Saturday, November 9, 2013

Baker School Playground

Set at the top of a steep pair of ramps, Baker School Playground has a set of nice, fairly standard playground equipment, a basketball court, a large grassy field, and tennis courts. On the other side of the school, at street level, is a smaller toddler playground.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Rogers Park

Rogers Park is a fully-enclosed playground in the middle of a huge park in Brighton, with nice, colorful climbing equipment (though the ground, unfortunately, is somewhat littered with cigarettes). The park around it features large grassy spaces along with tennis courts, basketball courts, and lots of happy dogs.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Skyline Park

Skyline Park includes a fully-enclosed playground with two really cool sets of climbing equipment, lots of swings, and one of those twirly-platforms (technical term). There is zero shade on the play area, which is atop a large hill, but the picnic area is under a roof. There is also a large parking lot and – wonder of wonders – bathrooms! Midday in summer was the wrong time to go, due to the lack of shade and sprinklers, but we’ll probably be headed back for a fall afternoon sometime soon.

Griggs Park

Griggs Park is a large, low-lying park that features a paved walking path encircling a beautiful field with clusters of trees. The playground, on the Griggs Terrace/Marion Street side of the park, consists of swings, a sandbox, two toddler play structures, and one ropey older kids’ play structure – though many kids might finding the exploring the woodsy interior of the park even more entertaining. It’s easy for kids to disappear among the trees, which can make it difficult unless you have a one-to-one adult-to-child ratio (or older kids who don’t need as much supervision).

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Larz Anderson Playground

Perched on the edge of Larz Anderson Park, this is a great playground, with a lot of unique play structures in a beautiful tree-lined setting. (With bathrooms!) It's technically fully-enclosed, but the number of kids running back and forth mean the gates are almost always open.

There's a large field to one side, a covered picnic area on the other, and paths for wandering and biking that lead over a pond with a fountain and (I presume) into the wooded areas beyond.

The playground itself is almost impossible to find on a map (I say "almost" because 99% of the population has better map skills than I do); I only located the playground because this blog tipped me off. It's right across from the parking lot on the Goddard Ave entrance to the park. If you're driving, putting 287 Goddard Avenue into your GPS should get you there (if anyone tries this and can confirm it in a comment, please let me know)! Another good landmark: it's just a bit down the road from The Park School, which is at 171 Goddard Avenue.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Hooker-Sorrento Playground

Hooker-Sorrento Playground, in North Brighton, is a very nice, large playground with some unique features. The fully enclosed toddler area includes, in addition to a climbing structure and swings, a mini-track circling the area. The older-kids’ climbing structure is a very good one, and next to the swings, there’s a swervy mini balance beam. There’s also a sprinkler, various riding toys scattered around, and a large grassy area shaded by trees.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Fulmore Park (Cambridge)

Fulmore Park is all about wood and sand. There are two wooden climbing structures, both appropriate for toddlers, and baby swings. But the main attraction is definitely the large oval-shaped sandbox, which is filled with an extensive collection of large wood building blocks. I was there in the autumn, but it looks like there’s also a set-up for water-play in the summer, which could lead to lots of muddy fun...

Riverside Press Park (Cambridge)

On the Cambridge side of the Cambridge Street Bridge – and across the street from a truly enormous Whole Foods – Riverside Press Park includes a playground with swings and an extensive climbing structure, tennis and basketball courts, and the below rock structure whose purpose I could not quite determine (anyone more knowledgeable, please weigh in!)

Alberico Park (Cambridge)

Alberico Park is a  small, pretty playground that follows a path winding between Putnam Avenue and Pleasant St. It features a flat white area, a fun wooden ship-like climbing structure (a bit too difficult for my 2-year-old), two swings, and – the main attractions for all the toddlers on the morning I was there – a slide and rock staircase set into a hill.

Update: Thanks to a helpful reader, I have discovered that the white area is an "all weather" ice-skating rink! Some more detail here :

Dana Park (Cambridge)

The main attraction at Dana Park is unquestionably its in-ground sprinklers, which automatically vary in height & direction once they're turned on. At their highest, the water shoots well above adult height - next time we come here on a hot summer day, I intend to wear more water-friendly clothes and run through it myself.

The playground itself, which forms a fully-enclosed semi-circle around the sprinkler, has two fun climbing structures – one for toddlers, one for older kids – baby and kid swings, a well-stocked sandbox, and a cool, complicated-looking see-saw. There are also lots of riding toys, a basketball court, and a large grassy area/dog park.

 (Plus really cool drainage covers, which I couldn't resist taking a picture of....)

Old Morse Park (Cambridge)

I know, I know; it’s in CAMBRIDGE! Across a RIVER! Living in Brookline, I fully understand the mental hurdle. But this awesome playground, which is just a short jaunt over the BU Bridge, is well worth overcoming it. The climbing structure is made of a combination of black bouncy material and rope webbing, there’s a metal slidey-ish thing going down a hill, plus a variety of newfangled sorts of swings. Different and fun. The only downside is that the combination of little shade plus everything being black can make it hot to the touch, which made things a little difficult for my kids at noon on a mid-80s day, but was not insurmountable. There was also what seemed to be a sprinkler area (not working the day we were there), plus a basketball court and some stone ping pong tables.

I was telling some friends about this playground, and they asked me if students from MIT had a hand in its design. I don't know, but it wouldn't surprise me.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Monmouth Street Park

Monmouth Street Park is a tiny playground right next door to the Brookline Arts Center. It consists of a single fire truck-themed play structure, a grassy area, and a low stone wall for walking on (probably not its official purpose). Despite its small size, the fire truck structure was a huge hit with all my kids, from the 6-year-old to the 2-year-old – but after less than half an hour, they were done. Best to bring chalk, jump rope, balls, etc. if you're planning a long visit.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Mother's Rest

Mother's Rest, in the Fenway, is a fully-enclosed oval playground with innovative, music-themed play equipment and structures (the natural incline to the small stage was a particular favorite with my kids). It looks small at first glance, but there was enough here to keep my kids occupied for two hours, and they keep asking to go back. As a bonus, there is a great view of the Fens and even the occasional flock of geese flying by.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Penniman Road Play Area

We passed the Penniman Road Playground on the way back from the Artesani Wading Pool; my daughter was very taken with the acqua and lavender structures, and insisted we stop for a visit. This is a nice, small, pretty playground, with two climbing structures, a row of swings, and a basketball court right next to it.