Tours

Walk in the footsteps of the past as you hear the stories and experience the sights and sounds of the oldest and most scenic parts of the city.

A Mill City Museum guide leads each tour. All tours depart from the Mill City Museum lobby unless otherwise noted.

Year Round Tours

Washburn A Mill Tour. Select a date.

Washburn A Mill Tour

Explore the nooks and crannies of the Washburn A Mill, the National Historic Landmark that is the home of Mill City Museum. The tour highlights the lives of men and women who worked there, how the building functioned during its peak flour milling years, how it changed over time, and how the mill ruin was converted to a museum and office building.

Pillsbury A Mill Tour. Select a date.

Pillsbury A Mill Tour

Discover the story of the National Historic Landmark Pillsbury A Mill, the largest flour mill in the world for many years, which recently reopened as the A-Mill Artist Lofts. See how the building functioned during the flour milling era and view the best-preserved waterpower system in Minneapolis with views straight down a 50-foot drop shaft.

Note: Tours begin at the gray door on 3rd Avenue SE at Main Street (around the corner from the main entrance at 315 Main Street SE).

Tales of the Falls: A Storytelling Tour. Select a date.

Tales of the Falls: A Storytelling Tour

The story of the Minneapolis riverfront will come alive in this unique program led by master storyteller Richard Rousseau. Rousseau will spin three tales that weave the history of St. Anthony Falls with the expectations of the present in three different historic spaces within Mill City Museum. Between stories, participants will walk to the next location while learning about the Washburn A Mill, the home of Mill City Museum. Check back for Fall 2018 dates.

Outdoor Summer Tours

Disasters of the Riverfront Walking Tour. Select a date.

Disasters of the Riverfront Walking Tour

June 24, July 15, Aug. 26, Sept. 23, 2018

Embark on this tour of the St. Anthony Falls milling district and learn about some of the most tragic disasters in Minnesota history. Hear the stories of fires, floods, explosions, collapses, and other natural and human-created calamities on the riverfront. Gain an understanding of the impact they had on the people involved, and what these tales reveal about Minneapolis history.

Engineering the Falls Walking Tour. Select a date.

Engineering the Falls Walking Tour

June 9, July 7, Aug. 18, Sept. 8, 2018

Join a museum interpreter costumed as William de la Barre, the Austrian engineer who spent half a century developing Minneapolis flour milling and waterpower. He’ll guide you on a tour of the Minneapolis Riverfront while highlighting the many ways the area has changed over the years.

Hennepin Island Hydropower Walking Tour. Select a date.

Hennepin Island Hydropower Walking Tour

June 28, July 12 & 26, Aug. 9 & 23, 2018

Explore the history of waterpower at St. Anthony Falls, including Hennepin Island and Father Hennepin Bluffs Park, including special access to view the exterior of an operating Xcel Energy hydroelectric plant. Learn about the historic uses of waterpower at the falls, the role of hydroelectricity green energy initiatives, and the future of waterpower on the Minneapolis riverfront. This tour is presented in partnership with Xcel Energy.

Note: Tours begin at the gray door on 3rd Avenue SE at Main Street (around the corner from the main entrance at 315 Main Street SE).

Historic Main Street Walking Tour. Select a date.

Historic Main Street Walking Tour

June 23, July 28, Sept. 15, 2018

Discover the stories of Minneapolis’s oldest neighborhood with a Mill City Museum guide, who will highlight the rich diversity of the 1850s town of St. Anthony, the immense changes along Main Street throughout the years, and such landmarks as the 1855 Upton Block, 1858 Martin & Morrison Building, Our Lady of Lourdes Church, the Pillsbury A Mill, and the Chalybeate Mineral Springs.

Note: Tours begin at the gray door on 3rd Avenue SE at Main Street (around the corner from the main entrance at 315 Main Street SE).

Minneapolis Riverfront Walking Tour. Select a date.

Minneapolis Riverfront Walking Tour

June 17, Aug. 5, Sept. 2 & 22, 2018

Explore the Minneapolis riverfront and learn about its dramatic past and bright future. You’ll be guided through the historic district at St. Anthony Falls and will stop along the Stone Arch Bridge for spectacular views of the falls. See why this historic district is now a growing cultural, recreational, and residential neighborhood.

Railroad History Walking Tour. Select a date.

Railroad History Walking Tour

June 3, July 1 & 29, Aug. 12, Sept. 9, 2018

With the arrival of Minnesota's first rail line in 1862, Minneapolis boomed in population and flour milling, lumber production, and warehousing. Take a guided tour of railroad landmarks, including the Stone Arch Bridge, Milwaukee Road Depot, and the Minneapolis Eastern Railway engine house and trestle. Along the way, find clues to the vanishing railroad landscape and learn about the future of Twin Cities rail.

Riverfront Quest Family Walking Tour. Select a date.

Riverfront Quest Family Walking Tour

June 16, July 14, Aug. 11, 2018

This fun treasure hunt begins with a short journal-making project followed by a ramble outside along the riverfront. Families solve rhyming riddles, find hidden boxes, and discover the stories of Minneapolis’ history along the way.

West Bank Walking Tour. Select a date.

West Bank Walking Tour

June 30, July 21, Aug. 25, 2018

Discover the stories of Minneapolis West Bank/Cedar Riverside neighborhood, one of the city’s most diverse and vibrant neighborhoods, famous for its folk and blues scene of the 1960s and protest movements in the 1970s. This tour is offered in support of The 1968 Exhibit at the Minneapolis History Center.

Note: Tours begin at Carlson School of Management (321 19th Ave. S, Minneapolis, MN 55455).

Women’s Work Tour. Select a date.

Women’s Work Tour

Aug. 4, Sept. 1, 2018

A costumed actor portraying labor writer Eva Valesh (1866–1956) leads a walking tour. Learn about the factories whose working conditions Valesh exposed in a series of newspaper articles, as well as some of the key events in women’s labor history in Minneapolis.