Go, See, Play: Bookworm Gardens in Sheboygan

Is it road trip time for your family? Next time you’re heading toward Lake Michigan, consider a trip to Sheboygan and work in a stop with your kids at Bookworm Gardens. Bookworm Gardens is set in an idyllic, wooded acreage on the UW-Sheboygan County Campus. Bookworm Gardens is designed as a botanical garden for the young to explore and the old, but still young at heart, to revel in the magic of children’s literature in a beautiful setting filled with nature and art. It is a free attraction, but if you are taking a group, you’ll want to call ahead for reservations and group pricing.

Over 60 children’s books are represented in Bookworm Gardens. Some Wisconsin children’s book authors are among the represented authors: Kevin Henkes, Lois Ehlert, and Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Little House in the Big Woods

Your kids cannot miss hopping aboard the Magic School Bus, rocking in an out-of-the-way corner in remembrance of Mem Fox’s Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge, entering the Magic Tree House to go on an adventure with Jack and Annie, peeking into the barn to see Wilbur and Charlotte, riding in a covered wagon next to the Little House in the Big Woods among the tall pines, and looking up to see what the current forecast is in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

There is no shortage of beautiful, interactive, and unique art at Bookworm Gardens. You become part of the art via frames from Katie and the Sunflowers. There are also stone pillars with books in them in each of the six garden Gateways, so you can stop and read with your kids, grand kids, or to yourself.

 

Katie and the Sunflowers

My mother reading with one of her grand kids.

 

If you are planning a visit, check out the Bookworm Gardens Event Calendar to see if your visit will coincide with a special event that might make your visit even more enjoyable.

Full disclosure: This is just about the only outing I’ve taken my sunny-natured kid on during which he was a major grump. Turns out he was cutting his first 6-year molar that day AND he (despite my insistence otherwise) believed he’d see an actual, live bookworm eating its way through a book. He was majorly disappointed that said bookworm didn’t exist. Thus, there are no pictures of my kid’s face enjoying this day, but he did check out the House at Pooh Corner

The House at Pooh Corner: Notice the hand in front of face…. No picture of face was obtained on this outing due above mentioned grumpiness.

Due to grumpy son, we missed most of the Animal Gardens. We didn’t get to see Horton Hatches the Egg, or Harry from the classic Harry the Dirty Dog, or the other myriad titles featured in the Animal Gardens. 

Since it is a botanical garden, flowers and wildlife (of the insect variety) abound. The stories are beautifully woven into the garden surroundings. 

Make Way for Ducklings

 

Waiting for Wings (by Lois Ehlert)

 

Hope you and your family can make a trek to Bookworm Gardens. Just be aware, warn your children that the only bookworm they will see is large and metal on the Bookworm Gardens entrance arch. There are no worms eating their way through books–much to my child’s dismay. Enjoy!

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