School begins in less than a week and we are trying to get in as much fun as we can in these last few days. Tonight the kids take all of their school supplies to school and meet with their teachers and classmates at the ice cream social. Tomorrow we are off to the county fair. And hopefully this weekend we will be enjoying a nice, long relaxing weekend up north. But today we needed something fun to do too. And what better place to go and explore, imagine, play, and enjoy.
The last time we went to Bookworm Gardens
Grace's leg was in a cast and it was difficult to be able to fully enjoy all that this magical place had to offer. I promised her that when her leg was all better we would go back. I posted some pictures of the gardens in my post about our fairy house
but I don't think any of the pictures I took captured just how fabulous this place really is. There is so much to see you really have to visit over and over again to notice all the details. If you are within an hour or so of this place I highly recommend that you visit (it's free!!!).
Each area is themed after a popular children's book or series. This is from The Magic School Bus. This is the first thing you see as you drive up to Bookworm Gardens, and one of my kids' favorite stops. The kids can go in the bus, push all the buttons, operate the doors and windows, and take turns "driving".
Beautiful paths wind throughout the gardens with every type of flower and sculpted trees all around you.
The kids can take a break on a grassy couch inspired by "He Came With The Couch".
Play areas are everywhere. Whether they are in a picture frame, building fairy houses, playing musical instruments, reading books, writing letters, digging in the sand,
or ready to duck into a hollowed out tree a la "Winnie the Pooh" the kids are having fun.
They even practiced their meditation during a Japanese tea party.
Next it is on to the tree house. Fully stocked with "Magic Tree House" books, blankets to lie on or rocking chairs to sit in, it really is a cool place to sit and read.
Next we are off to the farm where, and I'm not kidding you, the kids spend hours watering all the herbs, spices, tomatoes the size of your head, cucumbers, pumpkins, apple trees, and flowers they can find. It is a popular spot, it seems, as it is always full of tons of kids watering, watering, watering. The kids are so busy having fun I don't even think they realize that they are learning about recycling, planting, fertilizing, and natural foods. Peter Cottontail's hideout in Mr. McGregor's garden is a favorite little house to play in too.
The only way to tear the kids away from the farm is to promise them that the pond is the next stop. Gorgeous koi fish swim around lily pads and a gentle waterfall.
I must remember to bring breadcrumbs for the fish next time. Believe it or not fish don't like pebbles.
Inside each stone lamp post throughout the gardens are little cabinets containing books. Plenty of benches and chairs line the paths as well so that you can sit and read your favorite stories.
After a quick read under the trees we wander through the caterpillar tunnel.
On the other side of the tunnel "Horton Hatches The Egg" in a tree. Next you can go on a dig for dinosaur bones in the sand. You can even pretend to be one of the three little pigs, or the big bad wolf, if you are so inclined.
A monster house provides even more fun (which means time to let mama sit and relax in the shade for a few minutes).
After a full day of running from place to place the kids are exhausted but still unwilling to leave.
Hunger (finally) wins over and on our way out we stop at our favorite spots one more time to say good-bye. "Good-bye to Horton on the eggs!" "Good-bye Magic School Bus!" "Good-bye Little House in the Big Woods!" "Good-bye to The Three Bears!"
It is a wondrous place. I took a million pictures and I still haven't captured it all for you. It is such a kid themed place and yet you don't need kids to visit. I saw so many adults wandering around enjoying the gardens just as much as the kids. Again, if you are in the area you must stop in. You won't regret it!
One fun day down, five more to go!