Now Open: Highfield Discovery Garden

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.

Highfield Discovery Garden opened June 23 after being closed all spring due to COVID-19. Great Parks staff continues to take precautionary steps and make service adjustments in response to the latest information from the Ohio Department of Health. All Highfield Discovery Garden visitors are required to wear a mask to enter buildings and when outdoors and unable to consistently maintain a distance of 6 feet or more from individuals who are not members of their household. There are several hand sanitizer stations throughout the garden and visitor center, and Great Parks asks that visitors maintain social distancing when visiting.

Located at Glenwood Gardens (a picturesque park with some seriously lovely walking trails), you’ll find Highfield Discovery Garden through the doors of the Visitors Center (which itself 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, sleeping dragons and magical sorcery (I think Mickey left his Fantasia hat here). We always take this route – because it’s exciting, yes, but also because it leads directly to 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.

Highfield Discovery Garden is a little bit like being in Alice in Wonderland. On one hand, there are larger-than-life mushrooms and treehouses, which make you feel very small. On the other hand, are the kid-sized houses (perfect for kid-sized tea parties) that will make your kids feel so big.


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. Right now due to COVID-19, Great Parks has suspended classes at Highfield Discovery Garden. Admission is $5.25/person during the summer; $2.75/person during the winter, and kids under 2 are always free. Hours vary by season and can be found here.

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