Open Wed–Sun 9am–4pm, plus late on Thur til 8pm. • Get tickets.

Open Wed–Sun 9am–4pm, plus late on Thur til 8pm. • Get tickets.

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For children ages 5 and under

Slide into the Wildernest—a global village alive with light, texture, color, and boundless opportunity.

Traverse the Bone Bridge. Step into activity huts to play music, “bake” muffins, or rock a baby doll to sleep. Cuddle up in a reading nest. Dump, pour, and get wet in the water dome.

Located in the Evjue Early Learning Gallery on the museum’s lower level (down a short set of stairs from the 1st floor, LL from the main elevator), Wildernest is built with natural and sustainable materials.

Where the Wilder Things Are

Bone bridge and tree forts

Soaring over the Wildernest, the Bone Bridge is one of the iconic places in the museum. The Bone Bridge is wheelchair accessable and sized for kids (adults will need to duck.) The bridge is safe and fully enclosed, but has a small wobble when walked on—perfect for young children learning how to overcome their fears and how to manage risk in healthy ways.

Water Dome

The Water Dome is an enclosed, greenhouse-like area where water trickles down a veriaty of rain-chains to little-kid height basins, perfect for dump-and-fill and other water exploration games. A small fountain keeps the air moist and invites more water play. We’re not sure who likes the water dome more, the kids or the tropical plants!

Tip for caregivers: The water dome is one of the most popular areas of the Wildernest. Smocks are available to try and protect clothes, but they are of limited utility when faced with a water-loving toddler or preschooler. Pack a full change of clothes and a waterproof bag to contain the damp ones.

The Pillow Pond

Even children too young to walk or crawl can enjoy the Wildernest. In the back right corner, an enclosed “pond” has a padded surface and is reserved just for babies.

Warning: big kids found running in the Wildernest may be fed to hungry babies and toddlers! The Wildernest is a special space in the museum just for children ages 5 and under. If your party includes only older kids, please skip the Wildernest enjoy the rest of the museum. Older kids accompanying younger siblings and friends are welcome to enter as “big kid helpers.”

The Urb Garden

This outdoor deck is a three-season wonderland for our youngest visitors.

Located out a door at the rear of the Wildernest, near the Pillow Pond, the Urb Garden is an enclosed outside space just for kids 5 and under. Featuring a greenhouse-treehouse with the smallest slide in the museum and a rotating collection of dirt and water-play activities, the Urb Garden provides safe, sensory diverse experiences designed with the developmental needs of little kids in mind.

Thank you to our Urb Garden Supporters

Urb Garden is made possible through the generous support of the Sensenbrenner Family, the Association of Children’s Museums Going Wild at Children’s Museums project on behalf of The Trustees’ Philanthropy Fund of Fidelity Charitable, a generous bequest of the estate of Bonnie Berman, and the National Wildlife Federation.

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