Playground: Jefferson Hospital's Lubert Plaza
Location: 10th and Locust (not fenced)
Date visited: several times in summer '09
Equipment: open plaza (almost 1.5 acres), steps of various heights, fountain: This is designed as a multipurpose plaza with cement/stone circular center and alternating bands of grass and stone. Steps around the plaza ramp gradually from milimeters to full step height.
Surface: grass or pavement/stone
Other: grassy areas and stone benches
Access: open plaza, subject to occasional events (no idea of night policy)
Impressions: This public plaza that Jefferson built as part of its impressive new Hamilton Building's site is a boon for new walkers. I set down my 16-month-old, expecting her to race around the open space, but instead I discovered that it was the perfect "gym" for her driving desire to walk on changing surfaces and especially up and down small steps. The sweeping ramp-like walkways offer a range of step height, from tiny lip to full stairstep, so there's something for any toddler to successfully navigate solo. Plus, the small fountain on the east side, with its playful bronze otters, is a big hit. Too hot on sunny summer days, but otherwise an unexpected favorite!
Overall rating: 9* (new walkers only)