Kidspace Museum in Pasadena is always a kid favorite, but this summer there’s a brand new reason to visit. The just opened Arroyo Adventure makes great use of the beautiful outdoor surroundings with the perfect amount of shade and water to keep it cool when things heat up. From a brand new Hawks’ Nest for climbing to a wonderfully messy clay and mud area, there is plenty to keep your adventurers simultaneously sheltered from the sun and engaged outdoors.

arroyo_waterphoto: LeTania Kirkland

Room for More, No More
If you’ve ever been to Kidspace when it’s toasty, you’ve enjoyed the outdoor space known as the Interpretive Arroyo—a mini replica of the Arroyo Seco area that teaches the family about the local environment and conservation and, plain and simple, allows the kids get wet on hot days. Prior to the new Arroyo Adventure there was still lots of space just waiting to be used. Not anymore! Every inch of the outdoor gardens are now home to 8 new exhibits inspired by nature that will help your kids learn about the environment, scientific processes and, most importantly, jump into some great creative play.

arroyo_hawksphoto: LeTania Kirkland

Fly Like the Eagle (or Hawk!)
One of the most dramatic developments in this new adventure is the Hawk’s Nest; a towering structure where your newbie flyers can make their way into the hawk’s home and look high above the trees. There’s a little something for every young hawk no matter where they are in their development. Depending on their agility, kids can take the ramp, stairs, rope bridge or a circular climber up to the top. Be prepared to hang out as there is full hawk outfitting where the your hatchlings can dress up and enjoy their soaring moment. But if your adventurer is not keen on heights, they can also enjoy a baby hawk’s nest down below with their feet firmly on solid ground.

arroyo_mudphoto: LeTania Kirkland

Get Your Hands Dirty (Literally)
Happily for kids, the Arroyo Adventure is largely hands on. There are several exhibits that encourage kids to get involved and get dirty in the process. One of these is the Mud and Clay Outdoor Studio. Anyone can walk in and get elbow deep in that cool vats. The youngest of adventurers may just want to dig in and enjoy while others may take the time to form clay or mud creations. Guides are available with varying activities like mud brick making where your builders can take the process far beyond mud pies. There is a water dispenser close by so little clay workers can clean up before moving on. But it’s definitely a good idea to bring an extra set of clothes.

arroyo_floodphoto: LeTania Kirkland

The Flood and Erosion Plain is yet another opportunity for everyone to learn and let imaginations soar. Just near the Arroyo Interpretive Area, the plain full of sand and water where your engineers in the making can learn about erosion while making channels in the sand, building dams and using varying materials to manipulate the water’s flow.

arroyo_artphoto: LeTania Kirkland

Take a Walk on the Wild Side
There is never a shortage of ways to create at Kidspace and now there are three new opportunities outdoors. Be sure to hit the Pepper Tree Jam where your musicians can make beautiful sounds beneath the pepper tree with instruments made from natural materials. Just next door is the Arroyo Art corner complete with large frames for painting, chalk creations and a weaving loom where they can weave with natural  materials and plants.

arroyo_fortsphoto: LeTania Kirkland

Just across the way at the Hidden Forts area, your artists can put their creativity to work in building. Wood, cloth ties and large cloth pieces are provided and your little builders can let their imaginations run wild and build forts or any other structure they put their minds to.

arroyo_sandphoto: LeTania Kirkland

A Little Down Time
If you have a babe in tow or a toddler who needs to slow things down be sure to stop by the Infant and Toddler Area. Here, your explorers can take a moment in the sand surrounded by green trees to dig, explore and build with the sand tools provided. Just across the small path, the area is complete with chairs and a changing table where you can have a moment to recharge before they get their second wind, because a visit here can last all day.

arroyo_climbingphoto: LeTania Kirkland

Old Time Favorites
While exploring, be sure to visit some of the old favorites in the Arroyo Adventure that have been revamped. The Harvest Corner has been enhanced and provides a space where your gardeners can learn about plant life, composting, and the process of food production. Be sure to stop by the Strata Rock Climb Wall where your adventurers can get started on their rock climbing skills. And of course, a summer visit to Kidspace isn’t complete without visiting the Interpretive Arroyo and Wildlife Pond where everyone can cool off in the water and get a mini hiking experience through the terrain.

While you’re there be sure to find out what is happening at the Stone Hollow Amphitheater just below the Interpretive Arroyo. There are daily learning opportunities, which include music performances and Wildlife shows where your animals lovers can meet the animals of the Arroyo Seco—you may not get another opportunity to get so close to a Red Tailed Hawk or an adorable tree fox.

arroyo_dirtyhandsphoto: LeTania Kirkland

Good to know: Definitely bring an extra set of clothes. Even if you don’t plan on getting in the water it is likely that you’ll need a change. Between water, clay and mud there are lots of (beautiful) opportunities to get dirty. Also, shoes must be worn at all times, even in the water, so be sure to bring along a pair of water friendly shoes for the Interpretive Arroyo. This new space is great for kids of all ages, from dirt digging babies to little tween engineers and everyone in between.

If you haven’t been to Kidspace in a while: Admission is now $13 per person.  (Babies under 1 year are free.) And be sure to check the website before you go, because due to soccer games, the Rose Bowl Flea market and other Rose Bowl events, the museum is sometimes closed or there may be road closures and heavy traffic.  You can check those dates here.

Kidspace is open Weekdays from 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday & Sunday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Kidspace Children’s Museum
480 N. Arroyo Blvd.
Pasadena
626-449-9144
Online: kidspacemuseum.org

Have you checked out the new Arroyo Adventure?  We’d love to hear your thoughts on the new space at Kidspace.

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—Letania Kirkland