Just across the river in Covington stands a clock tower that looks like its been picked from the pages of a German fable. It’s nearly 100 feet tall and topped by a weather vane designed to look like a Peaselburg goose. Completing this gorgeous structure is a carillon with four illuminated clock faces and 43 bells that chime hourly (from April through October, mechanical figures move onto a balcony to act out the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin).
This is the iconic Carroll Chimes Bell Tower in Goebel Park. It was built in the late ’70s as part of a larger revitalization project in Covington. The original plans for the village included a large German Gothic carillon, a visitors center, shelter house, restored Goebel Park, new sidewalks and landscaping and a decorative fountain. Today, this area is known as MainStrasse Village, Covington’s “town square” which hosts events, parades, markets and an annual Oktoberfest (which, it just so happens, is this weekend!).
But first — the playground. We originally ventured down to Goebel Park for the playground, which was installed just this spring as part of another revitalization project in Covington (the park’s first playground upgrade since the ’70s.)
This playground is amazing. There are two, very large, interactive structures: one for kids 2-5 and one for kids 5-12; there are several see-saws — one is a giant, winged dragonfly that kids can ride; there are lots of swings for kids of different ages; there are mini, ride-able insects; so many things to spin on; a climbing wall, ropes course and monkey bars; drums and giant shake-able instruments; and lots of slides.
(There’s also a pool and water park which are open during the summer — I can’t even imagine how much fun a pool/playground day would be! Call 859-292-2151 for membership information).
After having our run of the place, we ate lunch under the clock tower, then decided to venture down the hill to check out Goebel’s Goats. Guys, I have no words for how incredibly cool this was.
Goebel’s Goats is an urban farm located inside of Goebel Park. Goebel’s Goats are 10 mixed-breed goats in a movable pen that rotates around the park allowing the goats to consume weeds and invasive species. When they made their debut earlier this summer, the goats cleared an overgrown half acre patch in less than a week.
We followed the signs and ventured downhill, then along the long pathway. We saw their shack, but no goats in sight. We kept walking… and then heard a distant chorus of bleeting. So, the kids bleeted back. And then, we saw two gorgeous goats amble our way. Julian apparently had saved an uneaten carrot from lunch for just this occasion:
My kids were in love. These goats were so friendly and let all three kids scratch their noses and talk to them. This is Harvey’s reaction:
Goebel’s Goats will be doing their thing through October — so if you go for nothing else, go to Goebel Park for the goats!
However, there are lots of other reasons to go to Goebel:
- Oktoberfest, Sept. 11-13
- MainStrasse Bazaar, Sept. 27 and Oct. 25
- 13th Annual MainStrasse Village Dog PawRade, October 26
We will be going back again soon — the kids cannot stop talking about those goats!
Goebel Park is located between 5th-9th Streets along Philadelphia Street in Covington, KY.