Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Playground Tour

In the past I've talked about my feelings about and experiences with playgrounds. Now that Animal is older I need to get over it and start spending more time at playgrounds giving him the opportunity to develop his motor skills and his social skills.

So over the holidays I had sometime off, and took Animal on a little playground tour. In search of a playground that we could enjoy together.
This thing turns mom!
     First we tried a park that is walking distance from my mom's, I had noticed that it has a toddler area. I was excited to see him play in an area that was more his size and that maybe I could give him a little more freedom at. 

Pluses, toddler playground. Negatives, really small. It was a little crowded with 2 other kids, a dad, their dog and their wagon. They really nice and friendly and Animal had fun riding around a wagon with a 10 month old being pulled by a kindergartner. My heart was melting at the cuteness. Like I said it was already crowded so when a family of five joined in the action, we had to bounce.

This is too high mom
Next we tried a playground that is adjacent to my favorite library  branch. Unfortunately Animal still enjoys chewing on books as much as much as he enjoys listening to them, so no story time/play time combo. The playground was fun but not toddler spaces and the baby swings were really high off the ground. 

Pluses, next to my favorite library. Walking distance from my moms. Close to a park. Close to an awesome Egyptian museum and a Starbucks.

Negatives, it's really not for small children. 

8 adults (not exagerating) showed up with two giant three year olds. We left.

We crossed the street and tried a park next. This is a beautiful park. It was walking distance from our home growing up, and it's walking distance from my parents house now. It is however not a children's park. It has a large, lush rose garden for which it is named. No further explaining necessary. 

It also has this serene fountain in the middle of the roses. Animal loves to stand and watch it. I secretly and anxiously await the day when we can start throwing coins and making wishes together just like I did as a child.

On the other side of the park is a large grassy area. When Animal is older I'll bring him here to throw a frisbee, play tag, have a picnic and people watch.

The next day we went to our neighborhood playground. Pluses, close to my house.
 Lots of kids. Negatives, No toddler area.                                                         

I wanna see...
I think I can. I think I can.

It was really cold over the holiday and there were lots of rainy days so we decided to try one of those kiddie playgrounds at one of the malls. 

Pluses, climate controlled. For children 3 feet 6 inches or smaller. Lots of kids his age. Equipment that are age appropriate. Mommy can shop! Negatives, not our doors. Not walking distance. It is really crowded. Lots of kids who are clearly over 3 and a half feet, who are jumping off the equipment. 90% of the parents (I'm being generous here) are spacing out or on their phones! I feel like a freak because I'm watching my son and playing with him. I can shop which means I'm likely to buy stuff I don't need, and spend money I don't have.

Finally one day I decided to try a park that I can walk or run to. It's 2.5 miles in from the entry point of a trail by our apartment. It's the trail I run. Have any of you ever run with a jogging stroller? WTF? It is so hard! I guess on the bright side I'll burn more calories. I alternated walking and running because the trail is hilly and while that is lots of fun running with a friend while you chat. Not so much while pushing a toddler and a plethora of snacks and drinks. I believe we have found the winner folks! 

Mom, Look I can go up too!

First it's got almost all pluses, I can get a workout in to and from the park. There is a toddler park and a big kid park. The slide is awesome. The parents are friendly (mostly) even the first time we went and I looked like a weirdo (I didn't realize my hair was tore up) and they were still nice and let their children play with Animal. Other pluses are another two miles up is a lake next to a dog park and a gaggle of geese. Two miles up from that is a large county park with a big lake, paddle boats two cool playgrounds and lots of running space.

Negatives. The hubby hates when I go on the trail alone. Animal doesn't count as being accompanied. I get it, there are homeless people living along the stream down from the trail itself. It's a little secluded (but during the day it's full of runners, walkers, dog walkers, cyclist and families).

I think we found a winner. Also side note the city I live in is ridiculously expensive to live in. People all over the country pay less for a nice house than what we pay for a mediocre apartment, but I couldn't imagine living anywhere else. The playgrounds we visited don't make a dent into the available public parks in this city. And thought no where is safe these days, this is still one of the safest (big) cities in the country.


  1. Geese at the dog park? That sounds like a recipe for disaster!

    1. Hahaha, the geese are just outside. They walk around between the dog park and the lake ;)

      I seriously need an editor. I read through before replying to your comment and found several spelling/grammar blunders...