A Piece of Muppet History: Visit Kermit’s Birthplace

Kermit the Frog is one of the most recognizable characters in pop culture history. His shy, sometimes awkward personality, kindhearted spirit, and distinctive voice have made him one of the most beloved television characters of all time. However, you may not know as much about the man behind the adored character and the rest of The Muppets gang, Mississippi’s own Jim Henson. Learn about the attractions and points of interest the city of Leland, MS, has to celebrate Henson’s legacy from Visit Mississippi.

Kermit the Frog Exhibit

To honor Jim Henson and marvel at his achievements, travelers can visit the Birthplace of the Frog: An Exhibit of Jim Henson’s Delta Boyhood. This special exhibit is in the Washington County Tourist Center/Leland Chamber of Commerce building in Leland, MS. Established in August 1991, the exhibit was a gift to the people of Leland by Jim’s wife, Jane Henson. The highlight of the exhibit is a replica of Kermit, donated to the museum for permanent display. Located in a large display case in the center of the building, Kermit is sitting on a log playing his banjo in a Mississippi swamp. Other features of the exhibit guests can enjoy include:

  • Photographs from the Henson family
  • Early Henson Company Christmas cards
  • Letters written by Jim Henson
  • A video center displaying Henson’s early works
  • Muppets memorabilia and merchandise

Other areas of the museum include a gift shop for guests to browse various items to purchase, a children’s play area packed with toys and puzzles, and a curator’s desk should visitors have any questions.

The Rainbow Connection Bridge

In 2011, on what would’ve been Henson’s 75th birthday (September 24th), the town of Leland changed the Broad Street Bridge that overlooks Deer Creek into the Rainbow Connection Bridge after the song from “The Muppet Movie.” Kermit sings the song during the movie’s opening number and reprises it at the end of the film with the rest of The Muppets. Travelers who stop to visit this landmark will notice large green Kermit-shaped tracks along the road. These frog tracks lead visitors from the bridge to the Birthplace of the Frog: An Exhibit of Jim Henson’s Delta Boyhood exhibit.

Leland Frog Festival

Every year, the community of Leland hosts the Leland FrogFest to celebrate the work of Jim Henson. The annual festival in downtown Leland at the Rainbow Connection Bridge features hands-on arts venues, professional storytellers, magicians, live music, local cuisine, and live puppet performances. 

Relive Your Childhood with Mississippi History

If you are someone who grew up loving Kermit the Frog and the rest of The Muppets, you can relive your childhood by visiting the birthplace of their creator Jim Henson. Travelers can enjoy the different attractions Mississippi has to celebrate the legacy of one of their own. Once here, visitors also can enjoy a variety of other activities this state has to offer, such as:

  • Outdoors: With breathtaking views of the Gulf Coast beaches, towering forests, winding rivers, peaceful lakes, and more, there is no shortage of activities for guests to enjoy outdoors in Mississippi. Whether you’re searching for a low-impact activity or one filled with adventure, Mississippi can accommodate.
  • Food and drink: Home to some of the South’s best culinary dishes, Mississippi has a wide range of cuisine types to offer visitors. No matter where you are in the state, you can enjoy great food and drink in Mississippi.
  • Arts and culture: Mississippi has a rich history of arts and culture that has helped shape the state into what it is today. Travelers can visit various museums and venues that celebrate this history, as well as galleries that display local artists’ work. Be sure to explore the arts culture in Mississippi.
  • Music: You can hear the iconic sounds of rhythm and blues when you travel to Mississippi. Guests enjoy a host of live music venues, as well as fun festivals where they listen to the sweet sounds of music in Mississippi.

Whether you’re a super-fan of The Muppets or a visitor looking for fun things to do, Visit Mississippi will help you plan your next trip to Mississippi. We can offer suggestions on places to stay, attractions to explore, and places to eat. For more information on The Muppets’ history or recommendations regarding your next trip, please contact us today.