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Calendar of Events

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Museum Info
: (612) 626-9660 . • 10 Church Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455
Parking is available in the nearby 4th Street Ramp and the Church Street Garage. Some metered parking is available on surrounding streets.


Sketch Night

Theme: The Universe

Thursday, October 2, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Touch & See Discovery Room, free with museum admission, sponsored by Wet Paint

It's time to kick off another year of Sketch Night! For this evening, we head into outer space, in honor of upcoming exhibit, Eyes on the Universe—opening October 4. We will sketch rocks from space, better known as meteorites, and explore the wonders of ultra-violet light. In addition of course, to the hundreds of plant and wildlife specimens in the Touch & See Discovery Room.

Sketch Night is an informal sketching evening where accomplished illustrators, casual hobbyists and budding artists can gather to draw a variety of themed specimens from the Bell Museum's extensive collections.

Educator Open House & Happy Hour

Thursday, October 2, 2014
 [read more]
Happy Hour 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Come enjoy a happy hour in your honor at the Bell. Admission is FREE when you present your educator ID. Enjoy beverages and hors d'oeuvres as you spend time in the museum exploring and learning about the activities and programs we have to offer you and your students throughout the year. Stay after for BIG Thursday evening programming at the museum!

Pre-register to receive free parking validation. Just email saying "Yes! I will attend the Thursday, Oct. 2 Educator Open House." Stick around for our BIG Thursday programs and our new astronomy-focused exhibition, Eyes on the Universe.


Preview: Eyes on the Universe

October 2, 4:30 p.m. - 9 p.m., Exhibition opens October 4
West Gallery, free with museum admission

The universe is HUGE and to study it takes a lot of eyes. From researchers at the University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering to the citizen
scientists that help them sort through mountains of data on interactive websites like Zooniverse, this exhibit explores how working together can help us make new discoveries.

When visiting Eyes on the Universe, you can join the effort! Sort through hundreds of images of the Andromeda galaxy looking for distant star clusters, search the surface of the moon for water, and even play with the electromagnetic spectrum—including ultra-violet light and radio waves. Turn your eyes back to Earth through satellite imagery in the kid friendly hands-on exploration component, A View from Space.


ExploraDome Theater: BIG Thursday Shows

October 2, 6:30 p.m. & 7:15 p.m., reserve tickets

Catch an ExploraDome Theater the evening! The first Thursday of each month the Bell Museum stays open until 9 p.m., with extra activities including planetarium shows. In October, catch Zoom! From Earth to the Edge of the Universe. The audience decides where to go in this show, from Earth to the edge of the observable universe and anywhere in between. The journey will help visitors appreciate the scale of the solar system, galaxy, and universe; the vast distance separating celestial objects; and how these objects change over time.


Saturday with a Scientist

Magnificent Mammals

Saturday, October 4, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m., free with museum admission

Discover the many ways that mammals are magnificent! Curator of mammals Sharon Jansa, a professor in the University of Minnesota Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, will be our scientist on hand answering questions and giving a glimpse into her world of research. Look at track plates of what’s living on campus and make your own plaster animal track plate to take home. Watch a skinning demo by specimen preparers and learn more about a flying mammal that gets a LOT of attention around this time of year…the bat!

Exhibit Opening

River Sojourn: A Painter’s Portfolio of the Mississippi River Blufflands

October 11, 2014 - January 4, 2015
Jaques Gallery, free with museum admission

For the past two years, Sara Lubinski has been trekking bluffs and valleys with sketchbook, pencils, paints and canvas. Specifically, the blufflands—also called the Driftless Region. These bluffs were skipped over by the last glaciation and were not flatten and buried. Streams have cut deep valleys through the limestone bedrock leaving high bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River, creating a landscape not found anywhere else in our region.

Always an artist, Lubinski also trained as a botanist and worked for 25 years as a plant ecologist in the blufflands. This exhibition of approximately 50 paintings, drawings, and field sketches will engage visitors in Lubinski's artistic quest to explore the beauty of this unique landscape.

Taxidermy Art: A Rogue’s Guide discussion and book signing with Robert Marbury

Thursday, October 16, 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $25 (includes copy of the book), $35 price for set of two tickets (includes one copy of the book), purchase online

‪Join author Robert Marbury in a discussion of his new book, Taxidermy Art: A Rogue's Guide. He’ll tackle the three big ‬questions people have about taxidermy art: What is it all about? Can I see some examples? and How can I make my own?‪ 

In a light-hearted talk setting Robert and other members of the Minnesota Association of Rogue Taxidermists will share insight and stories about the art of working with dead things‬.

Café Scientifique

Einstein: The Old Sage Versus Young Turk

Tuesday, October 21, doors 6 p.m., program at 7 p.m.

at Bryant Lake Bowl, tickets $5-$12, available online or at the door

Drawing on his work for the Einstein Papers Project and his collaborations with scholars at the Max Planck Institute for History of Science in Berlin, Michel Janssen will explain, in layperson's terms, the scientific methodology behind the spectacular successes of the young Einstein (special and general relativity and early contributions to quantum theory). He will then show how some of Einstein's personal experiences during World War I played a key role in making the older Einstein adopt a very different methodology, one no longer driven by empirical data but by mathematical elegance. This Café Scientifique promises to be an entertaining mix of history, philosophy, and physics.

Michel Janssen has long been interested in making the results of his research on the history and philosophy of modern physics accessible to a broader audience. A professor in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine program at the University of Minnesota, Janssen has been offering a popular seminar called Einstein for Everyone. He is also one of the editors of The Cambridge Companion to Einstein, which likewise aims at a broad audience.


Saturday with a Scientist

The Engineer’s Sandbox

Saturday, October 25, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m., free with museum admission

Spend Saturday with scientists Joe Labuz and Kimberly Hill from the Department of Civil Engineering here at the University of Minnesota as we explore something we’re all familiar with, but may not know a lot about—sand!

Watch demonstrations by Labuz and his graduate students, or listen to Hill talk about “the art and science of sand.” Curious about quicksand? Quicksand is not any special type of sand, but is a state that normal sand can be in under certain conditions—learn how with the quicksand tank. See sand up close under microscopes and even test the strength of sand by exploring sand’s ability to withstand landslides and friction forces.


Astronomy Event

Special Lecture: Viewing the Birth of the Universe from the Bottom of the World

Thursday, October 30, 7 p.m., presented with the Minnesota Institute for Astrophysics
Bell Museum Auditorium, free and open to the public

At one time the origin and fate of the Universe in which we find ourselves was the subject of speculation by mystics and philosophers. Now it is a hard, data driven science—although some mysteries remain!

Professor Clem Pryke will guide you through the current state of knowledge, from the discovery of cosmic expansion to dark matter and dark energy. Then journey back in cosmic time to the first instant of the Big Bang and learn about the recent evidence for gravitational waves coming from the BICEP2 radio telescope located at the South Pole. Pryke’s lecture will be followed by a Q&A session, plus free viewing of Eyes on the Universe in the West Gallery.




Birds & DNA: Biodiversity and Mountain Islands

Free with museum admission, lobby gallery
Most of the forests of the Caucasus Mountains are being cut and their birds are at risk. These forest birds look similar to other species found in Europe, but are they really the same? A team of researchers from the University of Minnesota, along with Russian colleagues, are turning to DNA to answer that important question. If they are distinct populations, what conservation efforts need to happen to protect the birds of the Caucasus Mountains? Dive into the world of DNA in this new exhibit, and discover the mysteries of hidden biodiversity!



ExploraDome Theater

Enjoy public daytime shows Friday through Sunday! Purchase Tickets

3 p.m.   Zoom! From Earth to the Edge of the Universe

1 p.m.   Life in the Universe
2 p.m.  Zoom! From Earth to the Edge of the Universe
3 p.m.  Back to the Moon for Good

1 p.m.   Life in the Universe
2 p.m.  Zoom! From Earth to the Edge of the Universe
3 p.m.  Back to the Moon for Good

ExploraDome Theater tickets are available online or by phone (612) 624-2345. Shows routinely sell out in advance. We highly recommend reserving your tickets online. [Purchase Tickets] Limited rush tickets may be available at the door starting two hours prior to the show time.