The Children’s Garden at Franklin Park Conservatory
By Abbey Roy

The Children’s Garden at Franklin Park Conservatory

Franklin Park Conservatory's Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation Children's Garden entertains kids of all sizes

Before our three daughters ever ducked through the leafy tunnel that serves as the entrance to Franklin Park Conservatory‘s new Scotts Miracle-Gro Children’s Garden, our five-year-old remarked, “I can tell this is going to be fun.”

I can’t blame her. Though I was too tall to pass through the kid’s entrance, I could see from afar the gigantic bird’s nest, a lofty network of ropes in the “hammock garden,” valley of carefully situated climbing rocks and picturesque landscaping. In short, it is a child’s paradise.

For the artsy ones, a “floating frame” in which children are invited to drip flowers, (pieces of wood and lotus pods), to create an ever-changing arrangement. For music lovers, a walk-through network of bamboo chimes, a xylophone and drums. For the engineers, a collection of wooden block await being pieced together. For the gardeners, a collection of vegetables and herbs to water. And for the climbers, well… everything.

Our visit would not have been complete without quality time spent in the “stream,” whose shallow water flows over smooth stones that kids can hop, step or climb over. The waterfall at one end is a particularly nice touch. This attraction alone may require an extra set of clothes!

The best part of it all is the kid-friendliness. No “don’t go over there!” Or “stop climbing on that!”. Quite the opposite: kids are invited to roam and explore; to touch and see and learn. Though little ones may need a hand to hold, you will feel completely comfortable sitting back and watching as they play and learn – exactly what should happen in a garden just for them.


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About the Author

Abbey Roy is a Kent State University journalism graduate. She writes a weekly column entitled the Bargain Advocate for the Newark Advocate and Media Network of Central Ohio and enjoys spending time with her family - her husband, Seth, and two daughters, Analeigh and Aria - reading, being outdoors (especially in the woods, water or both), bicycling and photography. She also makes a mean zucchini bread. You can email Abbey at