The Sharon Center is always a big hit with my kids. There are animals, story times, crafts and an entire indoor play place housed at this Great Parks gem — but, for my three, the biggest attraction there is the ball pit. I’m not sure what it is, exactly, that makes this ball pit so enticing, but it gets my kids giddy with excitement each and every time.
They literally could spend hours in that ball pit — but when I finally do corral them out, they always have fun exploring the other areas at the Sharon Center. So, as winter sets in and you’re looking something fun, budget friendly and educational, head to Sharon Woods!
Here are 5 things to do at the Sharon Center:
Look at the animals
Behind the ranger station in Sharon Center is a small nature center, an area housing lots of different animals and wildlife. There are also several kid-sized tunnels for exploring and viewing the animals, including the 360-degree fish tank pictured above. The best part? This area is totally free** to explore!
Do a craft
The Great Parks of Hamilton County host an impressive number of activities throughout the week, many of which are free**. Our Online Calendar lists them all — definitely try and coordinate a visit to the Sharon Center with one of these activities!
Go to story time
Similar to craft time, Sharon Center hosts regular story times each week. Story times last 20-30 minutes and incorporate different, seasonally appropriate tales. We took a break from the ball pit to listen to stories about snowfall. Story times are housed in a room off of the nature area that’s surrounded by large windows and overlooks a small garden. It’s quite beautiful! Oh — and totally free**.
Send your kids on a scavenger hunt
Adventure Station (the indoor playground at the Sharon Center and location of the Infamous Ball Pit) has lots of fun areas to explore. In addition to several slides, tunnels and a hollowed out “tree” kids can climb up, you can kick things up a notch by sending your kids on a scavenger hunt. Pick up cards as you enter Adventure Station, then let your kids loose to find the various items on that day’s list. Admission to Adventure Station is $3/kid ages 2-12 and good all day — your kids will get a stamp on their hand for re-entry.
Jump in the ball pit
Designed for kids 2-5, the ball pit is a great place for kids to burn off energy. There are two places for kids to jump in, and lots of balls to toss around. I’m always impressed by the order in the ball pit — parents and the Adventure Station monitor are both very proactive about shutting down any rough behavior, while allowing for kids to be kids.