Now in its 41st year, Mighty Mud Mania features muddy activities for kids of all ages, including the young at heart. The most popular kid-friendly event is the Original Mud Obstacle Course, a footrace for those ages 7 to 12 with mud pits as deep as 5 feet. Kids can swing from ropes, dive through a tube, and swing into the mud as well as walk, crawl, or run throughout it. When they aren’t tackling the original course, kids can build sandcastles, play in mud pits, or slide down inflatable (mud-less) water slides.
Younger children can participate in the Mud Nursery, a walk-through course for ages 1 through 3, or the Mini-Mud Course, a mini-version of the original course for ages 4 through 6. There’s also a mud town called Mudville where kids 6 and under can play in the mud.
Anyone age 13 and over, including adults, can tackle the Extreme Mud Course, a more challenging version of the original course located behind the Chaparral Aquatic Center swimming pool. Participants 18 years and over will need to register by setting up an account with the city’s recreation department, if they don’t already have one. Registrations will be accepted on premises.
To participate, every child is required to have a permission slip, and every adult will need to sign a waiver. (These forms are online.) Shirts and shoes are required, too. The shoes must be closed-toe and lace up—no sandals, Crocs, or slip-on water shoes. Since whatever you wear will probably be ruined, you may want to wear old sneakers and clothing that can be thrown away.
You should also know that because so many kids attend, children may be limited to going the obstacle course only once so everyone has an opportunity. Drinking water will be provided, and food vendors will be on hand if you get hungry. Some shady areas will also be available.
For the most part, the event is free. There’s no charge for children ages 1 to 17 although each family is asked to bring a non-perishable food item to benefit the local food bank. Participants age 18 and over will be charged a $10 course fee, however. The fee supports Scottsdale youth programs.
You may also have the option to purchase a Fast Pass, which has a designated use time and can be used only once. Only 500 are available. They can be purchased for $10 per pass online.
Mighty Mud Mania began as a promotional gimmick for Shout Laundry Stain Remover. The company passed out white t-shirts to a few hundred kids and then showed how effective their product worked on the mud in Chaparral Park. The City of Scottsdale has continued the event at the park since.