Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Whimsical Woods

If you are from central Nebraska, chances are you are familiar with Stuhr Museum. Well, the corresponding place here in Huntsville is called Burritt on the Mountain. Burritt is one of the 3 locations that we purchased an annual membership to when we got to Alabama. Out of the three, it looked like we would might hold onto the Botanical Gardens for sure, maybe the Space Center, and probably not Burritt.

Without listing all the details and history of the place, I'll just say it is a living history location. They have farm set ups from the late 1700s to the early 1900s. And for my girls, just looking and talking about history isn't enough to excite them right now.

Enter the Whimsical Woods. According to the staff at Burritt this has been in the planning for YEARS. There are more that a dozen displays and play areas around the park for children to climb on and interact with. There are three large wooden play structures inspired by Cinderella, Swiss Family Robinson and Treasure Island.

They have a mining cart for Snow White's Dwarves, A cabin set up for Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and the Three Little Pigs' houses.

But I think that the Three Little Pigs was the most fun for me. The girls and I take turns pretending to be the pigs and the wolf going through all the motions of knocking and snarling "Little pig, little pig, LET ME IN!" and squeaking back "not by the hair of my Chinny, Chin CHIN!"
With all the noise we make, we attract quite a crowd and pretty soon there are 4 or five little pigs as other children join in to run from Captain Big Bad Wolf. And the Commander just sits on the porch of the farm house beside us and laughs at our funny voices.

We lucked out on our first visit to the Whimsical Woods and it was the weekend of Spring Farm days. So in addition to playing in all the new areas, we got treated to demonstrations of old fashion Black Smith work, wood cook stove and open fire cooking, wool spinning, wool washing, and the best of all, a sheep shearing! The commander was so interested that he took a video of the whole thing! (Which I won't post because it probably isn't as cool if you haven't seen it done live.)

And in the middle of our visit, we sat down for a picnic lunch to enjoy the cool weather and excellent view! Burritt on the Mountain is on the tallest mountain in Huntsville so we get an excellent view of the city when we visit. You can see all the way across town to the Space and Rocket Center on a clear day.

The staff is great there too. On our last visit, one young gentleman saw us trying to pet the baby goats through the fence so he brought one out for the girls to pet.

Of course there are some visitors that say that all these fantasy/fairytale displays ruin the original intent of the farm to show a historical view of farm life, but I can only imagine how much their ticket sales have increase this summer. If they bring this back next summer, you can bet we will renew our membership, otherwise I think we will stick to the botanical gardens.


  1. I agree. Let the kids play and fall in love with the place and when they are ready they will roam into the learning part of the museum. Kids learn through play.... that's a fact. Looks like you all had a grand time. That's a lot of wool!

  2. Cotton Mouth?!? Yikes!

    It may despair you to know that I think they have already changed the Swiss Family Robinson tree house at Magic Kingdom to Tarzan's tree house. Orlando was the last location that wasn't rebranded....