A Visit to the Elwood Children’s Garden

Outdoor Places to GofallPlaces to Gospringsummer

The Elwood Children’s Garden has so many creative spaces for kids to pretend, interact, and learn about nature and gardening! Read on for more details and photos of the garden (which also known as the Children’s Garden Project of Elwood), as well as tips for your visit.

A Visit to Elwood Children’s Garden (the Children’s Garden Project of Elwood)

Children’s Garden Project of Elwood
801 N. Chicago Street
Elwood, IL 60421
(815) 693- 0214

From New Lenox, the time to get to the garden is approximately 20 minutes. It is a nice drive West along Laraway Road, past the Joliet speedway, which my children always enjoy seeing!

Elwood Children’s Garden hours

The garden is open from from dawn until dusk. The garden is closed every Tuesday until noon for maintenance.

What you’ll find during your trip to the Garden

The first time I took my children to the garden, I was pleasantly surprised with how much there is to do! Parking is free, with plenty of spaces. Within the garden, there are several sections for play, including this adorable Peter Rabbit garden. The items inside are so minimal (2 kitchen sets, a small table, and a bench for adults), but something about it strikes a chord with my children. They could play in there for an hour, easily!

Continuing into the main part of the garden, you will find tons of other activities, including:

  • A small maze
  • A schoolhouse complete with desks, a few children’s books and puzzles, and a chalkboard
  • Outdoor xylophones
  • Another smaller pavilion with a few picnic benches
  • A small puppet show box
  • A bridge overlooking a small pond with fish and tadpoles/frogs
  • An adorable play house
  • A small sand pit
  • A pretend farm area
  •  A children’s garden featuring fruits and vegetables (at harvest, there is usually a basket to take what you would like)
  • The alphabet garden

Across the parking lot there is a large playground, Lloyd Erickson Park, with 2 separate play areas for big and little kids, a pavilion with a lot of picnic benches, bathrooms (open 7am-3pm), a large hill (perfect for rolling!) and permanent corn-hole boxes.  These are the bathrooms of our choice when we go, otherwise there is a port-a-potty.

Food at The Children’s Garden Project of Elwood

There isn’t food sold at the Garden, and there aren’t any food stops nearby. If you go, I recommend bringing your own picnic. There are plenty of tables to choose from at the garden and at the playground. There are plenty of garbage cans and recycle bins.


The best part of the Elwood Children’s Garden is that it is free! At the main house, there is a table with information regarding donations. Currently, there are cookbooks for sale for $10, and the opportunity to purchase a pathway brick for $100.

Recommended Ages

My children are five and two years old, and they could easily play here for hours! In my opinion, the garden and play areas would be best suited for children ages 9 and younger. There is a lot of green space and beautiful flowers to be enjoyed by all ages.

Special Events

The Children’s Garden regularly hosts special events such as live music concerts, ukulele lessons, and a family fall fest. Check their special events page for upcoming dates.

Best Days/Times to Visit

The best times to visit are after 4:00 pm during the week, or on the weekends. During the week days, the garden is fairly busy with your average parents and kids. Only one group is allowed per day to keep it from getting overcrowded.

Check out our big list of outdoor nature centers or all our outdoor activities posts for other fun trips with kids!

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