Hands-on learning awaits...

There is one thing most kids love — making a mess!

That’s why Kaleideum, with the support of the Arts Council of Winston-Salem , is holding a May MESStival: a messy festival combining art, science, and the music of Big Bang Boom. The event kicks off Kaleideum’s summer season on National Armed Forces Day and is supported by Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County and N.C. Arts Council, a Division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

Starting at Noon on Saturday, May 21, at Kaleideum North, families will immerse themselves in goo, gunk, and grit to create art and explore science.

“The best part is parents and caregivers don’t have to clean up,” said Kaleideum Executive Director Elizabeth Dampier. “Kids can do all the fun things that they are not allowed to do at home!”

From mud pies and oobleck pools to foam cannons and foot painting, there will be plenty of ooey, gooey, slimy messes to dive into. Local artists will also be on hand to help guests create collaborative works of art using hands, feel, and full body painting.

At 3 pm, Big Bang Boom will put on a concert in the Outdoor Science Park amphitheater. “Big Bang Boom has been playing at Kaleideum for years pre-pandemic,” Dampier said. “This is a high energy kindie rock band that calls kids up on stage to sing along and plays everything from covers with a twist to funky original rock music, and we are so excited to welcome them back to Kaleideum to be part of the MESS!

Dress for mess (old white t-shirts and bathing suits recommended). Kaleideum recommends bringing a change of clothes if families want to go inside the museum.

Kaleideum has several initiatives to increase access to museum visitation this summer and throughout the year. The museum is part of the Blue Star Museums program, which offers free admission to the nation’s currently-serving military personnel and their families — including National Guard and Reserve — from National Armed Forces Day through Labor Day. Kaleideum is also part of Museums for All, a national, branded access program that encourages individuals of all backgrounds to visit museums regularly and build lifelong museum habits by offering reduced admission to families with an EBT card. In addition, Forsyth County families with library cards can check out Kaleideum’s Community Access Passes at local libraries and receive free admission to the museum.

Don’t Miss the Mess!

  • What: MESStival
  • Where: Kaleideum North, 400 W Hanes Mill Road
  • When: Saturday, May 21, Noon-5 pm
  • Tickets: The May MESStival is included with regular admission or membership. Save $3 per person regular admission when you buy early online at Kaleideum.org. (Online $7; day of $10.) Military families are free. Families with EBT cards can receive the Museums for All admission price of $3 per person the day of the event.
Download the MESStival Map and Schedule of Events