Tag Archives: slide

Greenwood Park

We went to Greenwood Park opposite the Stone Zoo recently to burn off energy pre-doom-and-gloom-it’s-the-end-of-the-world because Hurricane-Irene is headed this way. It was lovely.

Alex and Jen are finally getting to the age where they can play on a playground without constant help, so I actually had some time to take pictures. And now, miracle of miracles, Jen is having a nap through Thursday afternoon’s thunderstorm. This means that I can actually do some writing.

So, Greenwood Park is probably the nicest playground in Stoneham (though we’re going to fix that, right?). It is the playground located near the zoo just on the edge of the Middlesex Fells Reservation. There is a pretty view of the Fells Reservoir and a large parking lot, but don’t forget to bring along the insect repellent.

The reason we keep on coming back to this playground is that it is designed for children under the age of five. There are two main structures: My children have been using the one designed for children under the age of two for a while. That structure is very safe, low to the ground, features a short little slide and also a wheel. The whole thing works for crawlers and cruisers.

The other structure is for the 2-to-5-year-old kids, but teeny and fearless Jen has being crawling up that for a few months now. The tunnels slide is a hit and very safe. I used to have to accompany Alex on that slide (the times when I was a bazillion months pregnant with Jen were especially fun). Now both Jen and Alex race up the stairs to slide again. That structure is pretty safe, but does have some openings for kids to fall through. I suggest caution for parents of reckless kids, but most will understand.

The playground also has the biggest sandbox ever! The sand was hard packed and had quite a few large stone in it. Nothing a good sifting and some new sand wouldn’t fix.

We didn’t make it to the swings, the circle of sit-on teeters, the large field, or the walk in the forest, but we got in a solid 2 1/2 hours of running before it started raining.

Playground win!

This post was first published by the Stoneham Patch at http://stoneham.patch.com/blog_posts/pre-hurricane-fun-at-greenwood-park





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:

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

Simond’s Park

Review: Lots of fun for young twins, but only with a helper. The fully fenced, gated playground is huge and keeping keeping track of multiple toddlers can be difficult if they take off in different directions.

Entrance off of Bedford St
Burlington, MA 01803
Link to Simond’s Park Map

Hours: Public Park open ’til dusk
Fees: none
Parking: large parking lot, but it fills up during baseball games.
Accessibility (for wheelchairs, etc.): wide gate and brick pathways make it easy to navigate double strollers and wheelchairs.
Fences/Gates: fenced and gated, two gates, but many parents and children leave them standing open.
Structures: 3 structures, under 2, ages 2-5, ages 5-12
Swings: 4 infant/toddler swings, 1 accessible swing, 4 standard swings, 1 tire swing
Sandbox: none
Tables and Benches: several benches inside the fenced playground, picnic tables and grills just outside the playground
Ground Cover: wood mulch
Sun/Shade: no shade, very hot in the summer
Restrooms: yes, but only open limited hours
Refreshments: yes, nice refreshement stand but only open limited hours, also water fountain available.
Safety Concerns: the play area is huge and it is very hard to keep track of more than one toddler if you are alone, the older children are often very rough with the little ones.
Playing Fields: baseball and much more
Other Activities: wading pool near the playground, but only for Burlington residents

Springs Brook Park

Springs Brook Park is HERE on the map and very, very nice 🙂



Hunt Park

Last time I drove by Hunt Park, huge snowbanks blocked EVERYTHING. But Jen and I got to have a good play last week. This is a nice playground almost near downtown Reading, on a quiet street with plenty of off-street parking – grin! It’s a playground for toddlers, totally fenced, wood chip surface and nice wooden climbing structures.

There’s a structure for the under-two-year-old set, and one for the two-to-five set. There’s an excellent fire truck, a three-way wobbly/bouncy sit-on, and four swings (two infant, two normal).

And dang, it was good to get out in the sun for a bit and play!

Turf Time Tewksbury

Woot – we got to hang out at Turf Time in Tewksbury last week. Alex and Jen both had fun at this new facility. And I just realized that the first time Alex came here was to watch Daddy play indoor soccer when he was two weeks old, and that THAT IS OVER THREE YEARS AGO. sigh – time flies.

Anyway, the place has new owners and is now Turf Time with a drop-in play space for the under five set. Every possible type of activity from a drawing table, to infant toys, to ball pits, to slides, to super-big bouncy houses.

Photos from my iPhone:

and photos from the Turftime Tewksbury website:

Drop-in Toddler Play
Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 10am – 12pm and Sat 9:00am – 11:00am

Brand new toddler play area at our facility.  Designed for ages 0-5, it includes tumbling mats, ball pits, jump houses, slides, tunnels, Basketball hoops for all ages and sizes, lots of push cars and ride-ons, blocks, crafts, and a large variety of toys!  Everything your toddler needs to stay busy this winter.

Need a place to let your toddlers run around this winter and use up some of that energy?

Snacks, drinks and coffee can be purchased at the front desk concession or brought from home, but should be consumed in the snack room of the play area.

Fee: $5/child or buy a discounted pass, 10 entries for $40 (that’s a $10 discount)
*fee applies to walkers only, infants not yet walking are welcomed to use the facility for free.

Nothing Better

There’s nothing better than a warm, sunny fall day spent with excellent friends at a playground. We had Tuft’s Tot Lot all to ourselves and everything was perfect.

Note the glow in the photos 😉

Cambridge Common Playground

Finally we got a chance today to go to the Cambridge Common Playground today. Everyone has been raving about this playground all summer. Parking has been known to be iffy, so we just haven’t ventured that deeply into Harvardland. Today Alex helped out the lovely people at the Laboratory for Developmental Studies (a.k.a. Baby Lab) at Harvard University. We spun around in a circular room with our eyes closed and had to find stickers, if you really must know. Actually, it was very cool research and a thoroughly pleasant experience. Check them out, and help out a scientist 😉

And the Cambridge Common Playground is close by,  just north of Harvard Square. I swear it took 30 minutes to drive the couple of hundred yards – boy is that area a warren of higher intellect and one-way streets. But we had no problem finding parking spots near the playground. There were plenty of two hour metered spots. Of course as your eco-friend (conscience) I recommend taking public transport…

The playground is awesome. Well designed, well made, and all understated and natural (ish). There are hills with slides and climbing options (nets, rock holds, tree branches, palisades), there are wooden playhouses, a very cool wooden sailboat, swings, a maze, picnic table and benches, shade, water features (sprinkler shower and a water race), a shaded platform with pulleys and shakers and a conveyor belt, a very nifty seesaw, a wheelchair drive-on round-a-bout, and lots and lots of large wooden blocks. The surface is mostly sand and wood chips.

Alex made a friend and together they monopolized the conveyor belt for a good half hour, moving wood onto the platform. Then they built a bridge for their cars and trains and played with that for about a microsecond. Alex then unexpectedly got all adventurous and tried out all the different climbing options (“ALL BY MYSELF” as he said when celebrating another successful ascent).

Jen freaked me out. She wanted to try out everything – gulp. She crawled up steps and hills and through tunnels and tried out the pulleys and shakers. I’m on a learning curve with her – Alex has been cautious and timid until a couple of weeks ago, so I never got all those heart-stopping moments I seem to be heading for with Jen.

Anyhow, here are my pictures. The official playground webpage has lots of good ones too…

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.