Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Belfield playground: range of options for smaller kids

Playground: Belfield Rec Center
Location: Conlyn St. and 21st St.
Date visited: 5/14/13

  • Small play-set = wide metal slide, coil ladder, tunnel ladder, platforms
  • Small play-set = small spiral plastic slide, 2 small side-by-side plastic slides, bridge, 2 ladders (coil, quarter-barrel)
  • Medium play-set = spiral plastic slide, monkey bars (curving), hanging bar, 2 ladders (straight, curved), shop counter
  • 4 strap swings (a bit squeaky, one wrapped when visited), 4 small bucket swings
  • 3 rocker animals (don't rock)
Ages: 1-7
Surface: Rubberized by play-sets, blacktop between
Shade(0-3): 2
Water: N (well, there's a pool)
Other: Pool, basketball counrts, rec center (other end of block), rest room building (I think?), baseball field across Conlyn St.
Access: Gated (so presumably standard rec center hours)

Impressions: Decent for smaller kids, with 3 play-sets to choose from, but tired-looking, and little to interest or challenge most kids over 7.  Nice trees partially compensate, but a facelift would be nice (with more climbing options...)

Overall rating: 6

Kemble Park: just swings

Playground: Kemble Park
Location: W Olney Ave at Ogontz Ave.
Date visited: 5/14/13

Equipment: 2 bucket swings, 2 strap swings, used to be more?

Ages: 1-4
Surface: Rubbery wood chips
Shade(0-3): 0
Water: N
Other: Basketball courts (1-1/2), big park, many trees, kitty-corner from Central High School, which maybe doesn't translate to much, except on a lovely day, near dismissal time, an ice cream truck shows up

Access: Open (public park)
Impressions: Lovely setting, but, um, it's just swings!

Overall rating: N/A; it's just swings

Young Rec Center: A tot playground in East Germantown

Playground: Young Recreation Center (Google maps also calls it East Germantown Rec Center)
Location: E. Chelten Ave near Ardleigh Ave.
Date visited: 5/14/13

  • Small play-set = 2 small straight metal slides, mesh tunnel, 2 sets of steps, ladder, shop counter
  • Another small play-set = small straight metal slide, 2 small ladders, step ladder, pair of connected megaphones (which actually work!)
  • 4 strap swings, 4 bucket swings
Ages: 1-4
Surface: rubberized around play-sets
Shade(0-3): 1
Water: N
Other: 2 baseball fields, recreation center, basketball court
Access: Gated (so presumably subject to rec center hours)

Impressions: Decent equipment for smaller kids, and all in pretty good shape as well.  Setting is pleasant, being inside a block-sized set of fields.  But there's too little here to hold the interest of older kids, and even for smaller kids, it's really only a snack -- nice to have two play-sets for their age range, but neither is as extensive as the typical Philadelphia play-set.  The recreation center looks like a substantial one, so would seem natural to have a bit more extensive playground partnered with it.

Overall rating: 5 (for younger kids; not recommended for bigger kids)