This Could Be My Backyard

One of our favorite places for family-fantasy-garden-style inspiration is the Highfield Discovery Garden at Glenwood Gardens in Hamilton County, Ohio. Last September we visited and had a great time.
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The kids, of course, don't care that much for the garden inspiration; they just want to play with all the stuff.

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It is a wonderful place for parents too -- so green and relaxing, with plenty of natural-style stone and wood seating.

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But you do have to watch out for creepy crawlies, ha ha! Actually, there are hundreds of little (and big) details to look for. Gnomes and fairies, spiral pathways, interesting plants and all sorts of things.

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The main attraction was then (and still is) the giant treehouse. The bottom entrance is a little bit scary for the little kids, with the big mouth, but after Joman showed them it was okay, they got very brave. Then, before we knew it, we could see little heads popping up at the very tippy-top levels.

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Koi ponds and wetlands with stepping-stones!

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Oh, and I almost forgot this -- the second main attraction for my crowd. The walk-through train trellis, with trains running constantly.

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Bert and Gater camped out in the train station.

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In the train station you can press the buttons to make the crossing lights flash and the whistle blow loudly. They are little control freaks so this pleased them very, very much.

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Even the trees are interesting in this park.

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Inside the houses are tables and chairs and little house-y things for the children to play with.

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Nearby, is an old brick building which has lots of interactive activities. The kids pumped water, made a demonstration of the water cycle and water conservation, and looked at the edible raised gardens. All kinds of things are planted there, from strawberries to squash to herbs. Daily demonstrations and lessons are done in the building on different nature topics.

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Wannie was 6 months old.

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So cute!
But heavy, after a while!

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The spray tunnel, perfect for a hot day! You can't tell from this picture, but the tunnel is actually a big dragon. Ooh scary!

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Wouldn't it be ever so much more fun to do this with the dead trees in the yard, instead of chopping them all up to bits.

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And these are my most favorite things -- the miniature fairy gardens. I want to go make one right now. Maybe I will. :-)
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