One thing I don’t take advantage of enough in the summer is going to the playground with my kids.
But the town playground can get a little boring after a while and lose its excitement and appeal.
Having the kids home all day and being on a pretty tight budget, when I was planning out our summer calendar, one of the things I decided to do this summer was visit a new playground every week.
Playgrounds are free and fun and they tire the kids out, and going to a new one is a little bit of an adventure.
But one thing that bothers me is not being able to find a whole lot of specific information and pictures when I am checking out playgrounds we’ve never been to.
Especially since I haven’t been able to find a whole lot of detailed information about specific playgrounds in Connecticut.
Most playgrounds have a website, but the pictures are usually lame or there are only a couple, and you can’t really tell if they are worth the effort to get there.
Since I’m taking kids who range in age from 6 to 13 years old, I want to know exactly what each playground has. Because some are good for all my kids. Others really only interest the younger ones.
So I decided I’m gonna write an informative post about each one and eventually create a guide to Connecticut playgrounds.
Then other parents will know which ones are worth visiting, and which ones aren’t.
Yesterday we went to our first playground.
Dickinson Memorial Park.
There are two different entrances to the park.
The one my GPS led me to put me in the parking lot by the tennis courts.
At first glance, this place is nothing special.
But don’t let that fool you.
There are a whole bunch of tennis courts, and a big covered pavilion. When we got there, there were some camp kids there, so be prepared for that possibility if you go visit.
Walking down from the parking lot there are nice big bathrooms. So you don’t have to deal with a nasty porta-potty.
Past the pavilion, you see these two things, and you are like, “Ummm, this isn’t much of a playground.”
But follow the path behind the pavilion, and you come to this:
The playground is large and spread out and clean and in excellent condition.
There is a zipline which the kids loved.
Here are some views from the opposite end.
There are some smaller slides geared toward younger toddler/preschool aged kids.
I’m not sure what this thing is called, but the kids had fun playing on it.
The rock climbing walls were a big hit with the 6 and 8-year-old.
There is a sand box area, but no sand toys, so if your kids like to play in the sand, bring some buckets/shovels/etc.
Some more fun stuff.
There are some shady areas within the playground, and it’s really quite pretty.
There are swings for little kids,
ans swings for bigger kids.
There is a full basketball court or three smaller half courts. I wish I had known this before we went — Number 3 (who is 13) didn’t come with us because he thought the playground would be “lame,” but if I had known there were basketball courts there, he totally would have come.
There is a working water fountain so you can get a drink if you forget or run out of water, or so you can just cool off a little bit.
There are plenty of shady spots to sit and cool off or just relax.
Between the playground and the basketball courts there are picnic tables in the shade of some trees or there is plenty of room and shade to bring your own chairs to set up (like a couple of women did when we were there).
There are wide open and shady spots all around the playground, and in the back there is also a baseball field which was totally empty when we were there (although this would depend on the game schedule).
We had a great time at Dickinson Park.
I will definitely take the kids back. Number 4 gave it a 10/10, as did Number 5 and 7.
Number 6 gave it a 9/10 because “the rock wall was a little too easy to climb.”
This would be a great place to pack a picnic lunch, spread out a blanket, and spend an afternoon. There also room for playing frisbee or catch or soccer or kickball or whatever you wanted, really.
It would also be perfect for a budget birthday party. Have the kids come, play on the playground, eat some cake at one of the picnic tables or in the grass, play some Duck Duck Goose and old school party games, and call it a day. No worrying about cleaning your house, and no fee!
This playground is only about 12 minutes from my house, but if I lived 30 or even 45 minutes away and was looking for something new, I’d definitely make the drive.
Check it out!
Dickinson Memorial Park
50 Elm Drive