Children's Museum of South Dakota

Frequently Asked Questions

Visiting the Museum

What are your hours?

How do we get there?

Where do we park?

Do you have a place to eat?

May I bring snacks/meals for my children to the Museum when I visit?

What age groups does the Museum serve?

May I drop my children off at the Museum while I do something else?

How many children can I bring?

If there are more than 5 children in our family, may my teenage child help me fulfill the 1:5 adult to child ratio for supervision? 

How long does it take to experience the Museum?

Do I have to make a reservation to bring a group of children?

Can we bring a stroller and where do we park it?

Will my visit include a guided tour?

Is the Museum wheelchair accessible?

Are pets allowed in the Museum?

 

Admission

What is the cost of admission?

Once we’ve paid admission, can we come and go?

Do you participate in the reciprocal program with other children’s museums?

 

Memberships

Does the Museum offer a membership or annual pass?

How many people and who can receive free admission when using my membership?

Is my membership tax-deductible?

 

Exhibits/Programs

Would my baby, under 18 months, enjoy the Museum too?

Why does miniExplorers have an age restriction?

May an older child come into the miniExplorers exhibit if she/he is with younger siblings?

What is the easiest way to find out about new programs and events?

I hear there’s water play at the Museum.  Should we bring a change of clothes?

 

Miscellaneous

What does the front desk sign mean, “you may be in pictures” or “recording occurring today for research purposes?

Can I bring alcohol to the museum?

Is smoking or tobacco allowed?

What else can we do in the area with children?

 

Visiting the Museum

 

What are your hours?

The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm. On Sunday, the Museum is open from 12noon until 5:00 pm. It is closed on most Mondays, Easter Sunday, 4th of July, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve Day, Christmas Day and for yearly maintenance the first week of January.

 

How do we get there?

The Museum is located at 521 4th Street in Brookings, just 50 minutes north of Sioux Falls along the I-29 corridor. For specific directions, go to Visit the Museum

 

Where do we park?

Free parking is available across the street from the Museum entrance. Street parking is available along Fifth Avenue and Fifth Street, north of the Museum. 

 

Is the Museum wheelchair accessible?

Yes, the Museum is wheelchair accessible. An elevator provides access to the second floor and accessible restrooms are located on each floor.  

 

Are pets allowed in the Museum?

Disabled visitors are welcome to bring their service animals for assistance in the Museum.  

 

How long does it take to experience the Museum?

The Children's Museum of South Dakota has developed fun, educational exhibits designed with open-ended activities so children can discover new ways to play each time they visit. Visitors will have a rewarding experience whether they have an hour or several hours to explore. Admission is valid the entire day. If you choose to leave the Museum, you may return the same day, just present your receipt at the admissions desk. 

 

Will my visit include a guided tour?

The Children's Museum of South Dakota exhibits are created with open-ended activities in mind so that guests will enjoy a different experience each time they visit the museum. We encourage visitors to play, explore, and learn in their own unique way!  

 

What age groups does the Museum serve?

Our exhibits were designed for children ages 0-12. Typically, children’s museums serve children ages 0-8, but many of the activities and programming at the CMSD are designed to appeal to teens as well. We believe you’ll find something at the museum for any age whether you are a child or an adult.    

 

Do you have a place to eat?

Yes, our Café Coteau offers delicious pasta dishes guaranteed to please both adults and children. Café Coteau is located in the Pavilion just off the entryway. No admission is required to dine at the café, which is open to the public. Visitors are not allowed to bring in food purchased from outside eateries. No food or drink is allowed in the exhibit areas of the museum. 

 

May I bring snacks/meals for my children to the Museum when I visit?

Visitors are welcome to bring snacks or sack lunches from home to eat in the Museum's pavilion or outside picnic tables. Please do not bring food purchased from eateries other than the café. Food and drink, with the exception of infant bottles, will not be permitted beyond the museum welcome desk. 

 

Can we bring a stroller and where do we park it?

Visitors are welcome to bring strollers. There is designated parking for strollers outside the miniExplorers Exhibit.  

 

May I drop my children off at the Museum while I do something else?

The Children’s Museum of South Dakota has been designed for generations to enjoy together. Children must be accompanied by an adult (age 16 and older). We require a 1 to 5 adult to child ratio.

 

How many children can I bring?

We require a 1 to 5 adult to child ratio while enjoying the Museum.

 

Do I have to make a reservation to bring a group of children?

We can help plan a fun, engaging day of play for field trips, play-groups, home-school or church groups but reservations are required for groups of 10 or more children. For more information, please contact the Welcome Desk Receptionist at (605) 692-6700 ext.240. To maintain a quality experience, the Museum may limit the number of large groups that attend on any given day.  It is suggested to make reservations at the earliest possible time.

 

Admission

 

What is the cost of admission?

The cost of admission is $7.50 per person, ages 1 and up. Children under the age of one receive free admission to the Museum. Admission is FREE for Museum Members.

 

Once we’ve paid admission, can we come and go?

Yes, visitors can come and go within the same day of paid admission. Please stop by the admissions desk before you leave the Museum to inquire about the process for reentry. 

 

Do you participate in the reciprocal program with other children’s museums?

Yes, we do. Please check memberships for this benefit Support the Museum

 

If there are more than 5 children in our family, may my teenage child help me fulfill the 1:5 adult to child ratio for supervision?

 Yes, if your teenage child is older than 16 years of age. 

Memberships

 

Does the Museum offer a membership or annual pass?

Yes, memberships offer a great value and help you save with each visit. You may purchase a membership online, when you arrive or save your receipt and apply your admission to the purchase of a membership.  

 

How many people and who can receive free admission when using my membership?

Memberships can only be used by the individuals listed on the membership card. The cardholder(s) must be present for the visit to receive the benefits of membership. You must present photo identification along with your membership card to receive free admission. 

 

Is my membership tax-deductible?

Basic memberships are not tax-deductible. 

 

Exhibits and Programs

 

Would my baby, under 18 months, enjoy the Museum too?

Yes, definitely! While there are toddler spaces in each gallery, the miniExplorers Exhibit is specifically designed for our visitors under the age of four.  

 

Why does miniExplorers have an age restriction?

This exhibit supports the museum’s youngest guests and their overall integration of physical, spatial, and cognitive development. The Children's Museum of South Dakota also wanted to provide a designated space for parents who might want a quieter place for their toddler to play.     

 

May an older child come into the miniExplorers exhibit if she/he is with younger siblings?

Yes, of course! But please keep in mind that the miniExplorers exhibit is designed for a toddler’s developmental needs. Toddler spaces in each gallery provide excellent opportunities for families with children of varying ages to explore and enjoy the Museum together.  

 

What is the easiest way to find out about new programs and events?

You can find all the latest news about programming and events on our website. Monitors near the admission desk and elevator also will display the latest Museum news.  

 

I hear there’s water play at the museum.  Should we bring a change of clothes?

There are water activities both indoors and outdoors. It is likely that you might get a bit damp. We would suggest that you bring water-proof sandals as well as a towel for summer activities in the outdoor play area.  

 

Miscellaneous

 

What does the front desk sign mean, “you may be in pictures” or “recording occurring today for research purposes?

The Children’s Museum of South Dakota is collaborating with South Dakota State University to better serve children through research of the museum environment. This innovative research will involve studies of informal learning in families and groups, learning through play, the effectiveness of museum environments to support informal learning and developing a sense of place through museum experiences. Families participating in the research studies will be asked to sign consent forms. Children will not be participants of research without the written consent of a parent or guardian. For more information, please see Evaluation and Research.    

 

Can I bring alcohol to the museum?

Alcohol is not allowed in the Children’s Museum of South Dakota while the Museum is open to the public. Alcohol may be served on the premises for certain after-hours events such as wedding receptions and holiday parties. For guidelines, please contact our Director of Guest Services.   

 

Is smoking allowed?

The Children’s Museum of South Dakota is a tobacco-free campus. This also includes the outdoor play area as well as the café and its outdoor seating.  

 

What else can we do in the area with children?

There are a number of activities within the City of Brookings and in the nearby region that appeal to children of all ages. For more information, see Our Community and Beyond.