Friday, February 11, 2011

A colorful and creative playspace: Aubury Recreation Center

Playground: Aubury Rec. Center playground
Location: on Ardleigh (btw. E. Haines and E. Washington)
Date visited: 1/1/11

Equipment: One zone with numerous different play structures and smaller pieces:
  1. A small set with steps and good low climbing options, wide straight and curved plastic slides, drums (!), a novel spinning ball toy embedded in one wall.
  2. Three climbing poles with disk platforms.
  3. Three "sit and spin" platforms (can stand or sit)
  4. A medium set with straight and curved plastic slides and novel types of climbing (including a hard-to-describe section where you could clamber up the inside or outside of a pretzelly lader) -- connected by a ladder bridge to a taller platform with climbing walls.
  5. Separate swingsets (4 bucket and 4 strap).
material: modern, mostly plastic with some metal parts; scale: medium space
Ages: marked 5-12, but probably more like 1-10
Surface: rubbery / cement/ grass?
Shade(0-3): 1
Water: Y (looks like hydrant style)
Other: Rec. center, parking, bike racks, pool, and more (basketball? etc.) -- all behind fences
Access: open, unmarked

Impressions: Fun and colorful array of equipment in a small playground with a convenient off-road parking lot. No idea how busy it gets in the warm season, given that we tromped in slush during our visit, nor whether it is shared by the nearby school, but it's definitely worth a visit if you're in the area, especially with kids of mixed ages or those who love to climb.
Overall rating: 8

A small playground in an inviting setting: Clivedon Park

Playground: Clivedon Park
Location: Chew & Johnson (SW corner)
Date visited: 1/1/11

Equipment: One playset with two platforms: one around 2 feet hight with some climbing and a double plastic slide, the other around 5 feet high with a ladder, straight and spiral metal slides, and fireman's pole. The two platforms are connected by a stretch of ladder-bottomed bridge, so parents will have to hoist tots who want to try the taller slides; under the set there's a small loop for crawling through. Swings nearby (2 strap and 2 bucket).
material: modern resin & metal; scale: med. playset in large park
Ages: 1-8?
Surface: rubbery around equipment; grass elsewhere
Shade(0-3): 2
Water: N
Other: park
Access: open (dawn - dusk?)

Impressions: Not bad for a small playground (although the gap between the playsets makes it hard for 2-4 year olds to take full advantage), but the bigger draw here is the shady tree-filled park with its many hills for running and climbing (or, in the case of our winter visit, carrying snow from here to there).
Overall rating: 7