With two stories of indoor, hands-on exhibits and a 74-acre outdoor campus, this museum offers kids a range of interactive experiences. Design flying structures in “Launch Lab.” Walk in a rainforest surrounded by butterflies. Explore cloud formations at "Into the Mist." Take an old-time train ride through the nature park. Watch bears, lemurs and red wolves. Climb, slide and dig in the “Gateway Park.”
Do you love treehouses, walking in the woods, wading in streams and getting a bird’s eye view of life? Head to Hideaway Woods, the Museum of Life and Science’s natural playscape, which opened Sept. 29, 2015, offering a variety of nature experiences for all ages. Situated on 2 acres, Hideaway Woods invites visitors to explore several unique areas. One features a network of eight interconnected treehouses that range in height from 6 feet to 20 feet, allowing visitors to navigate through a cargo net, log ladder, spiral staircase and gangway. For a quick way down, take the slides to ground level. From the lower treehouses, those who want to climb on to the upper treehouses simply cross a rope bridge. Children ages 6 and younger have their own “Young Explorers” space, a "mini treehouse" area with scaled slides, bridges and a place for nature-based imaginative play.
Additional Hideaway Woods areas include an accessible woodland stream, a woven branch sculpture by local artist Patrick Dougherty and imaginative play zones. Visitors can take a walk down the nature trail, wade through a stream and even lie in one of the seven hammocks set up for people to gaze up at the trees. Parts of the Hideaway Woods — such as one of the lower treehouses, the upper section of the stream, and the “Sensory Ramble” — are accessible to people in wheelchairs.