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Big Back YardThe Big Back Yard's hands-on exhibits and miniature golf course illustrate landscape evolution, river dynamics, and biodiversity. In addition, this outdoor gallery features a prairie maze, gardens, a camera obscura, and an award-winning solar-powered building.


  • In 9 holes of EarthScapes Mini-Golf, learn about the theme of 'source to sink'—how landscapes erode, how rivers transport sediment, and what happens to sediment when it reaches the ocean.
  • Walk into the Camera Obscura (Latin for "dark room"), and see an image of the outside world projected on the opposite wall.
  • Learn how water and land can affect each other.
  • Walk through a maze of prairie plants native to Minnesota.
  • Admire our Native American gardens and check out the Big Back Yard plant guide.
  • Enjoy lunch at a picnic table.


Open through Labor Day, September 7
Tuesday-Sunday 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Weather permitting


Mini-golf is an additional charge: $4 for members and $5 for non-members. Children 3 years and under golf for free.
Viewing the Big Back Yard gardens is free with museum admission.