A Nature Walk through Inniswoods

Inniswood Metro Gardens is located within a scenic nature preserve in Westerville, Ohio. There are trails and paths that lead you through woods and several theme gardens, past streams and ever changing flowers. We love making the trip to Inniswoods periodically throughout the seasons to see how the scenery is changing.

My daughter recently began to notice the changes that take place in the fall – she has especially been interested in picking up the leaves and acorns that have been falling from the trees. With her increased interest in the changing seasons, I thought it would be the perfect time to print off this toddler scavenger hunt for fall from Raising Seraphin and head out on a nature walk through Inniswoods.

We labeled each picture on our scavenger hunt sheet and then went in search of real life matches. Our walk through Inniswoods did not disappoint. The gardens and surrounding woods were showing off for fall with a variety of colored leaves, bushes filled with brightly colored berries, and acorns and other seeds spread across the paths.

Our scavenger hunt took us through both the wooded trails…

… and  paths through the curated gardens that Inniswoods offers.

We ended our nature walk in the Sisters’ Garden – A tribute garden “designed to celebrate the complexity of nature and the inquisitiveness of childhood, The Sisters’ Garden aspires “to nurture the nature of the child in everyone”.” We spent time searching for the mystical tree house nestled in the woods and in the playhouse. My daughter’s favorite part in this section is the interactive water feature pictured below.

After we finished our nature walk, we brought our scavenger hunt finds home to do some more sorting and matching. I cut apart the pictures from our scavenger hunt and taped them to a larger piece of paper. Each item my daughter pulled out of her basket we labeled and then matched to the picture. She had such a great time with this activity we had to head to our yard to collect more materials to sort.

Inniswoods offers something for everyone no matter the season. The details are as follows if you are planning a visit:

Directions: 940 S. Hempstead Road in Westerville, Ohio. From I-270, take exit 29, the State Route 3/Westerville exit.  Drive south on State Route 3 to Dempsey Road and turn left. Continue on Dempsey to Hempstead Road (second traffic light) and turn left.  Continue on Hempstead approximately one-quarter mile – stay on Hempstead Road as it turns right just past the Blendon Township Community Complex. The entrance is approximately one-tenth mile on the right-hand side.

Hours: Inniswood Metro Gardens is FREE and open daily throughout the year from 7 a.m. to dark.

Some additional tips:

  • Restrooms are located to the right of the main entrance and again next to the Sisters’ Garden
  • A stroller is manageable if you stick to the path through the gardens, not so much if you venture into the woods
  • Food and picnics are not permitted in the formal gardens
  • Be sure to check the events page for upcoming events for the whole family


A Visit to Slate Run Living Historical Farm

Slate Run Living Historical Farm provides the opportunity to experience first-hand what farm life would be like on an Ohio farm in the 1880s. An old farmhouse, barn, and gardens, are open for visitors to explore. Staff, dressed in traditional attire from the 1880s, are there to work the farm, answer questions, and help get visitors involved in farm life.

I have read about Slate Run Farm for awhile now, but I have put off actually visiting. When I thought about making the trip it seemed far and I wasn’t sure my daughter would be interested in exploring the farm for longer than 20 minutes. I finally decided to check it out and made the trip down to Canal Winchester. It turned out to be an easy drive on U.S. Route 33- East out of Columbus and my daughter explored the farmhouse, barn, and surrounding gardens for close to 2 hours.

To get there I followed the GPS to the entrance of the Metro Park and then followed the signs for the “Slate Run Historical Farm” that led to a parking lot. There was then a path that took us back to the farm. Along the way we stopped to watch sheep and chickens.

We then checked out the farmhouse. It was built in 1856 and the living room, parlor and kitchen are open for visitors.

Of course, my daughter found the piano and the baby doll.

Scattered around the outside of the farm house were a variety of old-time activities for my daughter to play with. She loved swinging, rolling the wooden hoop and watching the marbles roll down the marble run.

After we were finished exploring the farmhouse we followed another path back to the barn. We spent close to an hour visiting the farm animals and exploring farm life.

The animals elicited a ton of language from my daughter: labeling the animals, animal sounds, and exclamatory sounds (those pigs were stinky… yuck!)

It was also important that she wave “hi” to every animal she encountered.

Along the way the farmers greeted us, invited us to pet the animals, and participate in some of the farm activities. My girl found grinding the feed corn to be another entertaining part of her day.

If you have been putting off a visit to Slate Run Historical Farm because you think it’s too far, trust me, it’s worth the drive. We spent two hours exploring the farmhouse, barn, and surrounding gardens and didn’t even make it to the actual Metro Park.

The details if you are planning a visit:

Directions: Plug the address into your GPS. The GPS should take you directly to the entrance and then follow the signs for “Slate Run historical Living Farm” back to the parking lot. The address: 1375 State Route 674 N. Canal Winchester, OH 43103

Hours: Check the website for holiday hours

April and May: Tue-Sat 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sun 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

June to Aug: Tue-Thu 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Fri-Sat 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sun 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Sept to Oct: Tue-Sat 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sun 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Nov to March: Wed-Sat 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sun 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Some additional tips:

  • Wear tennis shoes
  • There are restrooms in the Metro Park area, but none back on the actual farm
  • There are picnic tables for a picnic lunch at the entrance to the farm
  • I wouldn’t recommend a stroller, but I saw plenty of them back on the grounds
  • Go early or go late to avoid the school groups