Tag Archives: spray park

Top 5 Playgrounds from Summer 2012

We went to a lot of playgrounds this summer, and here is a short list of our five most favorite ones.

Spaulding Playground (Wakefield) is a beautiful playground right on the shore of Lake Quannapowit in Wakefield. It has a large structure for 5-12yo, a separate structure for under-5yo, a very large number of swings, plenty of benches, a water fountain, a beach (no swimming though). We can spend hours and hours here and then go across the road to get a bite to eat.

PlaygroundHunt at Spaulding Playground

 

Greenwood Park Playground (Stoneham) is a large, shady playground in the north of the Middlesex Fells, just opposite the Stone Zoo. There is a huge sandbox, liberally stocked with donated trucks and shovels, a very fun big-kid structure with our favorite slide ever: THE Tunnel Slide. This playground also has a structure with slide for toddlers, several picnic tables, a circle of six sit-on wobbly toys, and my favorite: a large stone wall, full of possibilities. It is easy to go for a short hike through the Fells and explore the forest and marsh.

Playground Hunt at Greenwood Park

 

Paulina Street Playground (Somerville) is right in the middle of Davis Square in Somerville.  This is a very friendly playground, where we have had many great experiences with other parents supervising and encouraging their kids to share and be kind. We call this the Yellow Playground because both the under-5yo and the older kid structures are bright yellow. There is also a nice club-house with a several (!) donated play kitchens, a beautifully designed, shaded sand river, some swings, and a water-pump play feature. Alex and Jen mostly run around in circles here…

Paulina Street Playground

Springs Brook Park (Bedford) is a pay-for-use facility operated by the Town of Bedford. It is a man-made lake with lots of lifeguards and zero-depth entry from the sandy beach all around. The sprinkler park is our favorite in the Boston North area. There is also a playground, but the surfaces are usually boiling hot, so we just spent our time going between sprinkler park, lake, and the very reasonably priced concession stand.

Spring Brooks Park

North Point Park (Cambridge) is near the Museum of Science, beautiful, huge, and rarely visited, perhaps due to the two-hour parking limit nearby. There is a separately fenced toddler playground with water feature, several slides, several innovative structures, and a shaded picnic area. Outside the toddler area are three other huge big-kid play structures and a sprinkler park. From this playground you can also see trains and boats on the harbor. We always leave here happy.

Playground Hunt at North Point Park in Cambridge

Playground Hunt map of playgrounds near Boston

Sprinkler Parks near Boston

Playground Hunt map of playgrounds near BostonNorth Point Playground (Cambridge - map) – big water feature, superb playgroundS near Museum of Science (read my review at this LINK)

Springs Brook Park (Bedford - map) – man-made lake with sandy beach, playground, and huge sprinkler park, concessions (read my review at this LINK)

Grimmons Playground (East Somerville – map) – separate fenced toddler area, big kid playground, sprinklers – beautifully designed (read my review at this LINK)

Cedar St Playground (Cambridge - map) – shady playground with sprinklers (read my review at this LINK)

Simond’s Park Playground (Burlington – map) – large playground with structures for all age groups, wading pool (read my review at this link)

Fort Point Playground  (South Boston - map) – large park by harbor with beach and well designed playground (not sure where my review went)

Lederman Park (Boston - map) – by MGH/Museum of Science – never made it but it looks awesome from Storrow Drive.

Bradley Palmer Wading Pool and Playground (Topsfield - map) - wading and sprinkler park – this will be the summer we make it!

Spy Pond (Arlington – map) – large fenced playground with structures for toddlers and older kids, sandbox, and by a couple of little beaches for wading in Spy Pond (read my review at this LINK)

Albion St Playground (Somerville – map) pleasant playground with a fun sprinkler/water feature – not sure why I never wrote a review, but this playground made for a nice couple of days last year

Playground Hunt offspring at Springs Brook Park

Bedford Water Park – Springs Brook Park

Since the couple of photos I posted on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/PlaygroundHunt) got so many questions about the where, what, and when, I figured I better write a slightly longer post about the awesomeness that is Springs Brook Park, or possibly Spring Brooks Park. Who knows? The GPS address is 171 Springs Rd, Bedford MA 01730

Ignoring various spelling on various locations, all I can say is that Alex, Jen and I have thoroughly enjoyed this place for the last three summers.

It is a public, man-made beach with sprinkler park, lake, playground, and a very reasonable concession stand. It costs money to get in, but the maximum per day per family is $25. Bedford residents can get a season pass cheaply. They only take cash.

The staff are superb, there are lots of very attentive lifesavers, the place is clean, the people are friendly.

We bring a picnic blanket, snacks, lots of sunscreen, and swim stuff. I’m looking into buying a beach shelter thing, just because the trees shade the side of the lake away from the sprinkler park, and I like to plop down in between.

North Point Playground

Summer To-Do List

Playgrounds:

North Point Playground (Cambridge - map) – big water feature, superb playgroundS near Museum of Science (read my review at this LINK)

Sgt Connelly Playground (Wakefield – map) – by Lake Quannapowit beach (wading, no swimming) (read my review at this LINK)

Spring Brook Park (Bedford - map) – man-made lake with sandy beach, playground, and huge sprinkler park, concessions (read my review at this LINK)

Grimmons Playground (East Somerville – map) – separate fenced toddler area, big kid playground, sprinklers – beautifully designed (read my review at this LINK)

Cedar St Playground (Cambridge - map) – shady playground with sprinklers (read my review at this LINK)

Simond’s Park Playground (Burlington – map) – large playground with structures for all age groups (read my review at this link)

Fort Point Playground  (South Boston - map) – large park by harbor with beach and well designed playground (not sure where my review went)

Lederman Park (Boston - map) – by MGH/Museum of Science – never made it but it looks awesome from Storrow Drive.

Bradley Palmer Wading Pool and Playground (Topsfield - map) - wading and sprinkler park – this will be the summer we make it!

 

Events

4th July Fireworks – Lake Quannapowit

 

Things to Do

Harbor Island boat trip

Camping

Ocean Beach – Nahant Beach, Wingaersheek Beach,…

Boating Wakefield – kayak rental

Mass Audubon Drumlin Farm - Friday Evening Hayride and Campfire

Mass Audubon Ipswich Family Campout

Mass Audubon Joppa Flats exploration

 

Places

New England Aquarium

Discovery Museums

USS Constitution

Museum of Science

Franklin Park Zoo – Zoorassic Park and Wild Adventures Class

Stone Zoo – Birds of Prey and Wild Adventures Class

 

Things to Make

Follow Me on Pinterest <– where I post all the crafty stuff I plan to make

Some recent pins:

  

Sprinkler shower and boat climbing structure

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.
Restrictions: 
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

Jen

Springs Brook Park

Springs Brook Park is HERE on the map and very, very nice :-)

 

 

Sailboat

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…

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.