There are several great children’s gardens in the Philadelphia area (the water playground at Sister Cities Park in Philadelphia and the indoor children’s Garden at Longwood Gardens come to mind) but my favorite is the Enchanted Woods at Winterthur (Winterthur: Antiques, Gardens, & Decorating the White House).

Many of the features are made with repurposed materials from around the estate. From stone circles and a labyrinth

to tiny houses

and a child size bird nest

There are also loads of water features from fountains to troughs to ponds (although you can’t really appreciate them in these December photos)

The mushroom fairy ring is fun any time of year, but warm weather misters add to the otherworldly mood.

Although a warm weather visit has obvious appeal, a late fall visit includes Christmas decorations, no crowds and winter garden scenery.

Most of the antiques-filled house tours are not available (or appropriate) for kids, so Winterthur offers garden-only admission. They also offer other outdoor activities, such as car shows, antiques shows, and the annual point-to-point horse races.