We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post. This helps support what we do and in no way costs you a thing.
My grandmother was a master gardener and an amazing human. She instilled in me a love of all things green, which sadly didn’t include my thumb. Seriously, I could kill a silk plant. That is one of the main reasons I love checking out botanical gardens when I travel – they can showcase the many treasures our planet shares with us.
Bookworm Gardens of Sheboygan has become one of my favorites – and for one simple reason: it is specifically designed for kids of all ages. It doesn’t matter if you are four or 104, this place is simply magical.
This place is a vibrant, fascinating botanical garden where fantasy becomes a reality. Located in Sheboygan, the garden is a grassroots community project. The nonprofit botanic garden finds inspiration in well-known children’s books in a magnificent outdoor garden setting.
The garden founder Sandy Livermore was inspired to create a garden entirely based on children’s literature when she observed a group of teens reading books aloud to small groups of youngsters during her visit to Michigan State 4H Children’s Garden in 1999. Renowned landscape architect Herb Schaal created the concept plan for the garden.
The family-friendly public garden has kept busy since it opened its doors in 2010, holding seminars for kids of all ages, nature-based field trips, summer camps, and unique weekend events.
Bookworm is the best place for those who want to stimulate the intellect and body through outdoor exploration.
Whew – what a mouthful!
Honestly? Some of my favorite moments with my kid involve snuggling up to read a favorite book or two. We worked through so many books over the years, everything from Little House in the Big Woods to Harry Potter.
I think that is why I find this place so special – it is set up for moments like that – and so much more. I love it so much that it is one of the features in my upcoming book: 100 Things to Do in Wisconsin Before You Die.
On this 7-acre property, kids and adults can engage in open, unstructured play in a beautiful environment. The garden at 1415 Campus Drive is a perfect visit from Kohler Andrae State Park, conveniently located approximately two miles away. There is free parking close to the Gardens and the U.W. Sheboygan buildings.
This premier destination offers whimsical garden experiences by bringing children’s literature to life. Over 75 children’s books are represented in the Gardens, and there is a laminated book for each one that can be read and enjoyed.
Gateways off the primary paths divide the gardens as below:
- Animal Gateway
- Creative Gateway
- Memory Gateway
- Farm Gateway – with real animals!
- Welcome Gateway
- Learning Cottage
- Pond and Wetland Gateway – look for the Koi!
- Woodlands Gateway
Check out some of the selected children’s books:
Stuart Little, the timeless book by E.B. White about a tiny mouse’s enormous adventure!
He is not your typical mouse and was raised in a human family and now resides in New York City. He is shy and thoughtful, yet he also genuinely loves to go on adventures.
When Margalo, a lovely little bird, Stuart’s best friend, vanishes from her nest, Stuart experiences his most incredible adventure. Stuart leaves his house for the first time in his life to find her. He discovers plenty of adventure. Get to feel the experience in his home, car, and miniature plants on the terrace near the arena.
Winnie-the-Pooh’s collection of children’s stories by A.A. Milne, a friendly bear with yellow fur who enjoys honey; Winnie-the-Pooh, the primary character, resides in the Forest. Pooh gets into many awkward situations, and the book details his many escapades.
Visit Winnie Pooh’s house through the woodlands to the Japanese Teahouse. The remarkable detail of Winnie the Pooh residing under the name Sanders is amusingly displayed in the tree house. The only differences between Mr. Sanders’ cottage and the one in Winnie The Pooh (A.A. Milne) are that the lines have been filled in, and the place is scaled down.
In this eye-catching picture book, McElligot’s Pool (Dr. Seuss), a young kid named Marco goes fishing in McElligot’s Pool, a small pond. “You’ll never catch fish in McElligot’s Pool,” a farmer warns the boy as he waits for a nibble. However, Marco does not give up, and the plot proceeds. Join Marco in the meadow and visualize catching the fish from the bridge.
FRANCESS HODGSON BURNETT
The Secret Garden features Mary Lennox, 10, born to selfish, affluent British parents who never wanted her and were too preoccupied with their own life to love or care about her. She is a very disturbed, unwell, and neglected child.
Mr. Craven had the garden gate secured and the key buried when Mrs. Craven died after sitting on a tree branch that snapped beneath her weight. This story awakens Mary, who eventually starts to love Martha and Ben Weatherstaff’s company—the gardener. The land is being prepared for The Secret Garden next to the Hansel and Gretel House by clearing it.
Harry The Dirty Dog features the wildly popular white dog with black spots who runs away from bathing and gets filthy. He becomes so dirty that his family cannot recognize him when he arrives home. He then understands that bathing is the only way his family will identify him. Children may give Harry The Dirty Dog a haircut and wash and scrub him, both of which are huge favorites.
The colorful words of art and vibrant paper collage drawings in Bob Barner’s book Dinosaur Bones shake the dust off the dinosaur bones found in museums and remind them that they were once alive, breathing creatures.
Dinosaur Bones will likely please young dinosaur enthusiasts with its informative “Dinometer” and fun dinosaur facts. The dinosaur for Bob Barner’s Dinosaur Bones has arrived but hasn’t yet been launched.
The Tale of Peter Rabbit is a lovely classic. Beautiful images and time-honored rhymes accompany this tale of one wayward but adorable tiny creature who gets into all kinds of mischief, as skillfully narrated by Beatrix Potter. Children might look for Peter Rabbit in the garden shed.
THREE LITTLE PIGS
A fable called “The Three Little Pigs” tells the story of three pigs constructing three homes from various materials. The first two pigs’ houses, made of straw and sticks, are destroyed by a Big Bad Wolf, but the third pig’s home, made of bricks, is unaffected.
In the animal gateway, where you can also unwind and listen for sounds in the bird-watching garden, the Three Little Pigs cottages are likely to be a favorite.
MAGIC SCHOOL BUS
The late Joanna Cole wrote several science-themed children’s books under The Magic School Bus. They follow the shenanigans of Ms. Valerie Felicity Frizzle and her students as they ride a school bus to absurd destinations, including the solar system, clouds, the past, and the human body. You can explore the sensory garden while having a picnic beneath the Magic School Bus at the Welcome Gateway.
CAN YOU IMAGINE?
There are SO MANY more amazing gardens to check out – and with their matching books! It is the perfect place to spend many – many – many afternoons with your kids and fostering that love of reading that will carry them over all through their life.
Yes, they have educational programs for kids – this is a popular place for school groups!
Using the Field Trip Request Form, parties of ten or more must register in advance for field trips and student programs. They are held in the morning or afternoon from early May to mid-October.
Why in advance? It is the simple reality of post-Covid life: staffing. They want to make sure they can arrange a time for your visit when you have access to guides.
MEMBERSHIP HAS PRIVILEGES
Not only do you get in free (it is usually $8 when tickets are bought in advance or $10 at the gate) but you get advance notice and the ability to sign up for special programs. These include summer camp, special concerts, dinners, and early access to events like Happily Haunted Gardens.
The website includes links to each event and information about special events, including registration details. On October 8th, Bookworm will have its annual fundraising presentations in support of the organization’s love of books. Although reservations are no longer being accepted, you can still donate online. You can find more information on their website.
TO WRAP IT UP
Visit the Bookworm Gardens in Sheboygan Wisconsin anytime from May through October by either ordering online or paying just a little bit more at the door.
The beautiful gardens dispersed throughout the landscape will capture readers, walkers, gardeners, and bookworms as only a good book can. There are opportunities for discovery everywhere through winding walks, open views, and focused attention to materials and design. So what’s keeping you from coming to explore? Visit soon and see for yourself!
Places To Stay Nearby
Other Wisconsin Places You Might Like if you like Bookworm Gardens Sheboygan Wisconsin:
- Step Back in Time at Villa Louis
- America’s Black Holocaust Museum: Our Journey Through Time
- Pete’s Hamburgers Satisfies The Soul Of Your Taste Buds
- Wisconsin Canoe Heritage Museum: A Look at Canoeing History
- Fun Family Activities in Milwaukee
- Check out the Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center of Manitowoc
- Free or Cheap Activities for Kids in Wisconsin
- Wisconsin Bucket List For Travelers