Lima Children’s Garden

620 West Market Street
Lima, OH 45801
May-October, Dawn to Dusk .

Lima Children’s Garden

The Lima Children’s Garden offers thirty themed mini gardens and educational displays relating to Lima’s history and environment. Visitors can explore the Music Garden, Butterfly Barn, Rainbow Path, and more to learn about the wildlife and plants of Allen County.

Located in Downtown Lima, the Lima Children’s Garden allows visitors to explore plants, insects, and agriculture native to Ohio. Each small garden bed is planted around a different theme, like the Sensory Garden which invites children to touch and smell each plant. The Garden offers clear paths through each of the planted areas and is ideal for open-ended exploration. The Gayle Edwards Gazebo hosts periodic special events.

The Children’s Garden fosters education about Ohio’s natural life. The Butterfly Barn is a featured exhibit and is planted with milkweed to host migratory monarch butterflies. A Prairie Garden documents some of the plants native to Western Ohio, like black-eyed Susans, coneflowers, and raspberry. Other exhibits document the history of Allen County, from an oil derrick to the Lincoln Highway. Some of the mini gardens were created with help from local children, like Gumball Alley, which was created out of recycled materials.

Founded in 1996, the Children’s Garden is a collaborative project of the Allen County Master Gardeners, the Allen County Ohio State University Extension Agency, and members of the Lima community.

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Notes for Travelers

The Lima Children’s Garden is located between the Allen County Historical Museum, the MacDonell House, and the Lima Public Library and shares a parking lot with the Museum. All three sites can be visited in a day. The Garden is all outdoors, is handicapped accessible, and offers a gentle walk suitable for the entire family. There are no food or restroom facilities in the Garden, though the gazebo offers an ideal picnic site. Patrons with children can visit the Children’s Garden website to download and print free scavenger hunts, a butterfly life-cycle coloring sheet, and other educational materials. The Garden’s features change throughout the summer, culminating in an Annual Butterfly Migration Celebration each September.


Rebekah Brown

Additional Resources

Kauffman, Ken, Kimberly Kauffman and Jeff Sayre. Kaufman Field Guide to the Nature of the Midwest. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2015.

Sheaffer, Cassandra and Mary Ann Rose. The Native Plants of Ohio. Columbus, OH: The Ohio State University Extension, 1998.

Tekiela, Stan. The Kids’ Guide to Birds of Ohio: Fun Facts, Activities, and 85 Cool Birds. Cambridge, MN: Adventure Publications, 2019.