Saturday, August 25, 2012

Chelsea Playgrounds - KaBoom

Creekside Commons in Chelsea

Artistically unique with a huge water feature, small splash pad, unusual beautiful canopy never seen before in these parts, little skate park, beautiful arbor, lots of color. A beautifully landscaped spot with lots of strolling potential tucked away at the end of Cabot Street. Parking is good. Designed by IconParks.

This park is designed to reflect the landscape using architectural and artistic sculptural features. Mind you this is tiny little city, in fact, the smallest city in Massachusetts, with an enormous amount of parks and playgrounds, more than 30, and, on average, they've been building a new one every year! It's a regular playground boomtown. 


Given that Chelsea is the 2nd most densely populated community in Massachusetts, and over 50% of school age students are overweight or obese, it's bursting at the seams, but the city is doing a great job of giving it's residents spaces to spread out a bit, drown out the sound of the Tobin, and get healthy. Learn more about the Healthy Chelsea Coalition here.


Related links:

Contractors for project
Chelsea is getting it done! 

Next up...The Dorothy O'Neil Playground 

This little spot, more like a backyard than a playground, makes great use of every square inch, as many city parks do. Above roars the Tobin, but down below, nothing but trees and benches in the shade. A mother told me she liked the playground because "it's nice and quite." Spoken like a true Chelsea resident. The genius kids were washing down the hot slides with cool water from the spash pad, creating their own water slide! It's located at the corner of Beacon and High street. 

Disney-KaBoom Playspace!
Located at the corner of Heard and Spruce streets


Mickey Mouse did not meet me at the entrance. In fact, I almost drove by, but I really wanted to see a KaBoom playground. KaBoom helps communities build playgrounds, and Disney, of course, is one huge playground, so it came with high hopes and expectations.

There was ample shade provided by existing trees along the corners with comfy benches. Other moms pushing strollers came into little Disneyland, and we all enjoyed a nice time on this fertile ground, in this far away neighborhood, under a bridge. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Shaded Playgrounds

Whether you're a weekday or weekend hopper, finding pleasantly shaded playgrounds is like trying to find a missing sock, it's nearly impossible. Safety is number one for playground design these days, yet very few consider peek time sun, when most kids are at playgrounds, a safety hazard. Did you know that even in 80 degree temperatures a slide can heat up to 140 degrees or more, and it only takes three seconds for your kid to get a first degree burn. Here are the facts according to Accuweather. There are solutions such as canopies.

Locally, we have Creekside Commons in Chelsea with a beautiful canopy designed by IconParks. I just wish it hung over more of the play structures. I don't know how it holds up to snow, but I'm sure they have it figured out.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

North Point Playground and Park - Cambridge. One of the best playgrounds in the Boston area.


Back in the day, whizzing through Boston on the elevated section of 93, taking fast turns, brushing up against buildings like the old Boston Garden, was a thrill ride. At least, that's what it seemed. 

But looking below as you left the city heading north, it was a jumbled up mess, like a kid's toy train set or a game of pick up sticks with old railroad tracks, a little river, a little bridge, elevated trains, and a mountain of gravel. Where was I? Turns out I was where RT 93, an unused railway station, the Charles River Dam, the elevated Orange and Green lines, and Boston Gravel met up. Three levels in fast motion, swirling inside the city's vortex. 


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Weezie's Garden - Wellesley

Within the Massachusetts Horticultural Society's Garden at Elm Bank in Wellesley stands a magical tree house with a wonderful view of Weezie's Garden. Designed by Julie Moir Messervy, who also designed Hidden Hollow at the Heritage Museum and Gardens in Sandwich. Weezie's Garden is a nice place to bring your tot to dig in the huge sandbox and splash their hands in the water fountain. Older kids will enjoy climbing the tree house, playing hide-and-seek along the swirling pathways and under trees with draping branches. It's a peaceful, pleasant spot for us older Hoppers too.