Runestone Museum Foundation

Runestone Museum Foundation Regional History Museum with audio tour stops, children's activities, movies, & historical buildings!
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Welcome to the Runestone Museum, located in what is now downtown Alexandria, Minnesota. We invite you to stop by and tour historic Fort Alexandria, take your picture with Big Ole, and see the world famous Kensington Runestone. For awhile you will live in the past, so walk a little slower, talk a little slower, and enjoy the exhibition on Norse history, the Native American exhibit, the Minnesota wi

ldlife display, the display of early pioneer life, and the hands-on childrenโ€™s area. Enter Fort Alexandria and visit several authentic log buildings, an 1880 country school house, and view the forty-foot viking ship, the Snorri. Experience the changing of the seasons in the display of tools and farm equipment used by an earlier generation. The Runestone Gift Shop features Minnesota and Alexandria souvenirs, viking and runestone information, books, t-shirts, viking helmets and swords, and unique gifts, which many of them are by local artists, authors, and craftsmen. Admissions
Adults: $10.00
Seniors: $9.00
Student (High school or College): $7.00
Family: $25.00
Group Rates Available for 20+ people

Thank you to museum volunteers, John & Kris for helping with the float, to Tonya & Josh for all their help with logistic...
12/06/2023

Thank you to museum volunteers, John & Kris for helping with the float, to Tonya & Josh for all their help with logistics and actually pulling the float in the parade and to Brittany, TJ & Alexandria Public Schools NHS students for carrying the banner and handing out candy (thank you Henry's Foods Inc. ) all the way from the RCC and back to the museums! I also (briefly) helped with the float, but it was Kaci who championed the project from concept to fruition, so a big round of applause goes to her too--thank you everyone!

So...this happened over the weekend...some Nordic fjord shenanigans (setting world records). Honestly, this is SO cool a...
12/05/2023

So...this happened over the weekend...some Nordic fjord shenanigans (setting world records). Honestly, this is SO cool and a sport Minnesotans could totally get behind--who's with us?!

Did you know that there are 700 types of potato (not including the sweet potato)?! As a historical museum with a heritag...
12/05/2023

Did you know that there are 700 types of potato (not including the sweet potato)?! As a historical museum with a heritage garden, we understand how much work goes into preservation. As we know, the humble South American potato feeds the world, and even though the 'original' potato is from Peru or Chile (there are still debates) modern potatoes look nothing like their predecessors. Additionally, potatoes have been dubbed 'the perfect' food by many nutritionists and can be found in many traditional dishes in almost every country ๐Ÿคฏ For now, let's learn more with Seed Savers Exchange and all that they do to inventory and protect future plants for the Americas.

Happening TODAY at the Douglas County Historical Society MN at 1219 Nokomis Street (the Knute Nelson House)!
12/01/2023

Happening TODAY at the Douglas County Historical Society MN at 1219 Nokomis Street (the Knute Nelson House)!

Thank you to Alexandria Public Schools for their most recent field trip from Lincoln Elementary to the Runestone Museum ...
11/29/2023

Thank you to Alexandria Public Schools for their most recent field trip from Lincoln Elementary to the Runestone Museum Foundation๐Ÿ˜€ What a great group on Kindergarteners ๐Ÿซถ

Mark your calendars for a special event at the Runestone Museum Foundation next week๐Ÿ“š Local talent, Barbara & Jewett Ben...
11/29/2023

Mark your calendars for a special event at the Runestone Museum Foundation next week๐Ÿ“š Local talent, Barbara & Jewett Benson, have created a beautiful alphabet book that we now carry in our Gift Shop and they will be doing a reading and book signing on Thursday, December 7th from 3:00 - 4:00 in the museum. Jewett taught art for many years with Alexandria Public Schools and Barbara worked for the former, Lakes Community Recreation (where she was my first ever boss when I became a lifeguard) and is now working with the Friends of the Alexandria Nature Trail. The Bensons were able to sell their book at the local Saturday Art Market- Big Ole Park this summer and we're happy to have them available here in the Museum Gift Shop. This event is open to the public and we encourage you to stop by๐Ÿ“– Learn more about the inspiration for the book: https://www.echopress.com/lifestyle/alexandria-mans-book-was-inspired-by-his-granddaughter

Congratulations to first time participants...the Central Lakes Symphony Orchestra for winning first place in the 2023 Pa...
11/28/2023

Congratulations to first time participants...the Central Lakes Symphony Orchestra for winning first place in the 2023 Parade of Trees ๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿฅณ๐ŸŽ„ A close second was to another newcomer - Papa Kโ€™s Rescue BBQ and third place went to Lake Country Meats -- another brand new participant! Way to go everyone and thank you SO MUCH for helping to raise over $600 for Walk to End Alzheimer's - Alexandria Lakes Area at this year's Parade of Trees Event๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿ’œ

Donation Day at the Runestone Museum Foundation will be Wednesday, December 6, this year. As always, bring 2 full-sized ...
11/27/2023

Donation Day at the Runestone Museum Foundation will be Wednesday, December 6, this year. As always, bring 2 full-sized personal care items and receive one free museum guest pass to be used anytime in the next year! All donations will be brought to Outreach Food Shelf for the CPKC Holiday Train Event on December 14 between 11:30 a - 12:15p at 8th Avenue & Nokomis ๐ŸŽ„

All aboard! The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train will stop in 20 Minnesota towns on its annual ride (2023 is its 25th anniversary!) through the northern U.S., bringing live entertainment and Christmas cheer in exchange for donations to local food banks.

Thank you so much to our wonderful choral groups for this year's event! They were great performances and it helps to cre...
11/25/2023

Thank you so much to our wonderful choral groups for this year's event! They were great performances and it helps to create a special old fashioned Christmas feeling ๐Ÿซถ Both Zion Lutheran School and Alexandria Public Schools are always so generous with their time each year. It definitely would not be the same without them! ๐ŸŽ„

Today we're also thankful for the Zion Children's Choir and the Alexandria Carolers for adding holiday music to our Christmas in the Fort and Parade of Trees event at the Runestone Museum Foundation and Legacy of the Lakes Museum.

This year, the choral performances will be on both campuses! Zion Children's Choir will perform at 3:30 on the Legacy Gardens stage and at 3:45 at the stagecoach stop inside Fort Alexandria. The Alexandria Carolers will perform at 4:15 in the Legacy Gardens and at 4:30 in Fort Alexandria.

Thank you SO much for donating, baking & delivering thousands of cookies for the event, Broadway Ballroom Event Center -...
11/25/2023

Thank you SO much for donating, baking & delivering thousands of cookies for the event, Broadway Ballroom Event Center -- you have a great team over there and we appreciate you supporting this wonderful annual celebration!

Today we're thankful for Broadway Ballroom Event Center for providing the delicious cookies served up at Fort Alexandria during Christmas in the Fort and Parade of Trees.

We're getting closer and closer to Christmas in the Fort and Parade of Trees. Join us for this free event Friday, November 24 from 3-6 pm!

Runestone Museum Foundation

Robyn and her team are always good about helping out for community events and we are VERY thankful that her and her team...
11/25/2023

Robyn and her team are always good about helping out for community events and we are VERY thankful that her and her team not only put together these amazing last-minute posters for us, but they also did a banner for us for the Light Parade! Winning Edge Graphics are def local rockstars๐Ÿค˜

Today we are also thankful for the support of Winning Edge Graphics! They printed the wayfinding signs for our event so that people can find their way to all the fun to be had.

Parade of Trees and Christmas in the Fort are this Friday, November 24, from 3-6 pm.

Runestone Museum Foundation

Thank you to our wonderful local coffee houses! In fact, when Scooter's Coffee wasn't able to help out (no shade, we tot...
11/25/2023

Thank you to our wonderful local coffee houses! In fact, when Scooter's Coffee wasn't able to help out (no shade, we totally get it!), our local Alexandria Starbucks stepped in to fill the void๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ™Œ In fact, TWO Caribou Coffee locations contributed to the event (the new DT by Target and the original location) as did Common Ground Coffee House -- we have the BEST coffee places in Minnesota -- thank you so much!

Today we're saying thank you to the area coffee shops donating coffee for Christmas in the Fort (there'll be hot cocoa over at Parade of Trees).

Thank you to Common Ground Coffee House, Caribou Coffee, and Scooter's Coffee!

Runestone Museum Foundation

Thank you SO much to Thrivent, who continue to contribute to this event year after year -- thank you so much for your co...
11/25/2023

Thank you SO much to Thrivent, who continue to contribute to this event year after year -- thank you so much for your continued support! โค๏ธ

Thrivent Financial has been a supporter of Christmas in the Fort (and now Parade of Trees) for years thanks to their Thrivent Action Grants. We're thankful for their support and the support of their members in our community!

Runestone Museum Foundation

Fleet Farm and Walmart donated $250 & $100 respectively, which we were able to use to replace broken and burned out ligh...
11/25/2023

Fleet Farm and Walmart donated $250 & $100 respectively, which we were able to use to replace broken and burned out lights this year. Thank you! We have grown to depend on these donations each year and we're VERY appreciative that both companies have been working to increase their gifts each year. Thank you!

Today we're sharing our thanks for Christmas in the Fort and Parade of Trees supporters Fleet Farm and Walmart!

We're able to keep both the Runestone and Legacy of the Lakes Campuses looking festive thanks to the generosity of both businesses.

We'd also like to give a huge shout out and thank you to the volunteers who help prepare the museum campuses for this event. We definitely could not do it without you!

Check out the decor and all the other holiday wonder at Christmas in the Fort and Parade of Trees on November 24 from 3-6!

Runestone Museum Foundation

11/24/2023
๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„Friday, November 24--3:00 PM--Santa & Mrs. Claus arrive at Fort Alexandria along Broadway Street (gates open & em...
11/24/2023

๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„
Friday, November 24--
3:00 PM--Santa & Mrs. Claus arrive at Fort Alexandria along Broadway Street (gates open & emcee Chelsea Lee will be announcing the event).
3:00 PM--Broadway Block Party--Kettle Korn and giveaways at Counselor Realty of Alexandria...food & drink specials at Copper Trail Brewing Company...soup and cider giveaway, plus drink specials by The Depot Smokehouse and Tavern, just north of the Fort Alexandria fence (the fence will be open to connect the properties) and Hubbard Radio of Alexandria will also have a presence on Broadway Street.
3:00 PM--Christmas in the Fort--Cider, Coffee & Cookies provided in Fort Alexandria...Free Book Giveaway provided by the Douglas County Historical Society MN (until supplies run out--520 books) and Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Runestone Museum in Fort Alexandria.
3:00 PM--Parade of Trees & Garden of Lights--S'mores, Hot Chocolate Stations & Voting to support the Alzheimer's Association.
3:30 PM--Zion Choir singing in the Legacy Gardens
3:45 PM--Zion Choir singing at the Runestone Museum in Fort Alexandria
4:15 PM--Choral Performance by the Alexandria Carolers in the Legacy Gardens
4:30 PM--Choral Performance by the Alexandria Carolers in Fort Alexandria
5:00 PM--Violinist Gabe Dalhoff at Copper Trail Brewing Company
5:15 PM--Light Up Broadway
5:30 PM--Holiday Light Parade down Broadway Street (4th Ave to 8th Ave)
6:00 PM--Fort Alexandria gates close, Legacy of the Lakes Boathouse closes

For more information about additional Christmas events in the community: https://explorealex.com/get-ready-for-expanded-christmas-in-alexandria-events/

Happy Thanksgiving from the Runestone Museum Foundation!
11/23/2023

Happy Thanksgiving from the Runestone Museum Foundation!

Thank you, Elden's Fresh Foods  Elden's donated $500 worth of groceries to us (Runestone Museum Foundation & Legacy of T...
11/22/2023

Thank you, Elden's Fresh Foods Elden's donated $500 worth of groceries to us (Runestone Museum Foundation & Legacy of The Lakes Museum) for the event and were couldn't be more appreciative ๐Ÿซถ

This week leading up to Thanksgiving, we want to make sure we thank the sponsors and donors who make Christmas in the Fort and Parade of Trees possible! Their generosity means that we can keep this event 100% free to the public to enjoy.

Today we want to thank Elden's Fresh Foods. Thanks to them, we are able to get all the hot cocoa mix and cider we need (there's actually more than would fit in this picture!), along with the S'more supplies!

Christmas in the Fort and Parade of Trees is November 24 from 3-6 pm!

Runestone Museum Foundation Elden's Fresh Foods

Getting Excited! A big THANK YOU to ALP Utilities and the City of Alexandria for creating magic in our community with al...
11/22/2023

Getting Excited! A big THANK YOU to ALP Utilities and the City of Alexandria for creating magic in our community with all of the fantastic Christmas decorations that they take the time to put up each year. We're sure it's a lot of work getting them out of storage, organizing the set-up, hanging them, taking them down again and putting them away again after--and we want you to know that we REALLY appreciate it๐ŸŽ„ Not every community participates as much as ours does and it makes it that much more special๐ŸŽ„

An ancient Hnefatafl Board Game was among the archaeological finds! You and your family can purchase this chess-like boa...
11/22/2023

An ancient Hnefatafl Board Game was among the archaeological finds!
You and your family can purchase this chess-like board game in our Gift Shop for cozy evening entertainment this winter season ๐Ÿ™‚

A team of archaeologists, co-led by a researcher at the University of Southampton, believe they have located the site of the lost Monastery of Deer in Northeast Scotland.

Learn more about Christmas in the Fort & Parade of Trees on the Pay it Forward Podcast by KIKV-FM. Thank you SO much to ...
11/20/2023

Learn more about Christmas in the Fort & Parade of Trees on the Pay it Forward Podcast by KIKV-FM. Thank you SO much to hosts Kris & Chelsea for inviting myself and Kaci from Legacy of The Lakes Museum to talk about this amazing community event. And we're so excited that the event has grown and extended to other amazing community initiatives like the Friends of Christmas who are hosting the Light Parade, Garden of Lights & Christmas Market ๐Ÿซถ SO...if our goal of filming a Hallmark Christmas Movies becomes a reality...what will the title be? Any suggestions?

https://www.kikvradio.com/episode/pay-it-forward-podcast-christmas-in-the-fort-parade-of-trees/







Kaci at the Legacy of The Lakes Museum created a fantastic map for the event next Friday! Fort Alexandria gates open at ...
11/20/2023

Kaci at the Legacy of The Lakes Museum created a fantastic map for the event next Friday! Fort Alexandria gates open at 3:00 pm when Santa Claus arrives๐ŸŽ„

So excited ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ™Œ
11/18/2023

So excited ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ™Œ

The display tells the story of Olof Ohmanโ€™s discovery of the Kensington Rune Stone.

Little Big Ole is in Nepal๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ต After a visit to the Runestone Museum Foundation this summer, Annika and her family travele...
11/13/2023

Little Big Ole is in Nepal๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ต After a visit to the Runestone Museum Foundation this summer, Annika and her family traveled to India and Nepal-- and thanks to sons, Henry & Oren--LBO was able to tag along! Here he is at the Boudhanath Stupa, Kathmandu, Nepal, which was built in the 1300s and is Nepalโ€™s largest stupa (Buddhist temple). They also attempted to take him to the Taj Mahal in Agra, India but he was confiscated (they donโ€™t allow toys through security) ๐Ÿ˜ณ Donโ€™t worry, they got him back ๐Ÿ˜ Send YOUR Little Big Ole pictures to [email protected]

Happy Veterans Day! All service members are FREE at the museum today and we offer admission discounts to both active and...
11/11/2023

Happy Veterans Day! All service members are FREE at the museum today and we offer admission discounts to both active and veteran service members year-round. Thank you for all that you've done and all that you do ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ
Click the link to learn the origins and history of Veterans Day:
https://www.theworldwar.org/learn/about-wwi/origins-veterans-day?fbclid=IwAR3EULj0grwCpuS69RO38tSIKgy4NLsVq2bxWgaqMExcdYjIfP3YDEdBeNE

In 1954, after the return of service personnel from both World War II and the Korean War, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill rededicating Nov.

Here are pictures from Little Big Ole's trip to Washington D.C. ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ A big thank you to former museum board member and cur...
11/08/2023

Here are pictures from Little Big Ole's trip to Washington D.C. ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ A big thank you to former museum board member and current Christmas in the Fort volunteer, Sarah, for sending us these wonderful pictures! Sarah does an amazing job for Alexandria Public Schools and we were very lucky that she brought LBO along with her on her trip! You can see LBO in warmer weather at the airport, as well as visiting the Lincoln Memorial and visiting the Jefferson Memorial. Send your LBO pictures to [email protected] and we'll share both online and in our museumโค๏ธ๐Ÿค๐Ÿ’™

Pumpkin Plachindas! From scratch! Thank you Rhonda ๐Ÿซถ We're so spoiled at the Runestone Museum Foundation, that volunteer...
11/07/2023

Pumpkin Plachindas! From scratch! Thank you Rhonda ๐Ÿซถ We're so spoiled at the Runestone Museum Foundation, that volunteer Mark merely MENTIONED how much he loved these seasonal and traditional treats (that are very difficult to find in this area) and volunteer Rhonda MADE THEM--fully from scratch๐Ÿฅฐ They are Eastern European hand-pie-type pastries with a combination of yummy fillings. Most of us were not familiar with these tasty treats and they were FANTASTIC!

Thankfully we got some more lights up! Christmas in the Fort is coming up on Black Friday and we can't WAIT -- everyone ...
11/06/2023

Thankfully we got some more lights up! Christmas in the Fort is coming up on Black Friday and we can't WAIT -- everyone cross their fingers for nice weather ๐Ÿฅถ๐Ÿคž A big thank you to Sarah at Alexandria Public Schools for sending us National Honor Society students, Izzy and Jordan to help. They joined forces with museum volunteer, Mary and museum volunteers, Jan, Merv, Mark & Rhonda all worked on getting the Stagecoach Stop Porch ready for the musical performers for the Christmas in the Fort event. ๐Ÿซถ

As you know, we've also been working on our Kid's Discovery Korner since earlier this year and are finally finishing up ...
11/05/2023

As you know, we've also been working on our Kid's Discovery Korner since earlier this year and are finally finishing up final details for that space as well ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ™Œ As a year-round museum with limited resources, it can be difficult to freshen up spaces and switch out exhibits, so we're really excited and proud of all the work we've accomplished in this space! A round of applause to everyone who helped to make this happen: Amanda, Shelly, Jan, Merv, Mark, Rhonda, Deb, Sarah, Sophia, volunteers from Serving Sunday and of course, all of YOU who have sent us your fabulous Little Big Ole pictures that we're now including in one of our Museum Exhibits ๐Ÿค

New in our Gift Shop and PERFECT for No-Shave November: Mustache Mugs ๐Ÿ’œIf any of you have completed our Outdoor Scavenge...
11/04/2023

New in our Gift Shop and PERFECT for No-Shave November: Mustache Mugs ๐Ÿ’œIf any of you have completed our Outdoor Scavenger Hunt, you've seen a number of Mustache Mugs in our collection-- we also now sell contemporary versions in the Gift Shop at the Runestone Museum Foundation! You can see the "shelf" in the mug that was originally built to protect facial hair that was tamed with wax. That way the steam from the hot beverage would have a harder time melting the wax off of the mustache and dripping into the mug or cup. In present day, we felt mustache mugs could definitely be useful when you have whipped cream on hot chocolate, foam on a latte, or even when you're sipping on scrumptious soups. Remember that all Members of the Runestone Museum Foundation receive 20% off of Gift Shop purchases--perfect for holiday shopping. To learn more about No Shave November: https://no-shave.org/

Friday Faces: Meet Tom Peart! This Alexandria native just wrote an amazing book about hockey in rural Minnesota -- pick ...
11/03/2023

Friday Faces: Meet Tom Peart! This Alexandria native just wrote an amazing book about hockey in rural Minnesota -- pick up his book in our Gift Shop and stay tuned for a book signing and reading event at the Runestone Museum Foundation this December ๐Ÿคฉ Tom played hockey for Alexandria Public Schools while attending Jefferson Senior High School and went on to coach all over the Midwest--we're super proud of our hometown author!

Before & After! We're pretty happy with how the Movie Theatre turned out -- especially with how the mural now POPS! The ...
11/02/2023

Before & After! We're pretty happy with how the Movie Theatre turned out -- especially with how the mural now POPS! The mural was originally painted by William Grikes and was displayed inside the lobby of the First National Bank of Alexandria. The mural was presented to the Runestone Museum Foundation in 1970 and the bank was eventually absorbed by U.S. Bank. Grikes relocated to Alexandria after WWII and after attending Moorhead State College. Thank you to everyone who helped us improve this space ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’ช

11/01/2023
It has taken us some time, but we're almost ready to reveal our Runestone Theatre makeover update ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ™Œ A big thank you to ...
11/01/2023

It has taken us some time, but we're almost ready to reveal our Runestone Theatre makeover update ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ™Œ A big thank you to volunteers, Sophia, Merv & Jan as well as to our Front Desk Attendant, Shelly, and to our fearless leader, Amanda, for all helping with the project ๐Ÿ˜‰

Address

206 BROADWAY Street
Alexandria, MN
56308

Opening Hours

Tuesday 10am - 4pm
Wednesday 10am - 4pm
Thursday 10am - 4pm
Friday 10am - 4pm
Saturday 10am - 4pm

Telephone

+1 320-763-3160

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Welcome to the Runestone Museum, located in downtown Alexandria, Minnesota. We invite you to stop by and tour historic Fort Alexandria, take your picture with the countryโ€™s biggest viking, and see the world famous Kensington Runestone. For awhile you will live in the past, so walk a little slower, talk a little slower, and enjoy the exhibition on Norse history, the Native American exhibit, the Minnesota wildlife display, the display of early pioneer life, and the hands-on childrenโ€™s area. Enter Fort Alexandria and visit several authentic log buildings, an 1880 country school house, and view the forty-foot viking ship, the Snorri. Experience the changing of the seasons in the display of tools and farm equipment used by an earlier generation. The Runestone Gift Shop features Minnesota and Alexandria souvenirs, viking and runestone information, books, t-shirts, viking helmets and swords, and unique gifts, which many of them are by local artists, authors, and craftsmen. Admissions Adults: $8.00 Seniors: $7.00 Student (High school or College): $5.00 Family: $20.00 Group Rates: Contact Runestone Museum


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