SHEBOYGAN — Take a step out of our earthly world and transport yourself to a fantastical and whimsical garden in Sheboygan that brings children’s books to life.
Bookworm Gardens is a nonprofit botanical garden that features 77 children's books and 77 corresponding garden spaces. There is a large wagon and wooden cabin to depict the Little House series which is famous for books like Little House on the Prairie. Other displays include a tree house for the Magic Tree House, a barn with animals inside for Charlotte's Web, three bears for Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and so much more.
Almost everything at the garden is interactive. You can touch, climb, and walk on just about every feature here. It's good for the young and young at heart.
“Literature, especially children's literature, we really feel like that is a universal constant. You either were a child or you are a child, and you make that connection to literature in a way that brings you through your whole life," Wieland said.
Bookworm Gardens opened in 2010. Since then, it has become incredibly popular. Roughly, 120,000 visitors walk the gardens every year. Recently, the nonprofit purchased 23.5 acres of additional space to expand upon its current 7.5-acre garden.
“So last year we had 43 of the 50 states represented with visitors which just felt really good," Wieland said.
It's a popular destination for locals to bring out-of-town relatives and friends. The garden is also a popular road trip destination. The Herros made a stop on Oct. 6 on their way to Door County.
“I like this garden because it has so much fun stuff to play in and like all these characters," 6-year-old Sheila Herro said.
There is a sensory area with different smelling and textured flowers, a koi pond, and Whistling Straits display for the book Connor the Caddie.
During the month of October, the garden is hosting it's Happily Haunted event Thursday through Sunday. The garden is lit up with lights for evening tours and walk-throughs. Bookworm Gardens encourages people to dress up when they visit.
The garden isn't open the entire year, unfortunately. It's closed from Nov. 1 to April 30. You have just a few more weeks to see this magical and whimsical garden.