The Children’s Discovery Garden at Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark in Dayton is full of features kids will love and is definitely worth a visit!
Dayton, Ohio is just an hour from Columbus! It makes for a great day trip that’s really doable with kids! Our family loves the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force so most of our trips to Dayton are structured around a visit to the museum!
We recently decided to spend the night in Dayton so that we would have more time to explore the city beyond the museum! One of the best places we visited was the Children’s Discovery Garden at Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark!
Wegerzyn Gardens is in the North Dayton area and is one of the Five Rivers MetroParks located in and around Dayton! There is ample parking, a picnic area, hiking trails, formal gardens and, of course, the Children’s Discovery Garden!
Quite possibly the best part about the Children’s Discovery Garden is that it is totally free to visit!
The Formal Gardens at Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark
First of all, lets just say that the gardens outside of the Children’s Discovery Garden are beautiful in themselves! So if you don’t have kids and you happen to be reading this, don’t skip a stop here! While the Children’s Garden is a definite highlight, it’s worth a visit to these beautiful gardens even if you never step foot inside the kid’s area!
Before we get further into the details of the Children’s Discovery Garden, take a look at some of the beautiful gardens in this Five Rivers MetroPark!
The Wegerzyn Gardens feature 10 distinct areas that are just east of the Children’s Garden.
Home gardeners will marvel over these beautiful gardens! I just wanted to sit and enjoy them!
You’ll also want to take a short walk on the Swamp Forest boardwalk! This path goes through a vernal pool habitat. Find this trail at either end in the Victor Ries Memorial Garden or the English Garden.
The Children’s Discovery Garden at Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark
The Children’s Discovery Garden is accessible from north and south ends. The Children’s Garden is fenced in all around, keeping this area separate from the Formal Gardens (and hard for children to escape)!
Kids will enjoy exploring the various themes within the garden which is divided up into 6 major areas including: Woods, Geology, Prairie, Wetlands, Backyard Fun and Skeeter’s Garden. The Children’s Garden here reminded me a lot of the Children’s Garden at Franklin Park Conservatory, but on a little bit smaller scale.
Here were some of our favorite highlights at the Children’s Discovery Garden:
Admittedly, not knowing exactly what to expect, my kids weren’t dressed for water play. But that didn’t stop them from splashing in the waterfall! The waterfall area is the beginning of a stream that runs through to the Glacial Grooves.
This is an area where kids are allowed to play in the water: hopping through the fountains or standing directly under the waterfall! This free play area is a definite highlight!
Young kids will love to splash and play in the shallow stream that winds around this area! My kids loved jumping across the rocks, trying not to get wet! In my opinion, this is one of the coolest features of the park for kids!
There were kids in their swimsuits sitting in the stream, or walking through in water shoes! So don’t be like us and come unprepared! Haha!
Crawl Through Cave
Following the stream, around the corner from the waterfall, you will find the craw through caves, another really fun feature! They were so fun, I crawled through them myself!
Dragonfly Pond is a picturesque area with two observation decks. Make sure to keep an eye out for the topiary animals surrounding the lake and throughout the park! Pictured above is a turtle and an alligator! Do you see it?
My boys LOVED the sand table at the Children’s Discovery Garden! It was the first thing they attached to and I had to pull them away to show them the other amazing parts of the park! They loved that the sand was in raised tables instead of having to sit in sand!
There were several sand castle molds to aid kids in building a sand castle city! Maybe visit here before you splash in the fountains and get all wet! 😉 As another bonus, it was a shaded area with lots of seating for adults!
The Music Maze is an area where musical instruments are hidden within a tree-lined path.
If you have kids that love musical instruments, don’t miss this part of the park because you can’t see it behind the trees! You will definitely hear it from a distance!
Make sure to make a couple of rounds through the Children’s Discovery Garden so that you don’t miss anything! We continued to find things we hadn’t seen before like hidden topiary animals, a larger-than-life sized bird’s nest and more!
If you’re planning to visit Dayton, Ohio with kids, you should definitely plan a visit to the Children’s Discovery Garden at Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark!
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