Park Love: Puget Park
The first day of summer is June 21st. That's not too far away! Plus, we've been lucky with some summer-like weather already. We've already started adding the playground back into our daily routine (not that it was totally out, but the terrible winter weather made it less appealing). One of my favorite parks is Puget Park in the Proctor area. Maybe it's because it's close to our home, but there are some other great reasons as well.
Favorite Play Features:
Slides: Let's hear it for three slides! They aren't the biggest, tallest slides, but they are fun. We especially like the double slide when we're there with friends. The kids love going down at the same time (see photos below).
Climbing Ropes: There are several climbing ropes for the climber in your life. There is a more advanced set for older kids - see photo four in the slideshow above. My 2-year-old still can't quite do these advanced ropes, but some of his older friends are able to climb them. Then on the main playset, there are more ropes - some like ladders and some in a grid. At 28 months, Caleb just started to be able to climb from the one slide of the rope grid to the other.
Rock Wall: On the part of the playset with the double slides, the back is a small rock type wall. Again, more climbing fun.
Spinning Wheels: I'm not sure why toddlers like to spin. It makes me dizzy just watching them, but they love it. There are the single seater spinners and then the wheel that spins. I hear the spinning wheel is actually intended for the kid to walk on to practice balance, but most of us have our kids lie down or sit on it and hold on while it spins around.
MegaPhone & Telescope: At some point, I showed Caleb these and allowed him to stand on my bent knee so he could reach them. Probably a bad idea as now he always needs/wants me to come up so he can reach them. I'm not sure why they always have these up so high! But he loves to look and shout from them. I look forward when he is a wee bit taller and I'm not needed anymore.
Grassy Hill & Wall: Nothing beats a hill to run down sometimes. In the fall there are leaves to crunch with your feet. Fun stuff. Then there is a wall that circles the park. It's great for "balance beam" walking, but for the littles you probably want to be there to help so they don't fall! We had a friend take a tumble once. It's not a huge drop, but not a fun one either.
Favorite Park Features:
Size: In my opinion, for the younger toddler years, this park is a perfect size. Sometimes parks are just too big and keeping up with your kid is hard. There is enough to keep them entertained, but you can stand pretty much anywhere and have a visual of your kid.
Shade: We actually call this the "shady park" because it has great shade from all the trees. In the hot summer days, the shade is heaven-sent. In the winter, it can provide some (not a lot, but some) shelter from the rain. However, it can be cold in the winter. But this is dynamite in the summer and isn't it summer the prime park time anyways? No burning your bum as you go down the slide! #beentheredonethat #momchecktheslidefirst
Woodchips: This might sound like a silly benefit, but after Caleb fell off the playset here and landed without bruises or cuts, I am a fan of woodchips. Who knew they were so great at softening impact? Not surprisingly, the kids like to use them as pretend food on the table-like portion of the playset. Just beware of the throwing of woodchips. That's not cool.
Parking: There is a good amount of parking - actual parking spots - and street parking here. I have never had an issue. Not to mention, free parking.
Picnic Tables: There are two picnic tables here, which I've in fact used. They are close to the playset so it's a nice place to grab lunch or a snack. I've seen families do a picnic dinner here. Oh, and I even had a little friend get-together here. Just a nice feature to have that you forget about.
Puget Nature Creek Trail: The head of the Puget Nature Creek Trail is at the park. This is great if you want to do just a little part of the trail for an adventure. Check our recent adventure down the path on Instagram the other week. However, sometimes it can be annoying as your kid will want to run down there. Depends on what you want with it. Good. Bad. Whatever.
Age Range: We started coming as soon as Caleb could walk and it's been perfect now that he's in his twos. I'm sure it'll continue to be great for years to come. I even see non-walking kids using the slide and swings as well. Without knowing much about older kids since we're not at that stage yet, I would venture to say maybe up to seven years old would enjoy this park.
Bathrooms - As in, there are none. I hear people use the tree in the back as a potty tree! Ha! Luckily, there is downtown Proctor not too far away, but you do have to leave the park (and likelihood of returning??!!).
No Fence - There isn't a fence around this park, so this can be frustrating if you have an escape artist toddler. On the bright side, there is a hill up to the street, so it slows the kids down. The street there is Proctor and it can be busy. My guy is a runner, but we still love to come here.
Other - I mentioned above the Puget Nature Creek Trail. This can be a bit of a problem if you're kid wants to continuously explore but you want to stay put at the park. I also mentioned the shade, it's a bonus in summer but in the winter it can get chilly.