Dirt-O-Rama header

Get Dirty! Hands-on Activities

Diggin' for Critters
Arboretum Gift Store, Oswald Visitor Center

June 2 through Labor Day, Sept. 3, during Gift Store hours
Kids can dig into a 2' x 3' (kid-size) garden bed with mulch for a playful gardening experience and find the life-like critters that grow or crawl beneath and even keep one!

Discovery Dirt Stop
Saturdays, June-August,
10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Real Dirt Lab

Volunteer guides will staff a hands-on discovery table with special tips and activities.

Mud Kitchen
Saturdays & Sundays, June-August,
Noon-4 p.m., Learning Center

Hey kids, come mix up your own creation this summer. Free with Arboretum admission. Use your imagination! Mudloaf? Chocolate pinecone pudding? Mud pie á la mud? Then take a photo of your muddy creation and share with us on Flickr! View the gallery.

How do I upload?

  1. Join our Flickr Group. Become a member of the MN Arboretum Mud Kitchen Group. Don't have a Flickr account yet? It's free and easy to create an account.
  2. Tag your photos. Add the tag "MudKitchen" to each photo. Visit www.flickr.com/help/tags for information on tagging photos.
  3. Share your photos with the group. Add your photos to the MN Arboretum Mud Kitchen Group and you're done!

By sharing your photograph, you give the Arboretum permission to display your photo(s) on the Arboretum website.

Weekend Family Fun
Saturday & Sundays, June-August,
Noon-4 p.m., Learning Center

Visitors of all ages are invited to delve into the underground mysteries of dirt, mud and compost. Free with Arboretum admission.

  • June: Dynamic Dirt
    Dig some dirt, mix up mud, and decorate mud pies in our mud kitchen. Become a dirt detective and use a microscope to see up close what soil is made of. Meet the decomposers that help create great garden soil and plant an experiment to discover what kind of soil grows garden plants best.
  • July: Marvelous Mud
    Mud is more than what you scrape off your garden boots! Mix, stir, scoop, dig, and sculpt in the Mud Kitchen. Create your own clay art or muddy masterpeice using materials found in the garden and marvelous mud. Mid month watch artists at work create a clay house in front of the Arboretum Learning Center.
  • August: Crazy About Compost
    Dig in and unearth some of the mystery of great garden soil. Head outside to the Children's Garden on a plant hunt and visit the compost containers. Meet the hard working worms and bugs who help transform garbage into rich garden soil.

Compost Bin Demonstration Build
Saturday, August 4,
12 p.m., Learning Center

Drop by the Learning Center and join the Compostadores for a hands-on compost bin building demonstration. We will pound, wrap, drill, and hammer a compost bin out of recycled pallets and wire. Get all your composting questions answered and depart this demonstration ready to build your own bin. Free with Arboretum admission. Can't make it? Download instructions to build a bin.


kids in the dirt

kid playing in mud

Boy digging in dirt

Compostadores building a compost bin