Looking for a whimsical outing? Make sure to add the Elwood Children’s Garden to your list. It’s seriously one of the best children’s gardens around!  And it’s free! (My favorite by far is the whimsical Bookworm Children’s Garden in Sheboygan.) It’s a chance for kids to be kids and enjoy nature’s beauty with an added touch of whimsy.

Getting started at Elwood Children’s Garden

We visited on a Sunday afternoon and parking was plentiful. In fact, we basically had the whole garden to ourselves!

Explore the garden

The best part about the garden is that it is small enough to explore but not so large that it exhausts the kids. We walked on the yellow brick road to a variety of mini gardens like an ABC garden or vegetable garden. We then hop scotched our way to the next area.

Step into Peter Rabbit’s Garden

On our visit there were so many bees at Peter Rabbit’s little area. We buzzed right out of there.

Farm Fun

By far, the farm area was a big hit with my kids.  They loved shoveling hay! Go figure.

Visit the school house

Kids can pretend to go to school. Bring chalk to make their own masterpiece on the chalkboard.

Make music

Next to the schoolhouse, the kids are able to make music to fill the air.


Small pond

One of my favorite areas was the cute pond area with bridge. A frog was sunning itself on the rock. If you look close enough you may even find fish.

Playground fun

After our garden adventure, the kids were excited to play next door at the playground at Lloyd Erickson Park. It’s a pretty decent playground with two play structures. My older children enjoyed the variety of monkey bars here.

Tips to enjoy Elwood Children’s Garden

  • Bring play accessories like chalk or shovels.
  • The garden is closed on Tuesday until noon for maintenance.
  • Pack a picnic to enjoy at the picnic pavillion.
  • If you’re looking for more family fun, head south on Route 66 to Launching Pad Drive In to see the Gemini Giant. In fact, here is your Route 66 itinerary.

Nitty Gritty

Website: https://www.villageofelwood.com/161/Childrens-Garden-Project-of-Elwood
Address: 801 N. Chicago Avenue, Elwood, IL
Cost: Completely free
Bathrooms: Building by playground was locked; only port-a-potties available on our visit