Tag Archives: slide

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.

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.

Grimmons Playground

Ever since my friend April sent in pictures of Grimmons Playground a couple of months ago, I’ve been wanting to check out this all-new, sprinkly playground in the Ten Hills section of Somerville. It’s been getting noticeably less summery, so I’ve been posting several Playground Hunt field trips on both the Bitchin Mamas Meetup.com group and the Playground Hunt facebook page. Just in case summer doesn’t come back, I’ve got to get all those playground trips in somehow. Trust me when I say that playing in frozen sand is not so much fun for the kids 😉

So this playground is brand new in 2010 and has that spongy recycled rubber surface everywhere. There is a big kid structure, a couple of swings, a half tennis court, two sprinkler areas and a separately fenced toddler area. The whole big playground is also fenced with latched gates, so the little ones are doubly contained – until someone turns on the sprinkler. Then everyone wants to play in the water of course. The sprinklers are controlled by pushing down on two poles and last for three or four minutes. Water pressure is good and didn’t blow anyone off their feet. The surface in the center is a bit slippery though and Alex cracked his head, even though he was in bare feet (which I think tends to give a lot of grip).

The trees are still growing, so it’s a bit warm when the sun is out in full force. Margo had the brilliant idea of bringing her beach shade tent to the park, so we were all lovingly cared for. The other thing to note is that access from Puritan Road is down a long set of stairs. The gate on Governor Winthrop Road is at street level. Almost all parking in Somerville is for residents only, including Governor Winthrop Rd. I got lucky today in that the meter maid asked if the car belonged to someone on the playground. :-).  There is parking for non-residents on Shore Dr.

St Peter’s Field Playground

St Peter’s Field Playground is at 174 Garden St, Cambridge, MA and not to be confused with the playground on the other side of the Daheny park, which has an approximate address of 104 Sherman St, Cambridge. We had a meetup with the Bitchin Mamas here today. St Peter’s playground got big thumbs up from even the smallest crawler – JenJen. JenJen climbed up and down the slide and the stairs and played on the xylophone thing and ate some wood chips.

Alex had a huge amount of fun and played like a crazy little thing – so fun to watch. He was a bit too little to go up the tower to the periscope since the only way to get there is over some wobbly stepping stones or up a faux rock pillar. But he did decide that it was OK to go through a tunnel that was made out of wire. For some reason he was convinced that it was going to go round and round.

Everyone who came had fun. This is an excellent shady playground for toddlers and wheelchair accessible. There was only one big kid swing though and no baby swings at all. Also, Alex thought a sandpit would have been a good addition.

The parking lot is big, but also serves the St Peter’s Field basketball and baseball fields.

Cedar St Playground

Yesterday was a day for sitting by the pool and drinking margaritas, or failing that, running through the water at a shady sprinkler park. JenJen and Alex don’t drink margaritas, so we opted for Cedar Street Playground in Cambridge with its lovely sprinkler area. This playground is one of the shadiest we’ve seen, but some thoughtful person has equipped the picnic tables with extra shade umbrellas. The playground is double fenced. There is a gate to Dudley street, and a gate to the tot lot. The tot lot has four swings and an excellent climbing structure with a large sandpit, liberally sprinkled with donated toys. The big kid structure is a fun structure made out of rope and provides lots of 3D climbing and play. There is also quite a bit of shaded grass, though dogs tend to frequent that, a little basketball court, and the sprinklers. The sprinklers are activated by holding onto the top of the green column and then there are a few minutes of various sprinklers providing splashes and mist.

Note that all the parking on the side streets require a resident permit, but there are 2hr parking meters on Massachusetts Ave as well as a several buslines.

Lake Quannapowitt Toddler Playground

I am so pleased they refurbished Col. Connelly Playground at the North end of Lake Quannapowitt. It always struck me as strange to have a toddler playground without infant swings. But now it is all new and shiny and a great place to stop either on that jog around the lake, or when you’re buying your gourmet muffins at The Gingerbread Construction Company. mmmmm – muffins.

Anyway, I was saying… This playground is still fully fenced but now has a new structure, new swings, new picnic benches, new wood chips, and the ride-on toys have been anchored again. There are excellent little nooks to hide and a faux-rock to climb on. We tested out all the bells (no whistles) and dipped our toes into Lake Q. The playground itself is in full sun, but there are grass and trees outside the fence to sit under.

We were infinitely grateful that the drinking fountain was on. It was tremendously hot today so we only lasted maybe twenty minutes. Then we went and hid in the air conditioning of the Stoneham Public Library and got out more truck/car/train books for Alex.

Ipswich River Park Playground

Yesterday we ended up at Ipswich River Park Playground by a tremendously circuitous route…I’d been hoping to go yard-saling and yesterday we drove off full of hope and courage to a yard sale promising lots of toys and children’s clothing… but ended up driving around for ages and didn’t find it. We ended up watching a family fish at Field Pond in Andover, which Alex found tremendously fascinating (for a good10 minutes). Then he hinted pretty strongly that he would like to go to a playground (Mama, let’s go to playground NOOOOOWWWW), and the fishing family suggested Ipswich River Park as being very close.

We found it, we played it, we loved it.  Ipswich River Park is quite big. You park in a big lot before going on a paved path through some trees to the field. Then, there huge field with lots of soccer fields, basketball, baseball, hockey, tennis, horseshoe pit, restrooms, skateboarding park and a lovely playground. There’s probably more, but that is all we had time to see since this Mama had forgotten sunhats and everyone was in danger of getting heat stroke. The playground is not shaded, but it does have a nice structure with a side for little kids and one side for bigger kids. There are four infant swings, four big-kid swings, and a big climbing structure made out of tubes. There are plenty of shaded picnic tables nearby, but the playground itself was scorching hot.

I think most people were at this park to try out kid’s bikes. There is an excellent, paved, circular path that we will definitely be back to ride on, once Alex and JenJen have their own bikes.

Greenwood Park Playground

We’ve been going to Greenwood Park Playground since Alex was about 8 months old. That’s where he slid down his first slide (sniff). There are two structures, one for really little toddlers and one good for the over 2 year old set. Both are safe and in good condition. There is a big parking lot, a big, shaded sandbox (with a few donated toys) and two fixed diggers, both of which have been broken for more or less a year. The swings are great and the circle of bouncy spring toys is also fun. Yesterday Alex gave JenJen a ride on the double firetruck, bouncing her very gently. There are picnic benches, a soccer field and several access point to paths in the Middlesex Fells. In my mind one of the best features of this playground (since it brings to mind all sorts of mystical childhood books and adventures) is the stone wall separating the playground from the forest. I think we’ll like this playground for a long time to come. Mosquitos can be a problem since there is some standing water, alright let’s just call it a swamp, nearby.

The playground is across the road from the Stone Zoo and we have several times made a full day outing of it and gone to the Zoo, the playground, and a little walk in the forest.