Spotter's Adventure Trail and The Den at the LeFleur's Bluff Complex are Now Open!
Meet Spotter the Otter and friends along Spotter’s Adventure Trail!
Spotter’s Adventure Trail (a museum walking trail) connects the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks’ Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (MMNS), the Mississippi Children’s Museum (MCM), and the LeFleur’s Bluff Playground - a state-of-the-art playground that has welcomed 100,000 visitors since opening in December of 2021.
The 8-foot-wide trail features a fun and interactive outdoor experience with Spotter the Otter and friends, designed and illustrated by MCM’s Senior Graphic Designer, Lori Nesbit. Characters were brought to life through stories and exhibit elements by MDWFP’s staff and MCM’s Education Team, which was led by William Moore, Assistant Director of Exhibits.
The Den (an outdoor pavilion), located west of the playground, includes tables and seating for up to fifty students. Both museums will use the facility for field trips, events, and programs, including the award-winning Mississippi Science Festival and Park After Dark. An adjacent sloped lawn allows the structure to be used as an open-air amphitheater for large assemblies.
The Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation funded the LeFleur’s Bluff Playground, Outdoor Pavilion, and Museum Trail. The Foundation’s generous $3.86 million made this innovative project possible, and the Foundation’s leadership team played a visionary role in developing the state-of-the-art playground and complex.
Visit the LeFleur's Bluff Playground concession stand to get your Spotter the Otter gear, too! T-shirts and hats are $20 each.
LEFLEUR'S BLUFF EDUCATION & TOURISM COMPLEX
A new state-of-the-art playground - a gift for Mississippi's children - is now open at the LeFleur’s Bluff Education and Tourism Complex!
WHERE IS THE LEFLEUR'S BLUFF COMPLEX?
The LBC is the shared campus between MDWFP’s Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (MMNS) and the Mississippi Children’s Museum (MCM).
The Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation is the signature sponsor of the LeFleur’s Bluff Playground, Outdoor Pavilion, and Museum Trail.
The Foundation’s generous $3.86 million grant for improving the health and well-being of Mississippians made this innovative project possible.
WHAT CAN I DO AT THE LBC?
The multi-purpose complex will be used for recreational and educational activities featuring a playground (phase one), an outdoor pavilion, and a museum walking trail.
- Admission to the park is free and open to the public
- Parking is available in the park and at both museums
- Playground Hours: M-F: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sat: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., and Sun: 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.
The playground will be closed on New Year's Day, Easter, Memorial Day, July 4, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Friday after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.
- Concession Stand Hours: M-F: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Sat.: 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., and Sun.: 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Treat yourself and the kids to a variety of Pepsi products, bottled water, frozen treats like ice cream sandwiches and Klondike Bars, candy, and chips with more treats to come in the future.
The concessions building is located near the restrooms.
Cash and credit cards are accepted.
Food and drink (except water) are not permitted within the playground fence.
The MS Children’s Museum’s Red Rocket Café is also within walking distance of the playground and there are also beautiful spots to picnic on the LeFleur’s Bluff campus.
- Museums: You're welcome to also visit both museums (museum admission required - see below)
WHY IS THIS NEW STATE-OF-THE-ART PLAYGROUND IMPORTANT?
Children who play and learn in nature are more physically active, more engaged in learning, and more emotionally healthy.
Outdoor experiences build visual-spatial skills, strengthen observation and creativity, improve concentration, and enhance motor and imagination skills.
WHAT FEATURES DOES THE PLAYGROUND HAVE?
This 21st century, 30,000-square-foot playground is separated into different play areas based on age, for children ages 6 months to 12 years old.
All structures on the playground promote physical activities - from providing greater freedom to run, jump, and climb, to supporting reduced stress levels.
- 80 play activities, 73 of which are inclusive to children with accessibility needs
- A custom We-Go Swing allows accessibility to children with and without wheelchairs
- The Wedra: a unique play structure for ages 6-23 months - which is the first play structure in the world with this design
- The Hedra® Tower: designed for children ages 5-12 - and is the fourth play structure in the country with this design
- Shade structures cover 75 percent of the playground: making the area below up to 30 degrees cooler for year-round outdoor play.
WAPT-16 News recently highlighted some of the amazing features of the LeFleur's Bluff Playground, including our shade sails covering 75% of the area!
“The LeFleur’s Bluff Playground, Pavilion, and Museum Trail align with the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation’s strategic focus to provide sustainable health and well-being opportunities for Mississippians,” said Sheila B. Grogan, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation President.
“Encouraging children, families, and others to spend more time outside engaging in fun play activities, taking a walk, develops life-long positive attitudes about maintaining healthy lifestyles.”
Spotter’s Adventure Trail (a museum walking trail) and The Den (an outdoor pavilion) renderings and construction photos:
Museum Admission Rates:
- MDWFP's MS Museum of Natural Science tickets are: Adults: $8, Youth (Ages 3-18): $6, Senior Citizens 60 and Over: $7, Children Under 3: FREE. School Teachers with Classes: $3 per student.
- Mississippi Children’s Museum tickets are $10 per person for adults and children 1 and older
- LeFleur Museum District: An LMD pass for all 4 museums is $21.75 adults, $18.25 children (3-17), $19.25 senior citizens 60+.
Bringing together four uniquely amazing museums, the LeFleur Museum District offers limitless, wondrous possibilities in Jackson, MS at I-55 and Lakeland Drive and includes MDWFP's Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, the Mississippi Agriculture & Forestry Museum, the Mississippi Children's Museum, and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum
Museum Group Rates:
- MMNS group rate - $7/adults and $3/youth
- MCM group rate - $5/person (a group is more than 15 people)
Field Trips: More information will be available soon about field trips related to the project’s next phase - Spotter’s Adventure Trail - but both MMNS and MCM offer field trips now and a visit to the park can be included in your museum field trip!
Birthday Parties: More information will be available soon about birthday parties at the park, but anyone is welcome to book a birthday party at MMNS by clicking here or calling Yolanda at 601-576-6000 or at MCM by clicking here or by calling 601-981-5469.
Click here for more information about MDWFP's Mississippi Museum of Natural Science
Click here for more information about the Mississippi Children's Museum