Cox Arboretum & Gardens is a public park on the south side of Dayton. It's one of those local jaunts that you've aware of, that you know you're tax dollars are contributing to and that you know the schools take field trips to, but that you never actually go visit. Well, now that my full time job is feeding, not killing, and entertaining three little kids, it seemed like now was as good a time as any to finally check out the Cox.
Well, it turns out it's a fairly stellar little get up. It's one of those places that would keep people from bitching about how boring their city is if they ever actually got off their ass and explored what their hometown has to offer. (Of course it's not like I was one of those people.) I've driven past this place a million times and assumed it was a quaint little park tucked into a highly populated residential area and it's where old people go for walks. In reality, it's a ridiculously large park somehow tucked into a highly populated residential area and it's where old people go for walks. I'm not sure how, but they managed to carve out 189 acres of park space and according to their website they've got a shrub garden with more than 500 different trees and shrubs, a woodland wildflower garden, a rock garden, a water garden, clematis arbor, a crabapple allee, a stonewall perennial garden, a meditation garden, a conifer collection, a children's maze, an edible landscape garden, a conservation corner, a butterfly house and garden and 3.5 miles of walking trails.
I can't verify all of that. I think we saw about 10% of the park on our visit. But, most importantly, in that 10% we saw the children's maze. It's a maze with concrete paths winding between 3 foot tall shrubs. And there's only one way in and out. And it's a godsend. I can let all three kids loose in this thing and just sit by the entrance to make sure no one escapes. It's like the world's biggest pack n' play. The kids love it and I get to relax while they burn off some of their fusion-like energy.