Location: 6th and Race
Date visited: July, 2009 (a few times)
Equipment: Zones for smaller and bigger kids:
- Toddler equipment has wide steps, a little house, several slides, jointed bridge, and a miniature climbing wall. Also bucket swings nearby and a bench rocker (sort of like a multiperson teeter-totter).
- Older kids area is an "adventure" set-up, rope and rubber with climbing nets, spinning seats, and other challenges. Also strap swings nearby.
Ages: infant through middle school (+)
Surface: rubbery composite (tots), composite and wood chips elsewhere
Other: large grassy area(s), carousel (fee), mini golf (fee), central fountain, hamburger stand, picnic area, restrooms
Access: Dawn to dusk (no fences)
Impressions: Recently overhauled park is now a destination for both tourists and residents, offering a range of kid-friendly entertainments. The playground is on the west edge, near the carousel and shady picnic area, and is very cutting-edge and fun for all ages. It would take a lot of kids to make this place feel overrun, and there are nice options for changing speeds. The park itself is a little outside Center City and a bit isolated from residential areas -- it can be hard to walk to (due to busy roads on all sides) and parking is limited (with temptations to park illegally like the many police officers do). The new hamburger stand (opened since our last visit) is a definite plus. Shade in the play area would put this place over the top.
Overall rating: 9
Update 1: Turns out that this playground is tough for older toddlers, who may well feel too big for the smaller playset but in no way ready for the "adventure"-style bigger kid area. Be prepared to adapt...
Update 2: (5/21/11) They've added a hanging bar and a set of toddler-scale monkey bars to the little kid zone; our 3-year-old could just get onto them herself, and falls were only a few inches, so she could feel independent and challenged for a long time.