What a treasure this is.
Bookworm Gardens, a sprawling greenspace based entirely on children's literature, offers free admission and hours of whimsical fun to area families. Located just off the highway in Sheboygan, it is well worth the 50 minute drive from Milwaukee.
Walking from the free parking area just ahead of the gardens, we started at the Magic School Bus picnic area. Children will be delighted by a real school bus with colorful wings that they can climb around in. They can even sit in the driver's seat, opening and closing its door to their heart's content.
Further ahead as you pass through the main entrance gate, you'll be struck by how well maintained the gardens are. It is decorated with pumpkin and fall decor during the autumn months.
Each small area of the garden is based on a different beloved children's book. You'll find fanciful, colorful statues and laminated books to snuggle up and read together at each station.
The "Hansel and Gretel" Learning Cottage is the main building that houses a welcoming sitting area with wooden rocking chairs, a cute gift shop that helps support the gardens, and convenient bathrooms.
Adjacent to the cottage is a lovely brick patio with wrought iron tables where you can enjoy a snack. It's aptly named "The Secret Garden."
Off to the left of the entrance, your kids can dance around on the steps of the "A Friend to All" amphitheater, and further ahead they can dig for fossils in the dinosaur garden.
As you head to the right of the main building and venture further into the forest, you'll find musical instruments to play and a pioneer village based on "Little House in the Big Woods". In this area, kids can go inside the log cabin where they'll find pioneer era dishes, a broom, and toys to play with.
Nearby, you'll also find three giant Goldilocks chairs and three life-size bears in the trees, a place to build fairy houses, and a Japanese teahouse with a special wind chime.
At the base of the path leading up to the Japanese Tea House, there's an adorable little tree house based on Winnie the Pooh that little children can go inside of. Next door is a huge Magic Tree House, an impressive structure with beautiful views of the surrounding trees and landscape.
Towards the back of the gardens is Charlotte's Web Barn and Garden, plus an area based on The Tale of Peter Rabbit, shown below.
Before you leave, check out the walking bridge and koi pond, where your kids might spend several minutes just observing the brightly colored fish swim around.
Bookworm Gardens is a playful and thoughtful space that all ages will enjoy. The beauty is really in the details, as seen in this carved wooden chair:
There is no admission fee, your kids will be entertained for hours, and picnicking is encouraged. Pack a lunch, your favorite storybooks, and make some special memories together.
Physical Address: 1415 Campus Drive, Sheboygan, WI 53081
May 1 - October 31
Monday - Saturday 10:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Sunday 12:00 - 4:00 p.m.