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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.


Special Event: Book Signing & Reading

The Three Minute Outdoorsman Book Launch

Thursday, May 1, 7 p.m., West Gallery
with Robert Zink, author, outdoorsman, curator of Birds and Breckenridge Chair in Ornithology
Join author and ornithologist Bob Zink as he reads from his new book, The Three Minute Outdoorsman. The book provides curious facts and fascinating insights into nature. A writer who humorously bridges the gap between esoteric information and nature as we have come to know it, Zink distills the latest news from the world of science into three-minute bursts of irresistible lore for the layman. In these brief, engaging essays readers will discover, for instance, how deer use the earth’s magnetic field for orientation; a long-gone tradition of hunting loons in North Carolina; how porcupine quills are advancing new ideas about delivering inoculations; and why deer antlers can model bone regeneration for amputees.

Stop by earlier at 5:30 p.m. as Zink leads our Gallery Conversation, "Did Audubon Get it Wrong?"

Gallery Conversation

Did Audubon Get it Wrong?

Thursday, May 1, 5:30 p.m., West Gallery
with Robert Zink, curator of Birds and Breckenridge Chair in Ornithology
Audubon showed birds in greater detail and greater action then anyone before him. He got a lot of this right...but he wasn’t perfect. Today, with the help of telephoto lens, high-speed video and the accumulation of 175 years of ornithological knowledge, we will take a critical look back at Audubon’s work. Join the Bell Museum’s curator of birds, Bob Zink as he picks apart Audubon’s images in Audubon and the Art of Birds. Expect some ruffled feathers!

Stay afterward and enjoy a 7 p.m. book reading and signing with Zink, author of The Three Minute Outdoorsman.

ExploraDome in the Evening

BIG Thursday Shows: Cosmic Questions

Thursday, May 1, 6:30 p.m., 7:15 p.m.
Our popular ExploraDome Theater matinee shows get an evening billing the first Thursday of each month. Soar through the solar system, and see the museum—all in one evening. Tickets sold separately, purchase in advance online


2014 Sustainability Film Series

More Than Honey

Thursday, May 1, 7 p.m., film website
Bell Museum Auditorium, free with museum admission

The 2014 Sustainability Film Series wraps up with its final installment—Markus Imhoof's award winning feature-length documentary More Than Honey. Over the past 15 years, 50% to 90% of all local bees have disappeared, and this epidemic is still spreading from beehive to beehive, all over the planet. More Than Honey takes an in-depth look at the mystery surrounding colony collapse disorder and its effects. Bell Museum curator of Education and beekeeper Kevin Williams will join students in a panel discussion following the film.
The series is brought to you by the Bell Museum of Natural History in partnership with the University of Minnesota's
Institute on the Environment/Sustainability Studies Minor and  University of Minnesota Housing & Residential Life.

Sketch Night

Sketch Night Theme: Water

Thursday, May 1, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
free with museum admission, Touch & See Discovery Room

Water is something all life depends on, and this evening we will focus on the species and specimens the exemplify water including ocean birds and Lake Superior agates. For those that want to get their hands wet, we will have suminagashi paper marbling materials with which to play as well!

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

Saturday with a Scientist

Honey Bees and the Flowers they Pollinate

Saturday, May 17, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m., free with museum admission

What's the buzz? Find out at our May Saturday with a Science!  Visit our educational Honey House and meet scientist Gary Reuter, who is a long-time beekeeper and keeper of the University of Minnesota bee research colonies.

Your family and friends will learn about honey bee biology, see a working hive, and even have the chance to extract your own honey. For a small fee, you can buy a jar from the museum store and take some Bell honey home! You can also meet graduate student Ian Lane, who is focusing on incorporating flowering plants into grass lawns to provide bee foraging areas in urban landscapes. 

Beekeeper demonstrations will take place at 11 a.m, Noon and 1 p.m. Be sure to sign-in at the Saturday with a Scientist lobby table to get the details on the day's activities before you explore the museum!


Café Scientifique

Birds, Evolution and the Tree of Life with professor Scott Lanyon

Tuesday, May 20, 7 p.m. (doors at 6 p.m.), Bryant Lake Bowl
Tickets: $5-$12, will be available online or at the door, cash bar and food available for purchase

From Darwin's finches to the last passenger pigeon, the relationship between humans and birds has been by turns eye-opening, complicated, mysterious, instructive and deadly. Prof. Scott Lanyon will be speaking on how keen observation of our feathered "frenemies" helps provide the foundation for phylogenetic systematics—the way biologists reconstruct the pattern of events that have led to the distribution and diversity of life. 

Lanyon is the former director of the Bell Museum, and is currently head of the department of ecology, evolution and behavior in the College of Biological Sciences. He held positions at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago in addition to serving on the boards of several national science organizations. Lanyon is past Vice President of the American Ornithologists’ Union.

Café Scientifique provides a happy hour forum for science and culture discussion. Hear from University faculty and researchers as they share their work with the public. 


An evening of art + science + music

Friday, May 30, 7 p.m. - 10 p.m.

: $15 general admission, $12 members, UMN students with I.D., tickets will be available online (link will be posted once on sale) and at the door on May 30.

Mark your calendars for a social evening of art, music, food and drink among the Bell Museum dioramas. Celebrate playful new works by our current McKnight funded artist in residence, Andy DuCett.

Join the Bell and Gastro Non Grata for food, cash bar, art activities, trivia and prizes, and a mini-Cafe Scientifique presentation, all followed by live local music in the diorama halls. And be sure to check out Audubon and the Art of Birds during this exclusive event before it closes June 8!

 It's a big night in a small museum—come see what Minnesota's official natural history museum has to offer!




Audubon and the Art of Birds

Free with museum admission, West Gallery
View original works from John James Audubon's Birds of America on display, along with a collection of renowned fellow artists.

Maize: Mysteries of an Ancient Grain

NOW OPEN: Jaques Gallery
Maize is a critically important crop, locally and around the world. Visit the Bell Museum and explore the science of how maize has evolved over thousands of years, and discover why it continues to surprise us today. Large graphic wall displays and interactive exhibits invite you to explore how scientists think and work, and how their research improves world food supplies. Learn the history of this ancient grain and how it has become one of the world's three most important crops! 

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

2 p.m.  Are We There Yet?
3 p.m.  Cosmic Questions

1 p.m. 
Cosmic Questions
2 p.m. 
Are We There Yet?
3 p.m.  Cosmic Questions

1 p.m.  Cosmic Questions

2 p.m.  Are We There Yet?

3 p.m. 
Cosmic Questions

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.