Cincinnati Family Magazine

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October 4, 2022

Mom Report: Woodland Mound

After purchasing our annual Hamilton County Parks pass, I excitedly browse the parks guide. My family adores the splash parks at Winton Woods, Woodland Mound and Miami Whitewater Forest — we always get my boys yearly bracelets so we can go as much as we desire. Going to Parky’s Farm is another favorite. Yet even though I browse the selection of programs available, we never actually ventured to any of the program offerings … until today!

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Woodland Mound offers many family programs at Seasongood Nature Center. The center offers a hands on educational setting for classes. On our excursion, we attended a free “Animal Tales” class. A story about pill bugs was read, and crafts were available. We believe “dirt don’t hurt,” so we often dig in the dirt. We are big fans of pill bugs; we are bigger fans now that we know they shed and eat their skin, and that they are related to crabs and shrimp. Our instructor was helpful as she handed out craft supplies and assisted kids with placement of the perfect smiley faces on their pill bugs. Overall, the class was age appropriate, educational, fun and FREE! If you’re looking for a way to enhance your park visit, definitely check out one of their classes.

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If you’ve never been to Woodland Mound before, I would also like to take a second to applaud their beautiful park. Before our class, we walked a trail around the nature center. We saw half a dozen frogs in a small pond, and then as we were walking, we saw a chipmunk running from a big garter snake! My sons were shocked and then scared and then excited at what they had just seen. The park grounds are beautiful and alive with woodland critters. A day could definitely be spent on their bike trails, taking in the sights.

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The Seasongood Nature Center has three floors to explore. The main floor has a large tree display, with many hands on educational tools. My sons loved looking at animal x-rays and pretending to be turtles. There is also a gift store, which is stocked with a wide range of price points. We ended up getting some parachute men (sold in a clear tube) for $4.50 each. They are super high quality fabric, and even after lots of playing with them, they’re in great shape — six thumbs up from this mom and her two dudes. I know some gift store toys can be junk, but seriously, these are worth their price. The top floor is reminiscent of a forest canopy. There is an eagle’s nest and loads of books, puzzles, and games. There are also binoculars posted outside, great for bird and river watching. Finally, the basement is home to many animal friends! Your kids can meet tree frogs, snakes, turtles and an owl named Starlight. Our teacher of the day, Jenn, came down and introduced us to the sweet owl! We learned lots of neat owl tidbits, including that they can turn their heads around 270 degrees! Dominic insisted he could too, which was really him turning his head and then rotating his body in a circle. Starlight seemed amused, and she hooted a bit! My kids were so in love with her. Besides the awesome owl, there was also a great hands-on touch table set up downstairs. It had butterflies, skeletons, bee hives, coconuts, and much more, all to be investigated with magnifying glasses.
Life is about balance. So after all of that concentration and curiosity, I was happy to take the dudes over to the playground to burn off some energy. There was a huge variety of swings, climbers, and there were fun sound toys — bells and chimes! The boys explored, and our afternoon was gone. We had effectively spent our day learning and playing — we were all pooped. And that is what I call a success. We will certainly be checking out more Hamilton County Parks programs in the future; we hope to see you there!

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Woodland Mound

8250 Old Kellogg Road

http://www.greatparks.org/calendar#

About the Author

Amanda Ciani

Amanda Ciani lives in Northern Kentucky with her husband and their three terrific sons. She enjoys writing haiku parenting poems for her Instagram account (@cinciciani), and Twitter account (@haikuciani).