Highfield Discovery Garden is quite possibly the most magical place in Cincinnati. This straight-from-a-fairytale Great Park is full of secrets, mystery and wonder, and will absolutely get your kids excited about the great outdoors.
Located at Glenwood Gardens (a picturesque park with some seriously lovely walking trails), you’ll find Highfield Discovery Garden (website) through the doors of the Visitors Center (which looks like a building from Hansel and Gretel). The path from the Center diverges; you can either head straight for the Garden Workshop (where all the classes are held), or down the steps for a wondrous trek through fairy worlds, giant spiders, sleeping dragons and magical sorcery. We always take this route – because it’s exciting, yes, but also because it leads directly to my kids’ favorite spot: the Trolley Garden.
Highfield Discovery Garden is comprised of several different gardens: the Trolley Garden is an exquisite outdoor train that runs along tracks built on tree branch bridges and tree trunk tunnels.There are trains everywhere: running above adults’ heads and down within kids’ reach. My kids absolutely adore this attraction, and it’s legitimately one of the coolest train displays I’ve ever seen!
Other favorite spots are Frog & Toad’s Garden (we love all the frogs, fish, turtles and other wildlife in this dreamy, lily-pad-covered pond); the iconic Discovery Tree treehouse/play structure with the spooky-funny face; the interactive water play area by the Garden Workshop; and the Garden Workshop’s classes.
Every week, there are different nature-themed classes offered; all classes run about 15 minutes (perfect little kid length), and are included with Discovery Garden admission. We have a family pass, so the classes are free, and we’ve been averaging a class/week this summer! (For our family of 5, a pass is $51/year, and we use it all. the. time. Regular admission is $5/person, so a family pass is a really good deal if you plan on going often!) My kids always learn a lot at these classes – and so do I!
Highfield Discovery Garden is a fun change of pace from the traditional playground. There’s so much for kids to do and explore, and the entire experience feels like you’ve just stepped into a dreamy fairy tale. And isn’t that how childhood is supposed to be?
Highfield Discovery Garden is located at Glenwood Gardens,10397 Springfield Pike, Woodlawn, OH 45215. Admission is $5/person during the summer; $2/person during the winter, and kids under 2 are always free. Hours vary by season; currently, Highfield Discovery Garden is open Tuesday-Saturday from 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Sundays from 12-5 p.m. and closed Mondays.