Garden and H2Oh! water play area now open; included with general admission. Our outdoor exhibit may temporarily close due to weather concerns to ensure the safety of our visitors. 

Our Backyard is an interactive outdoor exhibition that invites visitors to create and answer questions about the natural environment using all their senses. Visitors to Our Backyard will be able to observe, make and understand the connections between plants, animals, weather, water, soil and themselves to gain a more personal appreciation for their world. The outdoor space includes a gravel pit, sand pit, picnic table, herb garden, flower ‘bed’, strawberries, sunflower house featuring flowers native to Long Island, evaporating art easels, and a permaculture vegetable garden. 

New in 2024! A brand new working greenhouse, contained butterfly habitat to observe the butterfly life cycle, musical components, and hands-on mud kitchen. Learn about the benefits of mud play written by Minnesota Children's Museum. Note for LICM visitors: we suggest a change of clothes or saving this experience for the end of your visit.

A child standing outside over a 'mud kitchen' table playing with mud.

New in 2024! Whip up a favorite recipe in our mud kitchen, complete with benefits of unscripted, open-ended, sensory-rich play.

A child standing outside holding a drum mallet while playing a small metal drum.

New in 2024! Brand new musical elements encourage creativity inspired by our natural world.

Two children standing outside painting on slate easles with water and a brush.

Experiment with evaporating art as images made with water disappear before your eyes. Does it make a difference if you paint in the shade or the sun?

H2Oh! Water Play

A child standing under a metal pipe frame sprinkling water from multiple angles.

A new immersive experience in 2024, this structure sprays from all directions!

A child standing at a metal water table with thin PVC pipes pouring water onto her hands.

New in 2024, pipe works provides the tools to explore water flow, force and gravity through water play.

A child standing in the H2Oh! area using a pulley system to get water in a metal bucket from a small rock well.

Make predictions and test your theories in the H2Oh! section of Our Backyard.

Two children wearing bathing suits in the H2Oh! area playing at the water table with metal buckets and plastic boats.

Water play encourages the refinement of eye/hand coordination through pouring, squeezing, stirring and squirting.

What You Learn:

  • Direct observation of natural forces
  • Nature advocacy through exposure
  • Seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, tasting
  • Water flow/water play (summer season)

Visitor Tip for Summer Fun

Stay dry… Save this gallery for last! Bring towels, bathing suits or a change of clothes. (Premium members: if you haven't redeemed your T-shirt benefit yet, stop by the LICM store to collect your member reward before enjoying our new mud kitchen or the H2Oh! water play area!)

This space is seasonally available as a private rental

Continue the Fun at Home

Go on a nature walk in your own neighborhood. Explore the outdoors using your senses. What do you see? What do you hear? What do you smell? What can you build or create using natural materials you find on your walk?

Take photographs of your favorite flora you discovered at the Museum. Can you find these plants out in your own neighborhood? 


Richard Louv Last Child in the Woods