Mississippi’s Native Frog: Visiting the Birthplace of Kermit the Frog in Leland, Mississippi
Mississippi is known for catfish, white-tail deer, and mockingbirds, but did you know Mississippi is also the home of the world’s most famous frog? Kermit the frog was born at Deer Creek in Leland, Mississippi.
Jim Henson, the Muppet master himself, was actually born in nearby Greenville, Mississippi, but spent his childhood in Leland.
With the creek running directly behind the museum, it is easy to imagine Kermit sitting on the bank with his banjo.
The Birthplace of the Frog exhibit was made possible by the Jim Henson family and the Henson Legacy still sends items to exhibit and be sold at this museum of Henson’s Delta boyhood.
Mark and I visited about five years ago, but I made the trip again recently with my mom (Becky) and my sister (Kayla).
When visiting the exhibit, you will see real Muppets, photos and information about Jim Henson’s childhood in the Delta, a room full of donated vintage toys and other Muppet memorabilia, and a great photo op with a gigantic Kermit.
The museum also has a great gift shop with souvenirs, books, and toys.
The exhibit includes a true Kermit the Frog Muppet in a very impressive (and totally fitting) swamp setting in a clear case.
The only other genuine Kermit Muppet we’ve seen was at the Smithsonian Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.
There is also a set of five genuine Muppets from the environmental special, “The Song of the Cloud Forest.” Of these creatures, the small frogs reminded me very much of Kermit’s nephew, Robin.
See Related: Must-See in D.C.: The Smithsonian Museums
The craftsmanship and the colors of these Muppets are amazing to see in person. You can even see the hand-stitching.
Kermit is one of those characters from my childhood that will always be close to my heart. I grew up, like so many, with the Muppets, Muppet Babies, and Sesame Street.
It is very common for me to cry over old Sesame Street skits or just from hearing Kermit sing, “Rainbow Connection.”
I’m pretty sure the Muppets helped spark my wanderlust as a kid with their grand road trips and adventures…especially The Muppet Movie and Big Bird in Japan.
“Movin’ Right Along” will forever be one of the best road trip songs of all time.
The artist in me paired with the child in me (which, let’s face it, makes up most of me!) has always idolized Jim Henson.
To see an adult be so creative and successful at essentially playing every day was amazing to me.
I couldn’t believe that someone could create these amazing characters. He literally imagined them, fabricated the bodies, and then brought them to life with voices and personalities all their own.
While small, the Birthplace of the Frog exhibit is a must-visit for any Muppets fan– just to see where it all began!
See Related: Taking the Elvis Tour of Tupelo, Mississippi
For me, visiting the Birthplace of the Frog is always fun and a bit emotional as it takes me back to my childhood. Oh, nostalgia…You get me every time!
Are you a fan of The Muppets? Did you have any idea they got their start in good ol’ Mississippi? Is there anything unexpected from your home you’d like to share with us? Let us know in the comments below!
Pin it! Share this post on Pinterest!
Jennifer is the founder of Just Chasing Rabbits travel blog. She lives in Mississippi with husband/travel companion, Mark, and doggie-daughter, Gizmo. After obtaining a BA degree in studio art and working in the field of photography for years, Jenni has combined her love of travel and photography to form this blog. Mark and Jenni share their experiences in hopes of inspiring others to have wonderful adventures and see the world.
You can follow Jenni on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.