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The Museum will be closed Thursday, November 27, for Thanksgiving.

Fort Wild

Now Open!

A Natural Place To Play

Go wild in our outdoor exhibit, Fort Wild.

Fort Wild focuses on outdoor, child-centered play that fosters healthy growth and development. The exhibit encourages imaginative play by creating an environment for kids to inquire, reflect, take risks, run and play all while being immersed in a beautiful natural setting.

Children love to explore their world, Fort Wild utilizes natural elements and structures to cultivate skills important to child development such as creativity, critical thinking, risk taking, problem solving and collaboration.

Young adventurers are encouraged and allowed to directly interact the outdoors including plant, dirt, nature's loose parts such as seed pods, pine cones, leaves, sticks and stones. Using their senses this space is hands-on, minds-on and little ones are prompted to run, leap and play. Activities help strengthen hand eye coordination, muscle development, stimulate curiosity and let imaginations run wild. Fort Wild's natural play area features settings designed for all age groups, including:

Hop, Jump, Dig — a toddler-targeted setting that offers growth and development structures such as logs for balancing, boulders for climbing and sand for digging.

Dream, Wiggle, Run — designed with active preschoolers in mind, this setting includes a Fairy Stump Village, Teepee and other natural objects for constructing, building, and creating..

Bird Blind — a special wooden bird blind offers young ornithologists the chance to learn the basic skills of bird-watching.

Share, Act, Do — an open lawn for running, deconstructed wind chimes for musical instruments, a small stage for dramatic play and planting beds create endless play opportunities.

The Spot — tweens and teens love private spaces. A simple arrangement of logs or boulders provides a place to meet with friends while still being visible to caregivers.

Tend to Grow — a vegetable garden nurtured and cared for by children encourages healthy eating while teaching about plant life cycles, pollination, beneficial insects and more.

Click to read Letting Children Go Wild: A new approach to the design of play areas is giving a boost to childhood health and development.

Photos and Videos

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