Take Glendale-Milford Road past GE, the train tracks, lots of factories and 1-75 — and you’ll dead end at Glenwood Gardens. This Hamilton County Great Park is an unexpected breath of fresh air and beauty beside a very industrial area — plus it has one of the most innovative, imaginative and interactive parks I’ve ever visited!
Highfield Discovery Garden is 12 acres of pure magic that will bring out the kid in everyone! There are seven different, themed gardens to explore within Highfield Discovery Garden. Within each garden there are so many things to touch and experience, including a 25-foot-tall tree house, a kid-sized cottage with a tea set and dress-up clothes, a koi pond and Garden Learning Center with water to pump, dirt to dig in and daily classes.
The big-and-small scale of everything will make you feel a bit like Alice in Wonderland. The house in Grandma’s Scent Garden is child-sized; the Wizard’s hat in its eponymous garden is so large that all three of my kids could fit inside; the trains were bigger-than-model trains, but still small; and the caterpillar “tunnel” in the Morph Garden was taller than all of us.
My kids LOVED this place. Julian was obsessed with the Trolley Garden, as the trains wove around the grounds, through tree tunnels and drove on tracks made from sticks!
Mary was all about Grandma’s Scent Garden, as the house was just her size and full of dress-up clothes and tea party supplies. She donned wings and pretended she was a “fairy butterfly.”
And, as usual, Harvey was all over the place: climbing, running and exploring. There was so much for him to touch and experience, and he loved it all!
Once you’re done with the Discovery Garden, there’s lots more to explore at Glenwood Gardens. Most notably is the 1.6-mile Wetland Loop trail that you can walk with your kids, where they’ll get to explore prairies, forests and wetlands. There are also several areas to picnic, and a really nice Visitor’s Center with a gift shop and really clean bathrooms (there are also bathrooms within the Discovery Garden by the Learning Center).
Admission to Highfield Discovery Garden is $4 for kids 2-12 and $5 for adults — but you can get an annual family-of-four pass for just $40! (You’ll pay $5 extra/child over 2). You’ll need to purchase an annual Hamilton County Parks pass ($10/year) as well; and this car pass covers admission to Glenwood Gardens, plus the 20 other Great Parks in Hamilton County!
Glenwood Gardens is located at 10397 Springfield Pike, Woodlawn, OH 45215. From April-October, the park is open Tuesday-Saturday, 9:30 am-5 pm, Sundays from 12 pm – 5 pm and closed Mondays. From November-March, the park’s hours are Wednesday-Saturday, 9:30 am – 5 pm, Sundays from 12 pm – 5 pm and closed Mondays and Tuesdays.