Are you a stick in the mud? Or would you rather be stuck in the mud? Maybe even wallow in it a while? If you enjoy getting messy, muddy, slipping, sliding, and staining your clothes beyond salvation, we’ve got the perfect event for you.

Photo credit: The Discovery Center

By Peg Cameron Gill

We’re not messing with you: The Discovery Center of Springfield is hosting its third annual MessFest July 21–23 from 10 AM–6 PM each day.

Come dressed to make a mess as you and other guests take part in some of the biggest and messiest science experiments you’ve ever seen! The MessFest is an  event the Center’s  staff was dreaming up as early as 2018. Jennfer Collins, the Center’s creative director says, “Being a kid is all about being messy and creative, and MessFest is a celebration of that childlike desire to get messy and have fun as a family. Kids love making these monstrous messes, and we know the adults love even more that they get to enjoy the fun and then leave the clean-up for someone else.”

When The Discovery Center says MessFest, they mean it! Seriously. For all activities, you should come dressed in clothes and shoes you don’t really care about that can get permanently stained. 

They also suggest guests play in the center before participating in MessFest, and bring a towel or two to clean up for their ride home, as guests will not be allowed to enter the Center after attending MessFest.

Photo credit: The Discovery Center

Here’s some of the messy mayhem that’s on tap:

  • The Slop-stacle Course: Navigate through the mud and muck in this messy obstacle course.
  • The Paint Splash Slide: Slide through a vibrant cascade of paint as you plunge into a world of color and creativity.
  • The Foam Force: Bat around bubbles and play in a massive foam bubble pit.
  • The Non-Newtonian Fluid Pool: It’s no magic trick–it’s science! Walk across a pool that will have you guessing whether it’s filled with a liquid or a solid.
  • The Human Car Wash: Get squeaky-clean as you walk through a life-size, human car wash to rinse off.

You can purchase general admission tickets at the Center’s front desk. The event is free for all Discovery Center members, and you don’t need to purchase an additional ticket for admission. 

If you aren’t a member, general admission prices are:
Children (ages 3–15): $10
Adults (ages 16+): $15
Discovery Center members, children ages 0–2, and members of the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) Passport Program: Free

If you don’t mind getting messy in mud and muck, or primed with paint, plan to attend. What a fun way to learn science. Talk about hands-on education!

For hundreds more events, visit Missouri Life’s Event Calendar.