Thursday, August 18, 2011

Picnic in the Story Garden

Back when SB was in preschool, one of my favorite things to do on a nice day was pick him up from his classroom and picnic in the Story Garden.  He went to school at our local children's museum, The Discovery Center.  Right outside of the museum, between it and the Binghamton Zoo, is the Story Garden.

It's a magical place where you can step right into a book, like this scene from Alice in Wonderland,

 or pull out a watering can and help to nourish Peter Rabbit's Garden, where all the food grown is donated to a local food bank,

or peek behind this gate from The Secret Garden.

The Story Garden is free, and a terrific place to explore, so we packed up a picnic in my curbside find picnic basket, and spent several hours there.  We had fresh picked cherries, and I had a banh mi sandwich while SB had dinosaur cutout sandwiches.  The dishes were clearanced melamine dishes from Wegmans.  I prefer washable melamine over paper plates.

We chose to picnic in the Magic Tree House.

There are many child sized houses to explore like the Bear House.

Here's the inside of the Bear House.  Isn't it adorable?

The Earth House is a new installation.  I love it's live roof.  Inside there's a vermicompost bin in one corner.

The Cottage is covered in flowers inside and out.  It even has floral window boxes on the insides of the windows.

SB needed to take a rest in the loft of the Cottage.

There are whimsical mailboxes all over the Story Garden, and inside each mailbox are laminated storybooks.  At the Determination Garden, there are books like the Little Engine That Could, while at Peter Rabbit's Garden there are, of course, Beatrix Potter books.

Throughout the Story Garden you can search for letters that give you clues to what you're looking at like C for Caterpiller(or climbing wall,)

 D for Dragon, F for Footbridge, or N for Nest.

While the kids are exploring,

it's nice to take in the beautiful gardens,

and sculptures,

or rest in the many available shady spaces.

The Story Garden was completely constructed with donations and volunteer hours.  2 years ago vandals on a drunken binge(they had lined up their beer cans on one of the walls) destroyed large chunks of the garden, uprooting plants, turning over one of the smaller houses, and breaking many sculptures.  A local grocery chain donated surveillance cameras, university students by the hundreds volunteered, and the Junior League which does much of the daily maintenance on the garden all pitched in to clean it up and create an even better Story Garden.  I think bringing the magical world of books to kids is one of the best ways to donate your time or money.  I don't always have money to give, but I do have time, and causes like this are the ones that move me.

Thanks for popping in and picnicking in the Story Garden with me and SB.  I'm linking this up to Decor to Adore's Wayfaring Wednesdays.


  1. What a cool place and I can't beleive it's free! Sad about the dumb a##'s who destroyed it. One day hopefully they might take their kids to it and have a little bit of a guilt trip from the past..
    Thanks for sharing..

  2. How cool~ So much charm and color. Kids must love that place. Have a great weekend.

  3. All of that fun and beauty is FREE???? I would love that place, even without my granddaughter.

  4. What a terrific place! Plus, I always enjoy seeing pictures of your boys!

  5. This place looks sooo cool; I wish we had one here. I love the butterfly planting and may try that in my own garden next summer.

  6. Oh I want to go! It all looks so precious. Alice is my daughter's favorite book!


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