Rochester Local

Children’s Museum Announces Move & Name Change

A rendering of the new space at Apache Mall.

Today, the Minnesota Children’s Museum Rochester announced their plan to grow into a larger space at Apache Mall. In addition, they have changed their name and have expanded their mission to provide more opportunities for families to experience learning through play.

“MCMR, having outgrown its existing storefront space, has been looking for a long-term home for more than a year. Apache Mall is an ideal location,” said Beth Sherden, director of MCMR. “Spark is a unique concept that brings together exhibits, programs and local outreach opportunities, making it an important part of Rochester’s future,” said Sherden.

A planned public announcement will happen at tomorrow’s Family Event, Noon Year’s Eve that’s hosted by the Apache Mall.  You can find more details about that event here!

Below are some key details from today’s announcement:

Name Change

  • The Minnesota Children’s Museum Rochester has changed their name to Spark.  In addition to the name change, they have an all new website.


  • The new location is anticipated to open in summer 2020. The all-new play space will be located down the south hallway from JCPenney across from Serenity Couture Salon.  What we love about this new location is that it has an *outside* entrance and ample parking.
  • With the new location, Spark will be doubling their existing space to 7000 square feet.


  • According to the press release, “Playful learning will be at the heart of the new Spark experiences, along with three focus areas: STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math), health and well-being, and cultural connections.”
    • Immersive Climber — A vertical maze with platforms, pipes and netting to encourage exploration, confidence and imaginative play.
    • Our World Bazaar — A vibrant role-play space with a pretend cafe, shops and other elements designed to reflect the cultural richness of Rochester’s diverse community.
    • WaterWays — A structure with a dam, turbine, tubes and troughs where children explore the principles of water power.

The current Minnesota Children’s Museum Rochester location will remain open through February 16th, 2020. If you haven’t been to see the current exhibit, “Clifford the Big Red Dog,” be sure to head in before it closes to prepare for the exciting new move!



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