I’m good at applying that “you only live once” philosophy to trips overseas, trying unusual foods, and when deciding whether I’m too old to hop on that pogo stick. I’m usually up for anything. I’ve got to remember to apply it on simple afternoon trips to the playground. We admittedly sometimes think twice if someone suggest a playground a half hour away or more.
It does take a bit more planning. When my friend said, “Come on! A big group of us are going and it is a REALLY cool one!” I knew I had to check it out, and she was right–it was worth the jaunt.
SMILE Playground is a Boundless Playground in Sudbury, MA. These playgrounds are set to higher accessibility standards, so a higher percentage of kids with varying abilities can enjoy more of them. In fact, Sudbury mom Lotte Diomede found re-building this playground in 2010 for her child with multiple disabilities so rewarding, she and her friend Susan Brown founded SMILE Mass, an organization focused on improving accessibility to recreation, travel, and learning opportunities to families with members with disabilities.
It’s set at Haskell Recreation Area and some other amenities include soccer fields and a skate park. The playground itself is mostly enclosed; there is no gate, but only a small opening. In fact, the playground was so large with the fence close enough that it was tough to get full pictures of the structures–I apologize! Restrooms and a snack bar are attached.
There were three large playground structures, in addition to a “mobius strip” climber, a large sandbox, swings, multiple bouncers, and covered picnic tables. There were signs with toddler vs school-age recommendations, but all the structures were very big. This is probably for accessibility reasons, but everyone benefits. Another fun stand-out characteristic were the different animal footprint shapes on the ramps.
All sorts of climbing!
It was nearly a half hour from Stoneham, but as long as 95 isn’t backed up, it is a very easy drive, and I say this as someone who generally prefers to walk or bike! Given the size and amenities, it is definitely worth grabbing some friends and making of a day trip out of it.