My son and I have been going to lots of parks lately. The weather has been nice and with our next child’s arrival scheduled at any moment, I’ve wanted to spend time with my “big boy”. We’ve been out all around town, walking at the different parks, playing on the swing-sets, and taking in the sights and sounds of nature.
These are a few of our favorites:
Antioch Park: I love this park! The little “Dodge Town” is perfect for toddlers and preschoolers to run around and let their imaginations go wild. G named all the buildings from the “school” to the “clock building” to the “bank”. He had a great time going in and out of the “little houses”.
Near “Dodge Town” is a great playground perfect for the younger set. G could easily manage the steps, slides and tunnels. It was a nice change from the playground near our house that is built for older kids.
We finished off the day with a walk around the pond. The long bridge across the backside of the pond was a big hit. I felt it was really safe so I could let him run on it and enjoy the day. While at the pond we spotted all sorts of wildlife: squirrels, ducks, geese, turtles, chipmunks and fish.
Shawnee Mission Park: This park is huge and has something for everyone! This week we headed down to the dog park to give our Goldendoodle a much needed run. The newly refurbished beach area in the dog park was fun for all. On a hot day there are always lots of dogs playing fetch in the water (ours included). I can’t wait to go back once the weather warms up again.
We also enjoy hiking through the woods with G, looking for animals and at the different types of leaves and trees. Hiking through the woods is a great time to talk about shapes, textures and even colors with your children.
Loose Park: Nestled back behind the Plaza this park is a gem. No doubt it is a beautiful park (the many people having photos taken there is testament to that), but also a fun one. There is a great playground with equipment for older and younger kids, plus a large sandbox – something I haven’t seen in many other places these days. And while the Rose Garden might not be fun with the kids, I enjoy it.
We both enjoyed walking around the pond, even if it feels a little less safe than the walk around the pond at Antioch Park. Going over the many bridges was a hit as were spotting all the geese. Just remember – do NOT feed the geese!
We love going to the “New-see-um” as G calls it. But on days when we just aren’t up for behaving nicely indoors we run around the lawn at the Nelson-Atkins. It is a great way to see some art and have fun without worrying about using “inside voices”. The Nelson recently acquired a sculpture by artist Roxy Paine called Ferment. It is a 56-foot, branching, stainless steel sculpture that looks like a large tree. I think this summer we will have a picnic under it while reading some of our favorite books about trees.
When running around the lawn and sculptures isn’t enough we cross the street to Southmoreland Park where the little playground provides just enough activity to end our trip on a high note.
These are just a few of our favorite parks in the metro. In addition to the larger parks I love finding small neighborhood parks. We are really lucky in this area to have so many playgrounds and natural spaces for share with our kids!
What are your favorite area parks? And what are your favorite things to do there?
I’m always on the look-out for a new park!