Tag Archives: big kid

Suffolk Park Malden

The Playground Hunt Meetup group is off to a roaring start. I guess there are a lot of people out there who want inspiration and motivation to explore new outdoor play spaces (or old favorites with new friends?)

The meetup is here: http://www.meetup.com/Playground-Hunt-active-kids-outdoors/ – we have 10 meetups coming up, so please join us 🙂

This morning we went to a (new to us) playground in Malden. Erin, one of the meetup members suggested it, and everyone who came thought it was quite excellent.

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The playground is a large connected structure, probably more fun for kids over four years old. There are nets, and climbing walls, ladders, and 4 or five slides. They are all fairly steep on the end that is more geared towards the big kids. The end by the stairs is for smaller kids, but they are all connected. There is a tire swing, and a lot of grass to run around on. The field also had a port-a-potty.

The best on this hot day was when the grass sprinklers turned on. Then all the kids were almost instantly wet. And mostly naked. Sigh 😉

And here are my photos from this morning:

Cambridge Common Playground

This playground is at the north end of the Cambridge Common, which is just north of Harvard Square. Our last visit had been in fall, after all the water sprinklers were turned off. So we went again recently:

Livingston Street Recreational Area

Review: Large fenced and gated playground. Several large play structures for toddlers, preschoolers, and older children. Infant/toddler swings, regular swings, and sand pit with toys. You will need two adults to manage twin toddlers.

253 Livingston St
Tewksbury, MA 01876

Anonymous said…

My husband and I took our 17 month old son to this playground for the first time today. It is really a lovely park. It is very clean and there are a lot of benches including a gazebo with picnic tables where you can sit and enjoy lunch or a snack. There is plenty of parking and lots of room for toddlers and older children to run around. The only thing is that the play structures are all wood, so watch out for tiny fingers with tiny splinters. The sand box could use a little bit more sand too, but other than that it’s a nice little park. We will for sure be visiting the park more often once it starts to warm up a little bit.

Rahanis Playground

Review: Fenced off from the road and parking lot, but no gates at the entrances, and the playground is open to the basketball courts and playing fields. One toddler structure, and two infant/toddler swings but overall, this playground is best suited to older preschoolers and older children. Not great for twin toddlers with only one adult.

Parking for the playground is located off of Mill Street.

Rahanis Park map and directions

Clara Steele/Munchkin Park

We spent yesterday morning dodging acorns.  I coaxed Alex to the Stoneham Town Hall by bribing him with the playground just behind the offices. It’s surprising how long he’s willing to play along. I had to find one office, and probably explained my issue (starting a home-based organic baby food business) three times, but Alex was a trooper and hung on with the promise of the playground.

Munchkin Park, a.k.a. Clara Steele Park is very shady and has been a favorite over the hot summer. It has one of the death defying vintage metal structures, complete with rusted bolts (though still very safe). Some wood planks have been added to plug some of the major gaps where kids could fall through. I remember playing on those kind of structures as a wee one, and am now wondering how many head injuries I got…

It’s actually a really large playground with grass for running, four infant swings, four big kid swings, a tire swing, and a younger toddler structure connected to a larger toddler/big kid structure, depending on how willing the parents are. Alex particularly likes the sand pit, which is liberally sprinkled with donated trucks. My favorite was the roofed picnic area to avoid the tremendously large acorns falling.

I looked into the acorn thing when I got home. Turns out that acorns are masting this year (which turns out to be a cyclical variation in acorn abundance). Some other people have been getting clonked on the head too, and I found this at a local news station: Acorn News. And that’s our educational fun fact for the day.

Trucks, Playground, Forest

Yesterday was a full day. Within four hours we saw trucks, played on a playground, and went for a walk in the Fells, but still no nap from Alex – pffft.
We went to the (apparently) annual Touch-a-Truck event in Burlington. This was by far the biggest and loudest truck event we have ever been to. It was held on the Burlington Common, just in front of the firestation. Parking was across the road on the Simonds Park parking lot. Note to self that going cross country with the stroller can leave you a couple of feet above the footpath at the wrong side of a wall. And we could see and hear the trucks the whole time, so Alex was pretty much frothing at the mouth by the time we got to touch our first truck. There were lots of cranes, lots of fuel trucks, lots of police and fire trucks, lots of diggers, and generally lots of truck. Two highlights for us were visiting the fire station and the landscaping company that was letting kids lay bricks with real mortar.  Personally what I found most amusing was the REALLY large truck with the really tiny, little horn sound. That made me grin, and probably made whoever was driving it quite embarrassed.

Alex lasted almost an hour with all horns going. Mind you, he had his hands over his ears for much of that. But I thought it was time to leave when it looked like he was getting close to tears. We went to the playground where we parked and hung out there for a while. Simonds Park Playground is very nice. There is a large shaded picnic area outside the fenced playground and a wading pool in summer. I’m assuming in summer the concession stand and restrooms are open, and that the lit tennis courts, baseball fields, basketball courts, the skate park, the half pipe, and the street hockey are well used.

The playground is large and has three sections. One is for ages up to two years old, one for the two to five year old set, and one for ages five to twelve. Alex liked all three structures , but was particularly taken with the digger and the roller slide. Check out the photos below, because this playground has everything and it really would take a thousand words to describe the fun to be had.

After the playground we went to join Bay State Kids Outdoors for a hike in the Middlesex Fells. This didn’t go so well since Alex wanted to be carried, as did Jen. Ooof! We’ll try another walk with them soon though. They seemed like really nice people. This is a picture from another hike, but this is what we looked like. I also have to get another map for the Fells. For some reason my car eats them.

Thanks for reading 🙂 It was a long day and a long post.

New England Aquarium

Friday morning we ventured to the New England Aquarium. I had taken Alex a few times before his first birthday, with very mixed results. Then he had a pretty short attention span and even the super colorful tropical fish didn’t hold his interest for long. What a difference a couple of years make. This time Alex was hooked (pun intended). He loved the seals outside, although he thought they were dolphins. He LOVED the penguins. He super loved the turtles. He super double loved the pool where he could touch starfish and shells. The superlatives continued for a good hour and a half, when the lure of a snack was suddenly greater than more fish. JenJen also loved everything and spent a good bit of time splishing the water in the touch pool and pointing at everything – both index fingers were in action…

We had a snack in the very friendly cafeteria – one woman who was cleaning up checked in with us several times and brought more high chairs. Then it was a race against the parking meter to check out the very large, very deep tank that is literally the centerpiece of the aquarium. Personally I could watch the sharks and turtles and divers and every other possible water creature for hours, but we had to get back to the car.

Parking is a huge problem in the area, but that day we found 2hr on-street parking for $2 total just around the corner. On the Aquarium website is a link to nearby parking options, which is well worth the visit since the closest parking garage is insanely expensive at $35 a day or $25 when members get their ticket validated. Public transportation is an excellent option to visit the aquarium

Apologies for the quality of the photos. I forgot the Aquarium is dark and my camera phone is sans flash.

Hayden Recreation Area

Josh is an avid soccer fan and has been playing in the New England Over The Hill Soccer League. Turns out that a lot of the soccer fields are near playgrounds, so Alex, Jen, and I have gone to support Josh’s soccer games and check out the playgrounds.

Hayden Playground is in the middle of three soccer fields and one baseball pitch. The playground itself is fenced, there are port-a-potties, and water fountains. There is a pretty safe toddler structure with two slides and a tunnel, and a very cool slightly-bigger-kid structure. Somehow they managed to squeeze four slides onto that structure, and it also seemed very safe. There is no shade, so we were glad that we were there on a lovely late summer morning with some clouds.

Russel Field Playground

Russel Field Playground was Saturday’s field trip. It was a mission because Alex, Jen and I were super tired. Josh had gone away for the night and, to put it mildly, bed time did not go smoothly. A highlight was an overtired,  sobbing Alex screaming that he needed to hold JenJen’s hand. Sigh. It’s a good thing I can drink lots of coffee :-). And why is it that no matter what, my kids are up at sparrow’s fart?

But we went to our weekly calisthenics at The Little Gym and then to Russel Field Playground in Cambridge. This playground is just by the Alewife T stop, so there are lots of public transport options. It is also right on the Minute Man Bike Path for even more access options. We ended up driving and parking at the Public Swimming pool nearby – there were multiple games happening and the various baseball/football/basketball fields and the pool was already closed. I’m guessing that normally the parking lot by the playground has a spot or two for playground users.

The playground itself is fenced, has a sandbox (no donated toys and diggers so BYO), a cool fish climbing structure, a structure with slide for REALLY little toddlers and a nice structure for bigger kids made out of rope. There are two infant swings, two big kid swings, and one bucket swing. There are several benches and picnic tables, but there is little shade. Alex almost fell asleep on the swing so we didn’t stay for very long, but it was fun.

North Point Playground

Thursday’s playground was North Point Park, across from the Museum of Science. I had to go back, because I had put my finger across the camera lens accidentally on purpose. This was another Bitchin Mamas meetup and one brave soul made it out to this playground with a three week old baby. Of course everyone melted and had to coo a bit before we could really get into playing. But before I write all about the playground, I need to have a little rant. This rather excellent play has almost no parking. There are two hour parking spots along Education Street, and I have always found a spot there. Not on Thursday when three young men in three young cars pulled into the three available parking spots before walking off together. Really!!! I spent about an hour mumbling under my breath about carpooling and taking public transportation and leaving spots for mothers near a playground. Humpf! 😉

Anyway, the playground is very nice and huge. The big kid structure is made of wood and has slides and about a bazillion ways to climb up, down and around. Super nice. There are two other areas with structures for bigger kids. One has a sculpture climbing structure, the other some nicely designed monkey bars.

The toddler area has a fence, but the gates don’t latch and a few kids from our group managed to squeeze through between fence and wall to play in the big kid structure. The toddler area is colorful, well maintained and has several interesting structures. There is a mini-toddler slide, a bird house, a bigger toddler structure with slide and ropes and poles. The toddler area also has its own water feature: three stone basins with cascading water. This is operated by holding onto the top of the red pole.

There is a big spray deck as well. The water was still on and everyone got suitably soaked. There are two spinny pole things that were a big hit, as was watching the cars and trains on the Zakim bridge. THE best bit was when the draw bridge lifted up to let two boats exit Boston harbor. This playground has no sandbox and no swings.