Walk into a fairy tale at the Children’s Garden at Linky Stone Park. This riverside park in downtown Greenville offers children a unique play experience and ways to use their imagination.

Upon arrival, visitors will immediately notice a rainbow of columns, an ingenious way to beautify the supports of the overpass above. The rainbow theme continues with a painted sidewalk that morphs into a rainbow of plants around a lush patch of grass. Kids can climb on sculptures of the three bears next to a gingerbread house. (Visitors who recall graffiti on the house will be thrilled to see the new paint.)

My children adore hiding at the semi-circular brick wall with a mural depicting a scene from The Secret Garden. If you lose sight of a child for a moment, check there!

The garden also features an alphabet of plants. Each letter is matched with a plant with a name beginning with that letter. A Native American statue nods to the Cherokee history of our area.

One downside to the park is that the musical instruments, including a cool wooden turtle, do not have mallets. Young musicians may want to bring their own drumsticks (like a wooden spoon from home) to enjoy these features. There is also a chicken coop without any chickens, but otherwise, the park is reasonably well-maintained.

Note: There is no fence separating the park from the river. My children have always been happy enough with the play structures to give the river wide berth. However, parents should use their judgement about their own child’s temperament.

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