types (basalt, limestone, sandstone, gneiss, etc.) encouraging young visitors to climb and observe.

Solar station sundial surrounded by a circle of engraved paving lets visitors observe the time of day, the time of year, and the four cardinal directions.

Hours 10am-5pm except published holidays


Museum Admission

Adult – $12.00

Senior (65+) – $10.00

Youth (3-21, 0-2 yrs free) – $9.00

UMN Student (with student ID) – Free

Bell Museum members get FREE gallery admission every day

Planetarium shows

Adult – $8.00

Senior (65+) – $7.00

Youth (3-21, 0-2 yrs free*) – $6.00

U of M Student (with student ID) – $4.00

Bell Museum members get 50% off planetarium tickets every day

Combo — Museum & Planetarium

Adult   $17.00

Senior (65+)   $14.00

Youth (3-21, 0-2 yrs free*)   $12.00

*Children 2 and under may share a seat with an adult guardian in the planetarium for free. If an additional seat is needed, please purchase them a Youth ticket. 

Note: On duty Personal Care Assistants receive free admission every day. Please call 612-626-9660 to arrange a PCA planetarium ticket in advance.