Bookworm Gardens - Sheboygan

Bookworm Gardens - Sheboygan WI
Bookworm Gardens - Sheboygan WI
Bookworm Gardens is a botanical gardens in Sheboygan where you can sit down on a grass sofa and reach into a cubbie, pull-out a waterproof storybook, and read the story ofHe Came With The Couch. You can read The Three Little Pigs while sitting inside a house made of straw or better a house made of brick. You can excavate for dinosaur bones, take a ride on the magic school bus, write a letter to Twitch, or have tea with Winney The Pooh. If imagination doesn't come alive here, then imagination is dead. It is free, and a wonderful place that children and adults can enjoy together.





Bookworm Gardens - Sheboygan WI
Bookworm Gardens - Sheboygan WI


When it was suggested that we would spend the afternoon at a storybook gardens by the side of the freeway in Sheboygan, I immediately immagined the campy Storybook Gardens of Wisconsin Dells (now closed). I was not excited. I wanted to go with the kids to somewhere more interactive - my vote was Pioneer Village in Saukville. But, alas, it was closed. So, I had to try out this book gardens place ... oh well, if it was a total bust we could always go climb the dunes at Terry Andrae State Park. Away we went to ... what was it called? something book gardens?

Wow! what a fantastic surprise. This is a place that great grandpa, grandma, and little tykes can all enjoy together. While I am normally fairly meditative in my blog posts. All I can really
Bookworm Gardens - Sheboygan WI
Bookworm Gardens - Sheboygan WI
say about this place is that it is ... pretty amazing. 5 out of 4 stars. If you don't enjoy Bookworm Gardens you have a heart of coal.

So .... what is it? What's so special about Bookworm Gardens? Mature forest, lots of shade, first rate design, beautiful botanical gardens, interactive, interactive, interactive. If you've read the About section of this blog then you know that I am employed as an interactive exhibit designer. So, I kind of freak out when I encounter interactive exhibits that are this well executed. And, I have to admit, I probably had more fun than most of the kids.

Bookworm Gardens - Sheboygan WI
Bookworm Gardens - Sheboygan WI
The interactive exhibits at Bookworm Gardens are not in-your-face zippy, poppy, graphic strobing touchscreen displays set into sound dome niches. They are not processions of cliches, this is not a Disneyesque assault of chunky tri-color playschool equipment. This isn't the playland at Mcdonalds. And, by not being these terrible things that we've become used to subjecting our children to Bookworm Gardens is brilliantly successful at actually engaging young people ... and facilitating social engagement between people of wildly different ages. The design of this place has focused more on creating socially vital spaces rather than on trying to assemble attention dominating objects forced down into a square room. It really is about the journey here, not the destination. It's about what interactive exhibitry should always be about - storytelling - which is a social and community activity.

Bookworm Gardens - Sheboygan WI
Bookworm Gardens - Sheboygan WI
In fact, it is completely dedicated to storytelling. It is a botanical gardens where you can sit down on a grass sofa and reach into a cubbie, pull-out a waterproof storybook, and read the story of  He Came With The Couch. You can read The Three Little Pigs while sitting inside a house made of straw or better a house made of brick. You can excavate for dinasour bones, take a ride on the magic school bus, write a letter to Twitch, or have tea with Winney The Pooh. If imagination doesn't come alive here, then imagination is dead.

The best part of going to Bookworm Gardens was watching my 3 year old niece's mind explode. Everything was at her height, everything was her size, everything was interesting,
Bookworm Gardens - Sheboygan WI
Bookworm Gardens - Sheboygan WI
and getting to everything was just enough of a challenge to be engaging and not overwhelming. And, not overwhelming is the key to a good afternoon with kids. My favorite quote of the weekend was provided by this 3 year-old ..."I don't like fireworks, I like flowers."

Of all the things she remembered from this weekend, the flower gardens at Bookworm Gardens made the greatest impact, and for the lowest price and effort.


Directions and Map


Entrance Fee: Free - Suggested Donation $5
Hours: Monday - Saturday 10am-4pm; Sunday 12pm to 4pm



Address for your GPS:1415 Campus Dr Sheboygan, WI 53081
| Coordinates: N43.738042, W087.752963 |

From Milwaukee1 Hour
From Madison2 Hours
From Green Bay1 Hour
From Wausau2 Hours
From Minneapolis5 Hours
From Chicago2 Hours


Photos



Bookworm Gardens - Sheboygan WI
Bookworm Gardens - Sheboygan WI

Bookworm Gardens - Sheboygan WI
Bookworm Gardens - Sheboygan WI

Bookworm Gardens - Sheboygan WI
Bookworm Gardens - Sheboygan WI

Bookworm Gardens - Sheboygan WI
Bookworm Gardens - Sheboygan WI

Bookworm Gardens - Sheboygan WI
Bookworm Gardens - Sheboygan WI

Bookworm Gardens - Sheboygan WI
Bookworm Gardens - Sheboygan WI


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2 comments:

  1. This was one of our favorite "accidental finds" as well. http://www.wisconsinparent.com/bookworm-gardens/

    5 out of 4 stars = absolutely concur.

    Do you ever head up to the Twin Cities? If so, I can tell you somewhere similar (but more remote).

    ReplyDelete
  2. I don't get up to the Twin Cities often, but occasionally. I'd love to see some other places like this.

    ReplyDelete