Get Ready to Get Messy! The Mud Zone is Now Open for the Summer

Remember as a kid how good it felt to squish a big clump of mud and watch it ooze through your fingers? Did you ever make mud pies, even though maybe you knew you weren’t supposed to?

This summer, we’re bringing the joy of playing with mud to the museum in The Mud Zone

Why Mud?

Let’s face it: Kids love playing with mud. It’s fun and joyous.

It’s also messy. But that’s okay!

We know some caregivers might be hesitant to let kids get dirty, especially during an outing to the museum. But playing with mud has great benefits for both cognitive and sensory development. Squeezing mud through fingers and wondering why it’s so squishy goes to the heart of science inquiry. Trying to build with mud incorporates engineering. Making a mud pie invites children to encounter new sensations, sights and smells.

What is The Mud Zone?

The Mud Zone is a sensory-rich experience that has taken over some of the space in The Backyard this summer. There are three main areas for muddy, messy fun:

Mud Headquarters – This is where the fun begins! Grab some dry dirt and water and start mixing. Experiment with making thin, watery mud and thick, gloopy mud… and everything in between.

Mud Kitchen – Mud pies are just the beginning here. Science and art come together in this sensory play area. Pots, pans, bakeware, utensils and lots of mud make for a unique dramatic play experience. The mud kitchen is ideal for kids 5 and under, but older children are welcome to get cooking with dirt and water, too.

Mud Launchers – Children and adults alike are invited to experiment, evaluate and test their theories about what it takes to launch mud. Four unique launch stations encourage problem-solving and collaboration to hit the targets just right. Launchers are intended for visitors 5 and older.

Common Questions

The Mud Zone is one of our messiest museum experiences ever. Here are answers to some of the questions you might have.

How dirty will my kids get?
While smocks are available, realistically, your child is going to get dirty. How dirty get depends entirely on each child. Plan to wear clothing that you don’t mind getting dirty and try to embrace the benefits your child gets from messy play.

Should I plan to bring anything special to The Mud Zone?
We recommend bringing an extra set of clothing and shoes, just in case they get too dirty while playing.

Is there a place to clean up?
Absolutely! There is a rinse station in The Backyard, as well as a large sink with soap and running water just inside the door.

Are the mud launchers safe for kids to use? Won’t they just use them to fling mud at each other?
The mud launchers are safe for kids of all ages, although younger kids may need adult assistance. Launchers can be aimed at targets, but are fixed in place, so they can’t be turned and aimed at a person. Additionally, the launcher area is closed off on all sides, so visitors can’t walk between the launchers and the targets.

Can we still enjoy The Backyard without playing with mud?
The Mud Zone takes up a good portion of The Backyard, but there are still some non-mud-related areas in the gallery for your family to play outside. The tire worm, culvert pipe and thicket are still there to play in and explore, as well as the ant and moose sculptures.

The Mud Zone is now open in The Backyard. Plan your visit now and give your family a day of messy, exciting fun they won’t forget!

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