Follow the clues. Whodunits, daring escapes and murderers on trial make headlines. They also bring in record crowds for museums, especially when murder and mayhem are served with a side of beer and wine.
Beltrami County Historical Society's "History Mystery," based on a real-life crime from the community's past, is a popular event. Played like the board game "Clue," visitors attempt to solve the case by interviewing costumed characters. (See Bemidji Pioneer's story.)
Another interactive game for visitors is Cokato Museum's Escape Room, in which participants must solve a historical puzzle inside a locked room within the allotted time, or an alarm sounds. Minnesota Public Radio covered the creative approach to history.
In Owatonna, the screaming headline "Was it Attempted Murder in Steele County?" does not pertain to a current crime. Instead it promotes "History Uncorked" at the Steele County Historical Society, where attendees get to sit on a jury and watch real life attorneys debate the case of an alleged murderer from the community's history.
(Unlike real jurors, however, they get to sip on wine and beer in the "court room.")
How can you combine history with fun and games to bring visitors to your museum? Learn how these three organizations brought history to life with interactive and inventive games at the 2017 MALHM Annual Meeting and Conference.
Presenters Mike Worcester (Executive Director Cokato Museum and Akerlund Studio), Kim Purscell (Executive Director, Steele County Historical Society) and Gary Ruzman (Executive Director, Beltrami County Historical Society) will present a session called Gaming the Museum: Making History Fun While Staying True to Your Mission. Discover the secrets of their success!
Registration is now open for the MALHM Conference, set for April 26-27 in Walker, MN. Register through our new online store. Attendees may also pay with a registration form and check by mail. With either method, attendees can indicate dietary needs, such as vegetarian and gluten free.
Registration deadline is April 10. Chase on the Lake will offer a discount to MALHM attendees who book by phone by April 4. For more information, see our Annual Conference page. If you have additional questions, please contact MALHM Coordinator Marci Matson or Conference Chair Jill Wohnoutka. Look for a full conference schedule soon!