Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Caddy Memorial Park - Quincy

A playground next to an estuary and across from Quincy Bay, Caddy Memorial Park, while cookie cutter, is a nice shaded spot designed mainly for tots and has picturesque views. Strangely enough, no swings! Surrounding the playground are etchings in the rocks, describing the animals and bugs that share the park. Nice touch. Someone cares. There are a few spots along the edge of the estuary to explore if you're into that, but there is littering that spoils the fun. There can be a big "Don't touch that!!!" factor along the edge too. Gee. I'm not making this sound fun. Stick to the shaded playground, enjoy the scenery, catch an ocean breeze, and you'll be good. The pics are pre-Spring, so much nicer now. Difficult to spot from the road, it's located where Furnace Brook Parkway ends and meets up with Quincy Shore Drive, across from Quincy Bay. Plenty of parking.


Monday, June 25, 2012

Kids At Play - Marshfield

Kids at Play in Marshfield is a huge, flat, soft, safe and popular spot with 16 slides, a rock wall, and cute play houses that rise up out of the asphalt of Liberty Plaza. More of a tot spot than for kids looking for thrills or challenges. However, it's a workout keeping track of your child as there are lots of hidden spots. It's fully accessible and environmentally sustainable. A big source of pride for the residents who made it happen. Unfortunately, it has no shade except what is created by the huge structure, which isn't bad. How about some umbrella's for the tables. It could use some landscaping around the edges with trees or scrubs. How about this. Rip up the entire lot next to it, and plant big trees and little flower beds. Rename the playground "Dream On" in honor of resident Steven Tyler, as he will pay for it all. Keep dreaming.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Children's Adventure PlaySpace Project or Tire Playground- Stoughton

This is a strange place. Think Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome meets Romancing the Stone meets Raiders of the Lost Ark. A post-apocalyptic playground with a tire pit, swings suspended from massive logs, wooden plank bridges cracked and loose, big ropes to swing from tire to tire, a very fun, massive slide and many other "What does that do, Mommy?" contraptions. What can I say. It's was unique, ugly, memorable, neglected, and my little hoppers loved it. Located at 50 Pierce Street, Stoughton.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Alexander Kemp Playground - Cambridge


From their link. "The playground design is a landscape of hills, valleys, sand, wooden branches and stumps, living plant material, and loose wooden blocks to build with. Kids can invent their own forms of play. Many features are made from naturally decay-resistant wood. Slides are embedded into hills. Turning a crank sends water cascading down a series of tables into the sand area. A multidirectional dish-shaped swing that can be used by several children at once, a see-saw with multiple seats, and a “merry-go-round” that is at ground level to provide wheelchair access."


Designed by artist Eric Powel @

Of course, this park is really for neighborhood pedestrians, or desperate suburban hoppers looking for a new level of fun, sadly realizing on the ride home that they'll never find anything like it, but thankful for the experience. Hey, let's not sound so low. Combine features of Imagination Station in Randolph and Hidden Hollow in Sandwich, the acres of trails from Bird Park in Walpole, the massive slide at WWI Memorial in North Attleboro, and you'll get city folk hopping over to the suburbs, maybe.


Griffen/Ames St. Playground - Sharon

Like a kid's old trusty blanket, Ames St. Playground is well-loved but completely worn-out. Today, it was also covered in trash, which doesn't say "I love you." Hey kids, and parents, Give A Hoot!!!!!! The place was packed. Has all the bells and whistles, including a train and pirate ship. Big sandbox. A great tot spot. Lots to explore. The climbing structures are just ok. Lots of picnicking going on too under big trees. Hey. A nice new sign might say "I love you." It's a start.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Heritage Museums and Gardens - Hidden Hollow - Sandwich, MA

Hidden Hollow is a wonderful oasis tucked inside the Heritage Museums and Gardens in Sandwich, MA Like the woods behind your backyard when you were a kid (if you were lucky enough), it has trees to climb, logs to balance across, sticks to make forts, and a tree house. It was invigorating and inspiring. Natural playspaces are hard to come by, but word has it that Weezie's Garden in Wellesley might be another one, as it was designed by the same company. We'll let you know. Happy Hopping.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Bird Park - Walpole, MA

The Trustees of Reservations care about "the natural world" and "learning and discovery." Close to 136 parks are under their protection and guardianship. Bird Park in Walpole is one of them, and it has a playground. Not too many have playgrounds but they all have beautiful grounds to play on.

Bird Park was my grandmother's playground in the 1920's and 30's, and now her great-grandchildren enjoy the brand new playground built this past year. Fabulous. Thankfully, it has lots of shade. Bring a picnic basket. With sand as it's cover, it features sand diggers and spinning flower cups. It's designed for children 2-5 years old. As a bonus, there is a large basketball court where little kids can ride their trikes. Lots of nice walking trails and a little pond. Oh, and recycle trash bins. Love that.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

15 Reasons Why We Hate Playgrounds

Yes. I'm a playground enthusiast, but I do have limits. Here are 15 solid reasons why we want to pack up and leave.

1. Too cold. Too windy. Too hot.
2. Boredom. Standing and sitting around watching your kids.
3. Bending, lifting, pushing, pulling and carrying.
4. The begging and nagging. "Push me, higher, higher, higher!"
5. The sound of my voice. "Be careful!" "Wait your turn." "Don't crawl up the slide." "Stop running." "Time to go." "Time to go." "Time to go."
6. Botched exit procedure.
7. Evil ring of the ice cream truck one hour before supper. That's just mean.
8. Obnoxious kids and their obnoxious parents. I remember one family in particular. All the kids wore skeleton t-shirts, and the skeleton father yelled at the basic t-shirt father who was just trying to protect his own child from skeletons.
9. Your kid can't find a "friend" no matter how long they follow some other kids around.
10. Awkward parent contact. Should I talk to this parent if my kid is playing with hers?
11. Public displays of poor discipline. 
12. Your child won't wait her turn. Everyone is watching.
13. The sand, dirt, mulch, mud, duck poop and wet sneakers. It's all coming home with you.
14. Bloody, dirty scraped knees, or a mouthful of mulch.
15. Exhausted, cranky, hungry and dirty kids when you get home.

Imagination Station, Randolph, MA

Imagination Station - Randolph, MA

This playground was a nice surprise. An inspired place.You'll love all the musical touches and bright colors. You immediately get a nice feeling as you pass though the entrance. It has two separate spaces for tots and big kids. The big kids will get a thrill ride on the very long and fast slide, although my two girls went flying on their faces. No injuries. It also incorporates some natural elements like a balance log and wooden planks. It's layout allows you to spot your kid from any location. A reassuring feeling. It has a lot of nice challenges and thrills, plus a Spray & Splash. A fun playground, and a nice destination.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Pequitside Farm in Canton, MA

Pequitside Farm in Canton, MA  
A very nice, small, standard playground built on a beautiful 33 acre farm, surrounded by trails, a community garden, old trees, and an old Colonial Home. Clean. Easy parking. Hollow trees for fairy houses. Lovely landscaping with spots along trails to explore if your little ones are backyard adventurers. There is some shade available for picnicking. I'm looking forward to going back.