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Storybook Hollow looks to create fairytale memories with inaugural fall season

A new business in Washington County is welcoming adventurers of all ages to come out and enjoy a literal literary theme park where popular stories and wildest imaginations are ready to come to life.

Storybook Hollow, located at 9305 US Route 51, about 1.5 miles north of Ashley, opens this weekend. The attraction features an array of family friendly activities inspired from classic books, movies and television series. It will be open every Saturday and Sunday through the month of October from noon to 5 p.m.

For owner Michele Chesnek, it is only fitting that the first weekend would be set in autumn.

Hogan Chesnek stands next to the pumpkins and fall assortments available for sale at Storybook Hollow, located in rural Ashley.

“I have always loved fall and I love the colors, just the feel and the weather,” Chesnek said. “I love movies and tv shows and musicals, these kinds of things just bring me joy.”

A deep dive into the Storybook Hollow Facebook page shows the amount of work Chesnek has put into creating a fantasy world with giant mushrooms, a giant paper-mache tree, a pirate ship and hobbit houses. She also crafted an 8-foot-tall storybook that begins with the words that all great stories begin with – “Once Upon A Time.”

Chesnek, who earned her degree in landscape design, said she was inspired to transform the property into an immersive world where kids can just play and be kids. She said her children always loved dressing up and making up their own stories.

“I wanted to create an environment for children to use their imaginations,” she said. “Being able to use your imagination in this day and age is so important. There is so much seriousness in this world, and I think people forget to be silly. It is very therapeutic for children to be kids and to be able to escape in a book. I want to help make a lasting memory for them.”

The house was built in 1880, and it features “storybook” peats, which is how the property received its name. For Halloween and all other things autumn, Chesnek said there will be a miniature golf course through a graveyard and a  barn with many things inspired by magic, a monster book, medieval times, an iconic throne, wizards and witches.

There are also places to play giant board games, like checkers and Connect Four. A donation of children’s books presented the perfect opportunity for a reading nook.

Storybook Hollow will be a traditional pumpkin patch with wholesale pumpkins available for purchase. There will also be special guest vendors throughout the month.

Chesnek said she is hoping to continue to offer more events in the future, including a Winter Wonderland event featuring Santa, Mrs. Claus and other holiday characters, as well as a special spring event.

Chesnek added that she is looking forward to sharing the new attraction with others.

“I am just doing things that I like, and hoping that people will like it too,” she said.

A giant storybook is one of the custom-made attractions at Storybook Hollow, which opens this weekend.


For more information about Storybook Hollow, check out the Facebook page.

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