Awesome Playgrounds in Toledo & Surrounding Area




Need a break? Why not meet up with other parents/ grandparents and enjoy some adult conversation while the kiddos run off all that excess energy?

Here’s a list of  awesome playground in Toledo and the surrounding areas….

Toledo Botanical Gardens

This is where childhood comes alive, where the imagination lives! The Toledo Botanical Gardens is a feast for the eyes, with gorgeous flowers, grasses, & ground coverings, layers upon layers of textures, its beauty is bountiful. It’s a living classroom where kiddos can learn about pioneer times, explore the vegetable gardens, & most recently allow their imaginations to roam freely in the Secret Forest!

Address: 5403 Elmer Drive Toledo, Ohio 43615

Phone: 419-270-7500


Hours: Open 7 a.m. until dark every day

Admission: FREE

Amenities: Picnic area adjacent as well as restrooms





Kiddos can climb, jump, run, & explore their way through the Secret Forest. As you stroll up it’s reminiscent of a Secret Garden, with just the roof of the treehouse peeking up from the trees below and the wood threshold acting as the gate to imaginary play.








Once one walks through it the magic comes alive! You’re greeted by a multi-level treehouse complete with a suspended bridge, entirely enclosed climbing rope netted tube, and rope bridge with rope netting surrounding it, and an overall atmosphere of adventure!

















After visiting the Secret Forest stop off at Schmucker’s down the road for lunch, dinner, or a shake! Located at, 2103 N Reynolds Rd, Toledo, OH 43615 it’s a local piece of history, established in 1948…open daily 5am-11pm & closed Sundays.



Carr Park








Where: Temperance, MI 48182

Phone: (734) 224-7323


Amenities: Park offers permanent grills, benches, picnic tables, and an over-hang shelter housing additional picnic tables. The park has a basketball court, two volleyball courts, two tennis courts and a ball diamond.

Fun fact, the property where the six acre parcel of ground is located was originally deeded to the Upton Carr family by President Andrew Jackson in the 1830’s. It subsequently was sold by the Carr Family to the Temperance Rotary Club to be designated as a park.



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Where: 8505 S River Rd, Waterville, OH 43566.

Phone: (419) 779-6052


Amenities: Indoor and picnic shelter rental, there is a really nice, new, shelter adjacent (and restrooms too) that is available to rent along with a charcoal and gas grill, fishing, overnight camping and historical WPA buildings and bridges


Imagination Station Playground

If you are touring the Spangler Factory (Dum-Dum Factory) in Bryan, Ohio anytime soon then this playground needs to be on your itinerary! It is literally a hop, skip, & jump from the factory…or better yet, just ask the amazing Spangler worker behind the counter for directions to the playground (they have printouts). Pack a picnic lunch and make an afternoon of it in gorgeous Bryan, Ohio!




Where: 1313 Horton Trail, Bryan, OH 43506

Phone: 419-633-6030


Amenities: Imagination Station Playground offers kids endless fun! There is a Toddler area, it’s partially enclosed, has a nice variety of picnicking options…picnic tables in sun and shade, restrooms, (no changing stations), it’s near the tennis courts, and is short walking distance from the parking lost…like, literally 10 feet, very close!












Need a rainy day suggestion?

New Hope has an indoor playground area…a KidZone play area full of exciting things for all preschoolers and elementary children (up to 5th grade).  A trampoline, tube slide, racing slides, tunnels and obstacles are sure to keep your kids busy while you relax and watch them play.  They even have a toddler area within the room with toys specifically for little ones. Bring socks…no shoes on trampoline, etc.

KidZone Play Area New Hope Church



Address: 15627 US-127, Bryan, OH 43506

Phone: (419) 636-1362

Hours: KidZone is open to the public Monday – Thursday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (check website for holiday hours)


Imagination Kingdom

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Where: 700 E Oak St. Wauseon, Ohio 43567


Amenities: Picnic area, restrooms, enclosed playground

Imagination Kingdom is a handicapped accessible playground located in Reighard Park, in Wauseon, OH. It is the first ever 100% plastic playground in Ohio. (Why plastic? Maintenance isn’t as much, it doesn’t require staining & sealing every year like wooden playgrounds, and as an added bonus parents don’t have to worry about kiddos getting splinters). The playground project was funded, all $250,000, by a committee who solicited area businesses, organizations, and individuals. They also sold engraved pavers & fence pickets which can be seen as you walk up and around the playground. And get this, the playground was no only built by the community, but was entirely staffed by volunteers!! Ah-mazing!!



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Address: 5100 W Central Ave. Toledo, OH 43615

Phone: (419) 270-7500


Amenities: Picnic areas, shelters, restrooms, Manor House, garden, old school house, & playground

Natural beauty and man-made elegance come together as one at Wildwood Preserve, the most visited of the Metroparks. The 493-acre park is the former estate of Toledo’s Stranahan family. Surrounded by natural habit, the stately home, now called the Manor House, played important roles in Toledo—and the park district’s—history.


Thorn Park

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Address: 21311 Telegraph Rd, Brownstown Charter Twp, MI 48183

Phone: (734) 675-0920


Amenities: Picnic area, picnic tables, restrooms, splash pad, lockers, & changing area

Thorn Park Splash Pad is located in Brownstown Michigan, roughly 40 minutes (with construction) from Toledo. It is literally a straight shot up I-75, super easy to find. It is like a little oasis of fun! Thorne Park has a sweet playground so be sure to pack a lunch because you are going to want to stay for a while.


Swan Creek






Address: 4659 Airport Hwy, Toledo, OH 43615

Phone: (419) 407-9758


Amenities: Restrooms, swinging bridge, indoor and picnic shelters, & playgrounds


Pearson Park

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Address: 761 Lallendorf Rd Oregon, OH 43616

Phone: (419) 360-9178


Amenities: The lake offers more than just breathtaking views and a therapeutic walk, you can also fish, paddle on the lake with one of the paddle boats, & ice skate in the winter months. Attractions also include baseball diamonds, soccer fields, tennis courts, a playground, sledding, and the Black Swamp Cabin

Each step offered a new gorgeous view; it honestly doesn’t feel like you are in Ohio anymore.


Plymouth Dream PlayScape

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Address: 46640 W Ann Arbor Trail, Plymouth, MI 48170

Phone: (734) 453-3567


Amenities: 80-acre Community Park with 4 baseball diamonds, a fishing pond, restrooms, picnic, & a kids’ splash pad.

It is huge! There is so much to do for all ages! There are swings and a play area for the toddlers and preschoolers, kids of all ages!! And talk about great exercise, there are so many climbing apparatuses…and the sheer size of the structure barricades any possibility of boredom!


Oak Openings











Where: 4139 Girdham Rd, Swanton, OH 43558

Phone: (419) 360-9179


Amenities: Endless…picnic areas, playgrounds, shelters, horseback riding, camping grounds, restrooms, etc.

Trip Advisor has it listed as #8 or 80 things to do in Toledo and I could not agree more! It is home to “the Spot” which has earned quite a reputation amongst Insta-grammers from all over Ohio as well as photographers from Michigan, Washington, D.C., New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Minnesota, California, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. With its sand dunes, bike trails, Tornado Alley, Mallard Lake, campgrounds, Horse trails, picnic areas, etc. it’s the Disney World of Metroparks with endless beauty everywhere you turn just waiting to be explored!


Fort Imagination







Address: 429 E Boundary St, Perrysburg, OH 43551

Phone: (419) 872-8020


Amenities: Covered picnic area, picnic tables, restroom, disc-golf course, enclosed toddler play area


Know an awesome playground that didn’t make the list? Please share in the comments. And tag/share with friends, a play date at the park is perfect for parents and kids!

Celebrate Earth Day 2018 in Toledo

“Why are we celebrating Earth when it keeps giving us snow?” That was a totally valid point made by my 1st grader, lol! Though, some may want to boycott Earth Day this year thanks to Mother Nature’s wonky weather, we are indebted to our planet. And Earth Day is a wonderful way to remind ourselves and our families that we need to be one with our environment, respect it, and do our best to minimize our carbon footprint so our grandchildren and our children’s grandchildren can enjoy the riches this planet offers. Here is a list of some fun activities going on this weekend to help you celebrate:


9th Annual Community Earth Day Celebration! Over 20 community partners are joining efforts for a fun-filled day!

When: Sunday, April 22 @ 2- 4pm

Where: Montessori School BG 515 Sand Ridge Rd



Archery! Take Nature walks! Listen to great Stories! Participate in great Activities! Make an art project! Take home a Live sapling!

In addition to this celebration, a wide variety of events and activities will be taking place all month, check out website for upcoming events!




Literacy in the Park

When: Saturday, April 21, 2018 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Where: Bowling Green State University – Perry Field House 801 N. Mercer Rd. Bowling Green, OH

Admission: Free

Enjoy a snack and literacy-based activities for the entire family. The day will include prizes, crafts and entertaining activities from the community’s top organizations. Each family receives a goodie bag with a free book by award-winning author and illustrator, Don Tate, who will offer two talks.





Party for the Planet at the Toledo Zoo

When: Saturday, April 21, 2018 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Address: 2 Hippo Way, Toledo, OH 43609

Phone: 419-385-5721


Admission: FREE to Members.  Adult (12-59) $17.00, Child (2-11) $14.00, Senior (60+) $14.00, & Child under 2 FREE for Lucas County Residents. Non-Lucas County visitors ….Adult (12-59) $19.00, Child (2-11) $16.00, Senior (60+) $16.00, & Child under 2 FREE

Celebrate Mother Earth and learn all about recycling, reusing and conserving our world through educational displays and fun activities. Bring in recyclable goods to make the Earth a little “greener.”


Drop off your recyclable goods between 10am and 4pm in the Zoo’s Anthony Wayne Trail parking lot. Admission/parking charges do not apply to this special recycling project. Below is a list of items that will be accepted along with the organizations that made this possible.

Items can be dropped off in the Zoo’s Anthony Wayne Trail Parking Lot.

As well as dropping off your recyclables, the Zoo is the perfect place to spend a great day with your family! Get tips on how to be more ecofriendly as you talk with people from local “green” organizations. Enjoy special Earth Day activities in Nature’s Neighborhood and watch animal demonstrations (Dive Talks at the Aquarium at 11am and 2pm) all across the zoo. It’s all included free with regular Zoo admission!



Visit 577 Foundation

Where: 577 East Front Street, Perrysburg, OH 43551


Phone: Phone: (419) 874-4174


Hours: 9am-5pm Monday-Sunday

Admission: FREE

Interested in Planting a Garden? In 1989, The 577 Foundation Community Gardens was an idea from Virginia Secor Stranahan. She was a gardener & invited anyone to garden with her, discover organic practices, share their knowledge & “learn to love the land”.




The Community Gardeners are an important part of The 577 Foundation; their gardens have created a pleasant environment for visitors, an education in organic growing & an inspiration to future gardeners. The garden spaces are free!! Click here for more information





Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth Storytime

When: Saturday April 21, 2018 11:00 AM

Where: At Barnes & Noble Locations

Filled with gentle humor and insight, Oliver Jeffers’ New York Times bestselling Here We Are is a poignant celebration of life on Earth. Join us for Storytime, with activities to follow.


Nature’s Nursery Spring Open House

Where: Blue Creek Metropark 7790 Schadel Road Whitehouse, OH, 43571

When: Sunday April 22nd 1pm-4pm

Join us for our first open house of the year. Meet dozens of our Education Animal Ambassadors, participate in several education programs, tour our facility and enjoy Blue Creek Metropark. This is a free, family and large group friendly event but donations are gladly accepted. Please leave your pets at home.


Family Hike: Spring Wildlife

Where: Swan Creek Metropark Saturday

When: April 21st 1pm-2:30pm

Enjoy an afternoon stroll with the whole family while on a guided nature tour with a park interpreter and experience your favorite Metroparks from a new perspective.


Get to Know Your Trails on Earth Day

Where: Farnsworth Boat Launch Area

When: Sunday April 22nd 1pm-2pm

Celebrate Earth Day and get on the trails with a park naturalist. We will look at the flora and fauna of Northwest Ohio as we explore a new trail each month. This is a great way to experience our beautiful Metroparks and all they have to offer us. Please wear sturdy shoes and dress accordingly to the weather.



Family Center Activities: Celebrate Earth Day!

When: Sunday, April 22, 2018 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Where: Toledo Museum of Art 2445 Monroe St. Toledo, OH

Admission: Free

Celebrate Earth Day with the family! Kiddos will enjoy creating art they can take home using recycled materials and found objects! Open to families and children 0-10(ish) While you are there be sure to stop in and see the AWESOME Mummy Exhibit! (Free for members, there is a fee fro non-members)


Know of additional Earth Day celebrations that didn’t make the list? Please share & tag a friend so you can make those weekend plans now!

Make-A-Wish BIG Wish Gala & World Wish Day

There wasn’t a dry eye in the house!! My husband and I attended the Big Wish Gala last Friday and let me tell you, it was an emotionally charged, educational, and fun experience. There was a silent action, open bar, delicious food, live auction, amazing speakers, oh, & a puppy…it checked all my boxes!









And the speakers, omg! When Karen, a Wish Mom spoke about her daughter, her daughter’s illness, & what an amazing gift her daughter’s wish was…this momma’s heart and purse strings were tugged & the flood gates opened. It was such a raw experience; the evening took me to a place I hadn’t anticipated. Are you familiar with Make-a-Wish? Did you know that not all kids wish for luxury vacations? Did you know that granting a wish for a child renews hope & is an integral part of their treatment…it helps them fight their illness?( Stats- ◦89% of medical professionals say that the wish experience influences wish kids’ physical health. (Results from national wish impact study) And ◦99% of parents reported that the wish experience gave their children increased feelings of happiness and 96% said that the wish experience strengthened their families.) Sadly, only one out of two wishes gets granted! But not at the Gala, at the BIG Wish Gala $180,000 was raised & 22 life changing wishes will be granted for local Toledo kids!!! Thank you, Toledo!!

But there are still more kids waiting for their wish, we need you! As the old saying goes: We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give! There is a new feature event coming up, click on the clip to see the trailer…



World Wish Day is April 29th please consider donating, volunteering, and checking out all the numerous ways you and your family can get involved and help other families in our community.

Click HERE for more info.


Make-A-Wish 2018 Toledo BIG Wish® Gala!

As the old saying goes: We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.

Three big principles of any solid financial plan are to save, spend and give. Most people forget about the giving part, though, because they think mostly about saving and spending.

But giving is just as important. It softens the heart of the giver and frees their soul from dependence on money. You’ll never walk away from giving feeling bad! (Source)

Those wise words from the money guru himself, Dave Ramsey, resonate in my mind as I eagerly raid my closet for something to wear to the upcoming Make-A-Wish 2018 Toledo BIG Wish® Gala!


Make-a-Wish Foundation is a household name, but how much do we really know about it?

The heartfelt experience of local wish kids coupled with ongoing independent research from a pediatric specialist illustrating the impact of wishes on kids battling critical illnesses will be the highlights of the 2018 Make-A-Wish® Ohio Kentucky & Indiana BIG Wish® Gala, presented by RMF Nooter, to be held on Friday, April 13 at the Hilton Garden Inn. An event fundraising goal of $150,000 has been set to help make wishes come true for at least 18 local kids battling critical illnesses in Northwest Ohio.

An event fundraising goal of $150,000 has been set to help make wishes come true for at least 18 local kids battling critical illnesses in Northwest Ohio.

Dr. Anup Patel, Section Chief of Pediatric Neurology and Director of the Complex Epilepsy Clinic at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, was inspired to conduct an academic research study of the physical and financial outcomes of a wish journey on eligible kids after observing firsthand the impact of a wish on patients. Preliminary observations of his study will be conveyed during the BIG Wish Gala. (Pics from 2017 BIG Wish Gala)


Currently, only one out of every two eligible kids experience a wish.

One of the reasons Dr. Patel has since joined the Make-A-Wish America Advisory Board is to increase medical provider awareness of the benefits of a granted wish on eligible kids. Currently, only one out of every two eligible kids experience a wish. During the Gala, wish kid Hannah, of Northwood, Ohio, and her mom will speak about how Hannah’s treatment journey inspired her to wish to be a medical student. She ultimately hopes to become a pediatrician.



 WHAT:           Make-A-Wish 2018 Toledo BIG Wish® Gala                                                 


WHERE:            Hilton Garden Inn at Levis Commons 

6165 Levis Commons Boulevard Perrysburg, Ohio 43551


WHEN:               Friday, April 13th

6:30 p.m. – Registration, Cocktails & Silent Auction

7:30 p.m. Dinner Program

TICKETS:         Tickets and event sponsorship information are available at

The early findings of Dr. Patel’s study will be highlighted at the event, with the full results to be published later in 2018. Currently, there are nearly 123 medically eligible wish kids in Northwest Ohio.

In addition to hearing the inspiring stories from kids and families whose lives have been changed by a granted wish, two local professionals will be honored by Make-A-Wish:

  • Volunteer of the Year – Linda Chaney. Volunteering to support multiple wishes at a time, Linda truly believes in the Make-A-Wish and does everything she can to make sure all of her wish kids have an incredible wish journey.
  • Medical Professional of the Year – Sue Hoover, ProMedica. Sue refers every child that is eligible to Make-A-Wish; she’s referred over 100 children during her time at ProMedica.


I am looking forward to learning more and sharing what I learn. Are you familiar with Make-A-Wish Foundation? Are you interested in learning more and/or donating or perhaps know someone who is? Please feel free to share and tag a friend. And stay tuned for my follow-up post.