University of Minnesota
Go to the U of M home page

Home > Calendar of Events

Calendar of Events

Receive a monthly calendar of events and updates by signing up for our email list!

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.

Calendar-Monthly header_Jan2015


Saturday with a Scientist

Spiders: Small Brains, Big Behaviors

Saturday, January 24, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
free with museum admission

Join spider neurobiologists Anthony Auletta and Cynthia Harley from the University of Minnesota Department of Entomology to learn all about the amazing world of spiders!

Spiders are one of the most diverse groups of animals on the planet, and they display an equally diverse array of fascinating (and bizarre!) behaviors...all with a brain that is much smaller than our own! Not only that, but spiders are ecologically, economically and culturally important animals that can be found everywhere you look!


Calendar-Monthly header_Feb2015


Gallery Conversation: Water on the Moon

Thursday, February 5, 5:30 p.m.
free with museum admission

Professor Marc Hirschmann will lead us on a discussion of his search for water on the Moon. He looks for tiny glass spheres on the surface that may indicate the presence of water. Some of these spheres, collected during the Apollo space missions decades ago, will be available for viewing. Hirschmann is a faculty member from the University of Minnesota Department of Earth Sciences.


ExploraDome Theater Shows at BIG Thursday

Thursday, February 5, 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 February, Back to the Moon for Good will immerse you in the race to return to the Moon 40 years after the historic APollo landings. See how a competition among privately funded international teams is ushering in a new era of lunar exploration. You'll also learn about the Moon's resources and discover what humanity's future on the Moon might hold.

In our second show, 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, Milky Way galaxy and the Universe. Visitors will understand the vast distances separating celestial objects and how these objects change over time.



Sustainable Film Series: "Green Gold"

Thursday, February 5, 6:30 p.m.
free with museum admission

Our 5th annual Sustainability Film Series kicks off with "Green Gold," a documentary by environmental filmmaker John D. Liu that documents large-scale ecosystem restoration projects in China, Africa, South America and the Middle East. The film highlights the enormous benefits to people and our planet by undertaking these efforts on a global scale. The 48-minute feature takes you to China, Jordan, Ehiopia, Rwanda and Bolivia, and features Geoff Lawton of the Permaculture Research Institute, who adds impetus and technical know-how to Liu's impressive skills. It tells the story of healing landscapes on a large scale and, with it, restoring life, livelihoods, security and a future. "Green Gold" not only offers hope, it provides proof that rather than give into apathy and despair, we have the simple solutions right in front of us.

The Sustainability Film Series is a produced by a partnership that includes the Bell Museum, the Institute on the Environment's Office of Sustainability, and University Dining Services.



Sketch Night: Grasslands

Thursday, February 5, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
free with museum admission

Our theme for the evening is grasslands, from the prairie to the savannas to pampas, we will have specimens representing these oceans of grass. Our guest artist for the evening will be Paul Damon, who specializes in painting landscapes in oil and watercolor. His focus is the understanding that many landscapes are the result of human intervention.

Sketch Night (now in its 6th year!) 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.  Special thanks to our Sketch Night sponsor, Wet Paint!.


Saturday with a Scientist: Lunar Geology

Saturday, February 14, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
free with museum admission

The moon rocks! Lunar samples collected during the Apollo missions will be on display for you to get up close with. Professor Calvin Alexander from the University of Minnesota Department of Earth Sciences was a part of the original Apollo Lunar Sample team and will join us on our investigation of these national treasures. Alexander also is the curator of meteorites at the University. The day's activities include lunar sample analysis, how to hunt for and identify meteorites, and much more.


Cafe Scientifique

The Power of Poisons

Tuesday, February 17, doors 6:00 p.m., program 7:00 p.m.
at Bryant Lake Bowl, tickets $5-$12, available online or at the door

What can we learn from animals that possess natural defenses to toxins? Professor Sharon Jansa and graduate student Danielle Drabeck have studied the honey badger, a mammal with a taste for poisonous snakes and a surprising resistance to snake venom. Tonight they will introduce us to the anthropological and cultural interpretations of toxins through a scientific lens, and explain how the honey badger's adaptations help researchers use biochemistry and evolutionary biology to better understand how organisms evolve. Their upcoming journal article explores the development of venom resistance in more than 40 species.

Sharon Jansa is the Bell's curator of mammals and an associate professor in the University's Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior. Danielle Drabeck is a 3rd-year Ph.D. student.


Saturday with a Scientist: Misunderstood Molds, Fantastic Fungi and Sensitive Lichens

Saturday, February 21, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
free with museum admission

Molds, fungi and lichens play important roles in our lives, yet most of us know little about them. We've invited Aaron David and Daniel Stanton from the University of Minnesota's Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior to explain this often mis-understood world. You'll learn how fungi can cause and cure disease, how pigs hunt for them, and how they make our bread grow. There will be six hands-on stations for visitors: Building Your Own Lichen Terrarium, Decomposition, Fungi-related Food and Products, Yeast Experimentation, Fungi Art, and Mushroom Dissection. And don't miss the mini lecture on Killer Fungi!




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! 

Eyes on the Universe

Open through May 2015
West Gallery, free with museum admission

The universe is HUGE and to study it takes lots 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.

Every weekend as well as Fridays from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Eyes on the Universe is staffed by our interpretive guides. They are on hand to provide walk throughs of the exhibit and can assist groups with guided activities.



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.   Zoom! From Earth to the Edge of the Universe
2 p.m.  Gravity Always Wins: The Death (and Life) of Stars - NEW
3 p.m.  Zoom! From Earth to the Edge of the Universe

1 p.m.   Zoom! From Earth to the Edge of the Universe
2 p.m.  Gravity Always Wins: The Death (and Life) of Stars - NEW
3 p.m.  Zoom! From Earth to the Edge of the Universe

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.