Jim Henson’s Labyrinth Creatures | Center for Puppetry Arts

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Visit Jim Henson’s amazing puppets from the Labyrinth movie staring David Bowie at the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta.
NOTE: This was a temporary exhibit that is no longer on full display but you can still find some Labyrinth objects as part of the museum’s collection.

I have always been an enormous Jim Henson fan. I love all things Muppets and Sesame Street but Jim Henson’s Labyrinth is one of my very favorite childhood movie memories. Last summer, my sister and I introduced the movie to my little girls during a “Girls’ Movie Night” and they have become equally obsessed with Sarah, Hoggle, Ludo, Sir Didymus and crew.

When I heard that the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta was hosting a special exhibit of the Labyrinth creatures, I had to schedule a girls’ getaway for the kids and me to go and visit. I’m not sure who was more excited about this but I think it might just be the tallest of our group. . .

IMPORTANT NOTE: This was a temporary exhibition that, as of 2019, is no longer on display, but there are still Labyrinth things to see at the Center for Puppetry Arts!

We’ve never visited the Center for Puppetry Arts before so I had no idea what to expect from our visit. In short, I was completely Blown Away. This was seriously one of the coolest museum experiences we’ve ever had. We were lucky enough to visit on a very quiet weekday where we had the displays mostly to ourselves.

The staff on site was so friendly and passionate about their collections. They were eager to answer all of our questions and chit chat about the attention to detail in the Labyrinth exhibit.

The attention to detail within the display is extraordinary: the labyrinth walls sparkle and you feel like you’ve entered the movie once you see Sarah’s lipstick marks on the floor pointing you in the direction to head through the exhibit. 

Super fans of the movie {like us!} will squeal at seeing the behind the scenes photography and creative illustrations they used to produce the creatures of this world. We had to walk through it twice because the first pass was filled with too much excitement. The second round we stopped and read through all the signage and paused to observe the individual puppets in greater detail.

But the Center for Puppetry Arts has so much more than just the Labyrinth puppets. There’s an amazing display of Jim Henson creatures and personal artifacts. 

Seeing Big Bird, Kermit, Cookie Monster, Miss Piggy and so many of our favorite Muppets was an emotional experience for all three of us. The girls wanted desperately to be able to hug some of the characters and I found myself getting a little teary eyed at seeing the Cookie Monster that would have been in production during my own Sesame Street viewing years.

I believe the beauty of Jim Henson’s work is all in his ability to tell stories and make personal connections with his audiences through the use of his colorful puppetry. For every stage in my life, there’s been a Jim Henson puppet memory to go with it.

I vividly remember eating my lunch while watching Sesame Street after morning preschool, tuning into the Muppet Show with my mom in the evenings, seeing the Labyrinth as a tween in the movie theater, hanging onto my childhood and watching Fraggle Rock reruns with my little sister during my teen years, and singing Rainbow Connection as a lullaby to my tiny babies. But nothing compares to enjoying these characters all over again as a mom with my own kids.

We dedicated one entire day of our trip to seeing the Center for Puppetry Arts not realizing the size of the museum lends itself to an afternoon visit. We had a scheduled guided tour through the Henson exhibit scheduled for 3 pm so we took a mid-day break and headed over to Atlantic Station for lunch

We summoned an Uber driver to take us back to the museum after our break and our enthusiasm for the exhibit was contagious. Our driver couldn’t believe we had driven down from Charlotte just to see the puppets but when we started listing off all the characters he stopped us and said, “You mean BIG BIRD is in there?!” 

I pulled out the picture on my phone to show him Big Bird with my girls and instead of just dropping us off, he ended up parking his car and coming in for his own visit. I love that even a grown man can get that excited to see a beloved character. 

If you want to make your own visit to the Center for Puppetry Arts, here are our top tips:

  1. Don’t miss the Henson Collection guided tour: They take you through the same public exhibit but stop and point out much more information that isn’t available on the signage. 
  2. Visit on a weekday if possible: With Atlanta schools back in session, now is the perfect time to go! The museum was almost completely empty on a Thursday morning. I’m told weekends are far busier.
  3. There’s no dining on site: Not a big deal but we were a little surprised. Atlantic Station, an open air mall, is just a very short Uber drive or walk away and has many restaurant options. 
  4. Plan for about 2 hours if visiting with kids: Super puppet fans could take all day observing the details of the exhibits, but for typical kid attention spans, 1 – 2  hours will be enough time to see the entire museum plus special exhibit. The museum is small but mighty.

5. Don’t miss the hands-on hot spots: My kids both LOVED the interactive puppet television set up where they could play with Melissa & Doug puppets in front of a live tv recording. Little Pea spent most of our guided tour time by herself playing with the toys while the Peanut and I listened to our guide. Don’t rush your kids through that, plan for some time for them to enjoy that particular spot.

You can find more information on the museum, including hours, special exhibit information, performance and guide times, and ticket pricing at the Center for Puppetry Arts web site here.


Thanks to the team at the Center for Puppetry Arts for providing the tickets for our visit in exchange for this post. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

One Comment

  1. Hello Tiffany!

    My name is Grace, and I work at the Center for Puppetry Arts as a Guest Services Coordinator. Firstly I want to thank you for writing such a lovely article about our Center! I am writing to see if it would be possible for you to add a disclaimer to your article. The Labyrinth exhibition pictured here is from a few years ago and was temporarily on display and has since been rotated out of the museum. We still have some objects from Labyrinth in our museum; they are just not as heavily featured right now. We get many of our guests expecting this exhibit to be here still since your post was published last year. We hate to send our Labyrinth fans away disappointed. If a note could be added saying: “This was a temporary exhibition that, as of 2019, is no longer on display, but there are still Labyrinth things to see there!” That would be so appreciated! 🙂

    Grace Callaway
    Museum Services Coordinator

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