ASHEBORO, N.C. -- You never know what kids are cooking up at the Mud Cafe at the North Carolina Zoo.
It's part of the KidZone, a place where children are encouraged to just play.
The entire area is enclosed by a gate.
Kids can explore so many cool options, starting with the misting stations and the very popular play stream.
Kids can also blow bubbles, build forts in the woods, draw chalk creations on the walls, play music or wind their way through the rock maze.
KidZone Coordinator Kathy Osborne says children need these kinds of outdoor experiences.
"We find that when kids play outside, they are building self-esteem and their confidence levels go up," she says. "When they have more free play, they have a longer attention span and do better in school."
She hopes parents will allow their children to roam through the KidZone, get their hands dirty and just be creative.