Our family loves The Dawes Arboretum. Located just outside of Newark, Ohio and easily accessible to I-70, it’s an easy drive from Columbus or Zanesville, and a gem of Central Ohio.
Our first experience at Dawes Arboretum was as a couple when we went on one of their night hikes. After Jackson was born, I would take him for walks in the stroller and sometimes meet up with a girlfriend for a long chat during our stroll. Once our family was a little older (i.e. the youngest was still in diapers) we began attending the Storybook Science and Homeschool programming.
Our boys absolutely adore the Dawes Arboretum, and I enjoy the scenery almost as much as I enjoy watching their youthful adventures of running races on the paths and looking for critters. Children thrive when they get out in nature, burn off some energy, and learn a new thing or two. I’m always learning something, too!
Another popular area with our children is the downstairs of the Visitor Center. The Children’s area includes a live turtle and snake, a large viewing area to see the wildlife coming into the garden, numerous science-oriented books and puzzles, and even dress-up materials! (See above photo)
Dawes Arboretum has several different gardens for adults, too. I really enjoy the newly renovated Japanese Garden. This area is a peaceful oasis where you can attempt to find your inner zen (leave the kids at home for that one. Lol). The pond always offers peaceful reflections, and there plenty of benches for sitting and taking a load off of your feet.
Another popular area is the Daweswood Garden. In the northern end of the arboretum (towards Newark) is where you can tour the Dawes House, enjoy the large collection of maple trees, and enjoy quiet reflection by the Dawes Memorial. The maple trees are breathtaking in fall, and I always enjoy the solitude found in this area.
Why should you visit?
– Admission to Dawes Arboretum is FREE. (Sometimes they do charge for special events or programming)
– Great walking/hiking paths, both paved and unpaved.
– Manicured backdrops for family photos
– Educational programs for adults, children, scouts and homeschoolers, some are free
– Spring blooms and LOTS of fall color
– Bonsai trees (need I say, more?)
Check out the website HERE for more Visitor Info.
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