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Media Room - Big Back Yard EarthScapes Mini Golf and Exhibits Fact sheet

Big Back Yard EarthScapes Mini Golf and Exhibits Fact sheet

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Big Back Yard, the Science Museum's outdoor exhibit gallery


Opens for the 2015 season on June 20, 2015. For detailed hours, visit


Science Museum of Minnesota
120 West Kellogg Boulevard, downtown Saint Paul


Created in partnership with the National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics, which is headquartered at the University of Minnesota, the Big Back Yard represents a new era of outdoor science learning at the Science Museum of Minnesota. The 1.75-acre Big Back Yard features:

  • EarthScapes Mini Golf, a nine-hole miniature golf course that reveals the role of water in shaping landscapes. This 30,000 square-foot course gives the words "water hazard" a whole new meaning!
  • Several large-scale exhibits that invite visitors to examine a 3D map of the world, play in a giant braided stream, and explore how river deltas form;
  • Hands-on exhibits that reveal the properties of groundwater through the use of water from a real artesian well;
  • Camera Obscura, a big walk-through pin-hole camera that projects an image of the outdoor world onto a blank wall – only it's backwards and upside-down;
  • A Turtle Effigy Medicinal Garden that features medicinal plants, and a Three Sisters Garden that demonstrates the Iroquois tradition of planting beans, squash, and corn together;
  • A 17,000 square foot prairie maze, featuring plants, grasses, and flowering plants native to Minnesota's prairies;
  • Science House, the Science Museum's award winning solar powered building, which is home to the museum's Teacher Resource Center.


Admission to the Big Back Yard is included in regular Science Museum exhibit gallery admission ($13 for adults and $10 for kids ages 4 to 12 and seniors). An extra fee applies to visitors who wish to play miniature golf. For more information, call (651) 221-9444 or visit


Kim Ramsden, PR Director, (651) 221-9423
Sarah Imholte, PR Coordinator, (651) 221-9412
Peg Roessler, Roessler Public Relations, (612) 200-8600