Thursday, April 19, 2012

A trip to the Kentucky Children's Garden

Last summer I had several friends tell me great things about the New Children's Garden that had been built at the UK Arboretum. Everything I've heard about it has been positive, but the one negative thing I've heard about it is that you have to pay an admissions fee to gain entrance. I admit that knowing there are tons of free parks around Lexington made me a little disinterested in paying to go to the Children's Garden and thus we've never been. As you well know, with kids you must take into account nap time and meal time and transition time (between waking up and eating and going to get somewhere) whenever you make plans to do ANYTHING & I just wanted to be sure we'd get our $$ worth if we went! So...finally, last week we had beautiful weather and I really wanted to get myself and the girls out in it - so we packed snacks, a change of clothes (the website said they might get wet) our sunglasses and went to the Children's Garden. Here is a little aerial map of the layout of the garden.
Right when we entered we could see a group of people huddled around the pond where there are little bamboo fishing poles with bobbers tied to the end and kids can pretend fish (there aren't actually any fish in the pond). Kennedy was ALL ABOUT this part!
The first time we "fished" Avery just hung out in her shades and took it all in:

Next up was the garden plot/digging area complete with a miniature shed where kids can pick out their desired digging items:
I cracked up watching all the other kids because you could tell for the boys who were at the park: this was definitely the highlight. Kennedy kept asking me how she could get a really BIG hole dug as she proceeded to attempt what she thought would produce said hole.
Although she was all work and no play in the digging area, Kennedy did stop long enough to bring Avery a digging tool she found most appropriate for her size. Avery decided she'd just hang out with her tool rather than attempting to do anything with it.
Over near the tool shed and vegetable gardens, there were some wheel barrows kids could play in so that was what we did prior to our snack stop for the afternoon. Again...big sister made sure to get some items for little sister (a miniature shovel and butterfly net).
She swung them around a bit but mostly just chilled and watched sister dig in the wheel barrows. Can we talk about the accessories?! Glasses: check, pacifier: check, sweater: check, shovel and butterfly net: check and check!
Over by the vegetable gardens there was a big sunflower that had some educational tidbits on it and Avery crawled over that and proceeded to whack said sunflower with her shovel:
She found said whacking noise to be most comical and proceeded to repeat the action about 247 times...I figured whatever floats your boat sister...we are out of the house and y'all are having fun: Go!
Kennedy wanted to fish some more so we headed back over to the pond after our snack time and Avery wanted in on the action this time. I only got whipped with her pole about 15 times and only had to pull pond grass out of my hair 3 of those 15 times: ew!
I really wanted a picture of them fishing together but walking back even a few steps made me super nervous because I could totally see my brave and daring Avery plop right into that pond. Luckily...she didn't fall in and I got this sweet picture:
I thought this painted horse was so cool...Kennedy did too:

This is the entrance/exit to the park - you can't really tell but there are all kinds of colorful insects and flowers painted on the metal and I figured I'd try to snap a picture of the girls together in their matching outfits from Nana before we left.

Of course a trip to the arboretum is not complete without playing on the "logs":
Avery cracks me up - she tries to lift everything - even if it's WAY too heavy:
My little balancing gymnast:
There are all shapes and sizes of stumps in that log area (for lack of a better description) and Avery was determined to find one just her size...she finally did and was tickled about it:
Truthfully - it was totally worth the admission fee of $3/person (babies 2 and under are free). For $6 we got about 3 hours of play and some good ole sunshine. I probably would have stayed out there longer if I wasn't worried Avery was getting sun burnt (didn't eve dawn on me to grab sunscreen). There is a person who walks around the garden talking to the kids about ecosystems, recycling, metamorphosis, and all other things nature pertaining to anything they have access to in the garden - you could tell she had a knack with kids and she even offered a story time for those who were interested (though Kennedy was more interested in "fishing" so we didn't do story time. I'm so glad we decided to go..if you live here and haven't gone...pick a gorgeous day and head on over there!


  1. What a cool place! Totally worth your $6!! Looks like everyone had a BLAST ;-)

  2. Really really neat! Is this what they were building a few years back with all that construction stuff while we were training/running? I love the wish we had something like this here in our town. Looks like they had a blast!! Absolutely LOVE the matching outfits!!!

  3. How cool! I had no clue there was something like this at the arboretum! Looks like a fun day. Love the girls' matching outfits:)

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  5. How fun!!! I didn't know they had that there! We will definitely be checking that out soon! Let us know if you guys go again soon! LOVE the pictures!