Mankato Clinic Tree of Forts Climber

This tree of forts climber is so big it has burst through the roof!

Mankato Clinic Tree of Forts fun for the whole family at the Children's Museum of Southern Minnesota

Not your average treehouse.

Climb, stretch, reach, and balance in the rope tunnels, web-nets, and across the bridges that connect the forts growing from this ginormous climber. An inclined suspension bridge, 28-foot vertical tunnel, and a V-shaped bridge all provide physical challenges that await Museum visitors; adults included! A toddler fort at the base of the tree and a real-log slide provide tree fort experiences for all ages.

This exhibit is great for...

Trying new ways of moving and wayfinding as visitors conquer a new space!

Physical Activity

The spreading rope-net branches of a giant tree call to visitors to climb, stretch, reach, and pull their bodies up to perch and rest. Children relish the sense of physical accomplishment from climbing to the top of their world. Crisscrossing the spreading branches, following bridges, and resting in the great expanse of a cargo net, children move, crouch, change body positions, and adjust their balance. They bring together both physical and spatial problem solving skills while the canopy-like mesh wraps the space keeping them safe.


Following the network of suspension bridges that lead up, down, and around, children discover how to get from here to there. A child considers a chase or realizes she is being chased and practices balance and coordination. Using the spatial mapping of landmarks-go through the hole in the tree, or pass the fort with mirrors--children find siblings or classmates. The view to the atrium below is amazing.


As children climb and scamper, they make their way to high adventure. They are fascinated with being up near the roof as they reach hand-over-hand, stretch, and pull themselves up into the canopy of this giant tree. With these climbing feats, children enjoy the thrill of heights, the pleasure of movement, and a feeling of freedom. With its perceived risk, this super-safe exhibit adds to the physical and mental challenges when visitors are 28 feet in the air. How far will you climb?