I grew up everything Disney World. Spoiled is more like it. So I will be honest that it takes a lot to impress me. I have to say that Mckee’s newest addition does not disappoint!
Currently, Mckee’s lush gardens are hosting 2 exhibits that are worth checking out before heading to the children’s area. The first exhibit (Ocean Sole Africa) includes sea life sculptures all made from flip flops found in the ocean. The second is a returning artist, Patrick Dougherty also known as the stickman. When you enter the garden, I suggest taking a right and strolling to check these out first.
Unsurprisingly, our 6 year old had to take a bathroom break, so we headed back to the front for the restrooms. It was perfect though, as we also checked out the cafe and grabbed some ice cream. The patio has plenty of space to relax and enjoy a treat or meal. As a parent, I am a big fan of eatery’s where my child can get out of her seat while I am still enjoying my meal.
After we were all sugared up, it was time to explore over towards the Children’s Area. This time we headed left and over the stone bridge. We were a little confused on how to get into the play area, but you will know when you see the entrance.
My jaw dropped by the beauty and creativity of the new area. Every little detail was designed beautifully. Lucy chose to enter via the rope bridge, while we opted for the more adult-sized bridge. As you enter, you will also see that there are bathrooms and water fountains. To the left of the entrance is a water art installation that I can see being perfect for when the weather heats up.
How fun is this interactive music area! Something fun for every age!
The largest attraction and centerpiece of the park is the giant pirate ship that is perched on top of an old banyan tree. There is more than one way to access the top of the ship. Little ones will have a blast climbing through the hidden area while adults will more likely opt walk around and up the ramp.
After 10 minutes of trying to keep up and keep an eye on our daughter, I realized that it was just impossible. She was having a blast exploring and I just had to trust that she would make good decisions. We are a family who are always aware of our surroundings, take precautions, and try out best to be safe while having fun. There is only 1 way in and 1 way out of the area, however, there are emergency exits at which point an alarm will sound off. I like to dress her in bright clothing just for this very occasion! If you are like us, I advise having a discussion with your child on setting expectations and ground rules prior to arriving to Mckee.
Lucy quickly made friends at which point they started what I imagine to be the most epic game of hide and go seek. She would occasionally run by with the biggest smile, making letting go completely worth it.
At the very back of the play area is the cutest fairy area with lifestyle mushrooms that make me feel like I am Alice in Wonderland. Be sure to read the story on the pathway. While we didn’t see any fairies this time, we did find a little gnome.
There is SOOOO much more to the play area that we didn’t get to explore including the most adorable crab nook with reading books. We only had 2 hours and it simply wasn’t enough. I highly suggest making a day of it. There is so much to explore and your little one will not want to leave.
They do close at 5:00 pm with the last entry being at 4:00 pm. I hope this will change in the future for working families. You can find more information on their website HERE . We do also recommend getting a family membership. There are so many amazing events throughout the year including our favorite Christmas Light Display. The membership is well worth it if you are planning on visiting more than once.