by April Helms

Special Products Editor

What child (or child at heart) hasn't dreamed of constructing and playing in his or her outdoor fort?

Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens lets some of these dreams spring to life in its newest exhibit for this year, "Treemendous Treehouses."

Eleven treehouses and outdoor features were selected out of 50 proposals, and constructed all around the historic mansion and grounds, on a 1.5-mile loop through the property. All but two of the features -- The Hobbit House and a tree house which will be raffled -- will be available for sale. The Hobbit House will become permanent part of the grounds, and the Raffle House will be raffled in a drawing that will take place after the exhibit closes in October. Tickets are $2 each, or three for $5, and can be purchased at Stan Hywet's museum store.

The exhibit opened to the public May 12, and is open through Oct. 31, when Stan Hywet will wrap up with "Trick or Treehouse."

Some of the outdoor features -- such as the outdoor art "Arachne Weaves her Web" by Debbie Apple-Presser of Cleveland Heights and "The Flower Pergola" by P.R. Miller of Akron -- are made of recycled material. Several of the treehouses also are ADA compliant.

Hours and prices

Stan Hywet is open to the public from Tuesday through Sunday, April through December. The Estate is closed to the public on Mondays except Memorial Day and Labor Day when the gardens and grounds only are open.

The front gate and admissions open at 10 a.m. and close at 4:30 p.m. Tours begin at 11 a.m. and the Grounds are open until 6 p.m.

A ticket to "Gardens, Gate Lodge and Greenhouse" allows one to tour all treehouses, visit the butterflies in the Conservatory, walk through all the gardens. Prices are $8 adults, $4 children ages 6 through 17, and free admission to members.

E-mail: ahelms@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-688-0088 ext. 3153