Thursday, October 22, 2015

So Many Park Options

There are four excellent, toddler friendly parks less than seven minutes from Jackson's preschool, all in different directions. His school is right between two cities (Concord and Harrisburg) and there are numerous routes we could take to drive to the school. I've know about two of the parks for over a year, and regularly take the kids there. In the past week I've discovered two more parks.

Frank Liske is so large that we drive around the park and pick which playground where we want to play. The toddler-favorite activity at this park is to feed the ducks and geese. The lake is quite large (large enough for fishing and paddleboats) and the trails are thick gravel, so the triplets have never walked the circumference of the lake. We just pick a spot at the lake to play.

It has the standard swings and slides, which is all James really needs. The playgrounds aren't especially toddler friendly, and Maddie has a hard time climbing the high stairs.

Jackson likes the spacious sandboxes.

The kids regularly stop to climb rocks.

There are also picnic shelters, tennis courts, vast fields, mini-golf, disc golf, etc. 

My favorite park is Pharr Mill. Nine times out of ten, the playground is either empty or may have one other family. Most of the people there go to walk their dogs or run the trails. The trio can independently climb every single play structure, which makes our park experience much more enjoyable.

The trails are smooth, making them ideal for the wagon or stroller. They wind through the woods, creek, and lake. It's such a quiet, clean park!

While I appreciate both of those parks, I've been going to each of them once or twice a week. I used my phone navigation to find two new-to-me parks. I've tried out both parks this past week and love them both!

W.W. Flowe Park is two minutes in the opposite direction from how I drive home. It is very open and scenic. The trails are tightly compacted gravel, making it stroller friendly. I haven't used the stroller because we haven't explored beyond the playground. There are multiple baseball fields and I see a lot of older walkers in the mornings, so the trails must loop around.

I couldn't get over how big Amelia looked in the picture below. I should seriously stop calling the trio babies!

Maddie had some major anxiety at this park due to the landscaping taking place while we were there. Maddie and giant lawnmowers don't mix. She had tears streaming down her face, yelling, "No wheels! No grass! Go away!" The only thing that calmed her down was upside down sunglasses.

Our brief exploration of this park has been successful. Next time I'll bring the wagon and venture farther down the paths.

Today we ventured to Stallings Park, which is only 2-3 minutes from Jesse's school. I've driven past the turn off for it a hundred times or more. The playground was standard with stairs, ladders, and multiple slides. It also had a small rock wall and obstacle course. I can just imagine the kids in a few years, pretending the mulch is lava and racing through the blue course.


The following isn't specifically park related, but it makes me laugh. I didn't pack any drinks or cups so I bought some pink lemonade and water at Bojangles. The trio passed around the cup. Maddie just wandered around with her mouth wide open, trying to get a sip.

This park also has baseball fields and dozens of picnic tables. I took the trio out on the field. We started at home plate and I made them run the bases. The picture below is so typical. James and Amelia stay neck and neck until Amelia sprints towards the finish. Maddie gets left so far behind she eventually loses interest.

I'm excited to have four excellent park options to alternate between for the kids. Not only do the variety of parks promote motor development, they help decrease boredom and burn off energy. Now I just hope that the approaching winter months aren't too harsh and we can continue to enjoy the parks.

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