Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A pleasant respite: McCreesh Playground

Playground: McCreesh (?)
Location: 68th at Regent
Date visited: 9/14/12

Equipment: Long thin playspace with two main play zones and a water zone:
  1. Larger playset has high and low metal slides, arched monkey bars, and a fireman's pole. Also 6 strap swings here.
  2. The smaller playset has two medium metal slides. Also in this area is a double "space-pod" climbing structure with a connecting bridge, and 4 bucket swings.
  3. Water zone = a single pole sprayer (many holes at various heights, but not on at the time of our visit) surrounded by cement.
material: modern; scale: medium
Ages: 1-10 (& skateboard zone)
Surface: rubbery; blacktop
Shade(0-3): 2
Water: Y
Other: basketball, skateboard park, grassy areas, ball fields, overview of train tracks, picnic tables, rec. center
Access: not closed (dawn to dusk?)

Impressions: The combination of a sunken skateboard park and a shaded play area give this park/recreation space a lot of appeal. It seems nicely maintained and is pleasantly sandwiched between a low-rise neighborhood and a woodsy stretch of track. Worth a stop if you're in the area (especially if skateboarders are practicing their tricks).
Overall rating: 8

A nice park with a minimal play space: Connell Park

Playground: Connell Park playground
Location: near the center of the open park, between 64th and 65th, Elmwood and Gray's
Date visited: 9/14/12

Equipment: Two playsets:
  • Lower has 2 straight plastic slides (about 3-foot tall) and one tall metal slide, a solid bridge, and misc. climbing
  • Higher has a straight metal and a spiral plastic slide, a fireman's pole, and a stretch of monkey bars. That's it.
Also, 2 bucket and 2 strap swings
Ages: 2-9
Surface: rubbery around equipment; grass and blacktop elsewhere
Shade(0-3): 2
Water: N
Other: basketball, lots of grass, some extra blacktop, recreation building (with "4 million books project" mural)
Access: (not posted = dawn to dusk?)

Impressions: This open grassy park is inviting on a warm afternoon, and groups of folks from the neighborhood bring lawn chairs over to enjoy the space. Enough space for frisbee or to toss a ball. Play equipment is adequate but unremarkable. A large fallen branch and some loose trash need removing, and there is broken glass in spots. (A trash can would help.) Ok if you're passing by.
Overall rating: 5-6

Thursday, January 17, 2013

61st & Baltimore Play Area: Cute park on the fringes of Cobbs Creek

Playground: Cobbs Creek 61st and Baltimore Play Area (yes, that's its official name!)
Location: Baltimore and 61st (not many parking spots here, but can turn N on 61th and park there)
Date visited: 11/11/12

  • Tall playset with platforms, arched bridge, 4 ladders (including one habitrail-style), 3 metal slides (short, medium-wide, spiral), shop counter, ground-high benches, crawl-through circle
  • Free-standing clamber, sort of like monkey bars in a circle
  • 4 strap swings, 2 bucket swings
  • Grasshopper rocker -- works nicely, appealing-looking
Ages: 1-7
Surface: rubbery wood chips
Shade(0-3): 2
Water: N
Other: basketball court (maybe lit), park w/grills and picnic tables, Caribbean restaurant w/water ice across the street, trolley turnaround for vehicle-ogling entertainment, car wash
Access: 24/7

Impressions: Nice smallish park on busy avenue and end of Cobbs Creek Park.  Equipment in good shape.  Not super extensive but enough to entertain for 15-30 minutes
Overall rating: 7

Angora Park -- mini-playground in a great SW Philly setting

Playground: Angora Park
Location: Baltimore & 57th & Washington (it's a skinny triangular park)
Date visited: 11/11/12

Equipment: one platform-style playset for small kids, containing 2 straight metal slides, a straight ladder, a ladder made of steps, and a pair of megaphones (which actually work!)

Ages: 1-3
Surface: rubberized
Shade(0-3): 1
Water: N
Other: lovely park, a Kentucky Fried Chicken
Access: 24/7

Impressions: Great setting, but little to do.  It's only for small kids, and even for them, there's only enough here for a short amount of entertainment.  But if you're looking for a nice place to picnic and hang out, and briefly visit some play equipment, this is your place.
Overall rating: 5 (for its quality, but in terms of quantity or entertainment level for a breadth of ages, this is lower)