Tucked neatly in between homes on a residential street in the historical Myers Park neighborhood in Charlotte, Winghaven Garden and Bird Sanctuary is a beautiful place for the whole family to visit.
At the beginning of each month (except some during the summer because of camps) Winghaven hosts a seasonally-themed Storytime for families with children ages 10 and under. We joined a few of our friends at the most recent story time, and it was a wonderful experience.
The next available Storytime is Aug. 1. Registration is required and opens a month prior, so mark your calendars for a July 1st to-do list. The cost is per family (not per child). It’s free for Winghaven member families and $10 for each non-member family.
Storytime takes place in the SEED Wildlife & Children’s Garden. It’s a nook of natural seating nestled between trees in one of two areas at Winghaven designated for kids. We arrived on time (maybe a minute late) to find out that Winghaven has thought of everything kid-oriented when it comes to Storytime. They were allowing families a few extra minutes to arrive and get settled before starting, which we needed. After finding the perfect spot underneath a big tree, next to some of our closest friends, we got started.
Our session was all about frogs and tadpoles! A garden volunteer read us two sweet stories and led us in a themed song before we received instructions for our craft. Each child had the opportunity to make a small pond by coloring a paper plate and then gluing any natural treasures he or she could find within the garden. My kids had a blast sharing crayons across the kid-sized table with their friends and picking up sticks and leaves to glue to their ponds. Once their ponds were complete, the kids were able to make their own tadpoles out of modeling clay while looking at actual tadpoles. My kids had never seen tadpoles up close and they were amazed!
The garden was abuzz with little feet running, exploring, and splashing. The wading pool is just the right depth to get wet but not so deep that you worry watching your little one explore. (Make sure to pack rain boots and extra clothes because there’s no way you’ll leave with a dry kid.) Other features of the children’s areas include a life-sized bird’s nest, a fort, water painting, a little library, a living tunnel, and a full children’s garden with herbs and vegetables for the kids to take care of. The watering cans stay busy!
After we had finished our craft and our exploring, our crew was hungry so we made our way to the picnic area for lunch. Winghaven allows families to eat within the garden walls in the designated picnic area that is right next to a very clean restroom. Anyone with little kids knows the value of a clean potty and a great place to picnic!
I’m always amazed at how easily kids can be entertained. A little dirt and some space to explore can make the hours fly by. Winghaven has thoughtfully curated an ideal place for little hands to get dirty, little minds to learn, and parents to enjoy watching the wonder of childhood exploration.
If you’d like to explore Winghaven, check out its calendar for upcoming events or just stop by!