Welcome to another installment of Best Twin Cities Playgrounds!
I cannot believe I haven’t posted about a playground since September 7th of last year. What?! I certainly have been to parks since then, but the poor old blog here just didn’t get the time she deserved. (This will definitely be changing soon…both girls will be in school come September.) The good news is I have TWO posts already written for this series, we sure have been park-hopping fools this summer!
Last week the girls and I headed down to Farmington to check out the new castle equipment at Rambling River Park. I first learned about the castle structure in this article, and when I mentioned it to my princess-loving five year old she was ALL over checking it out. Here is a picture of the castle part of the playground:
The newer castle structure was actually placed in a playground with an assortment of still-standing older equipment. It might not look as fancy, but to a kid? It works just fine:
Once I lifted Marie up onto the drawbridge she could easily navigate to the orange slides on the left and right, but there are some open spaces on the first level so it’s definitely not a little toddler piece of equipment unless you are right there. Incidentally, why did I think taking kids to the park meant I could read on a bench? Did I see this in a movie or something? Honestly…Holly is almost six and I have yet to have it happen.
Marie loved running up and down the drawbridge, and Holly loved to climb. I must have heard “This pole looks like a beanstalk mom!” at least twenty times. (The steps were in the shape of leaves and I must say it was, indeed, cute.)
There was one piece of older equipment that did capture Holly’s attention–the big red slide. I am not sure if was the height of the slide itself, or the way the stairs were designed, but it certainly seemed like a scary slide to me. (If you live in an old house in South Minneapolis or Saint Paul you know the kind of stairs I am talking about. The ones you find in a story in a half home that lead to the upstairs that probably wasn’t actually for living in way back when–the kind you have to turn sideways to walk down? Yup, that’s how steep these were.) Holly loved it though!
And that’s it. That’s the park. A bit smaller than I was anticipating, but I can definitely see how the experience could actually turn into quite an event for a playdate if I brought along the right stuff. We have a small treasure chest that holds tiaras, dresses, wands, flowers, truly any princess accessory you can imagine. If I would have had that with me, and a friend or two, I seriously think Holly could have played there for half a day. Marie? She would be content to slide and slide and slide. This park is a bit challenging for her age (almost two), it really seems to be a bit more appropriate for 2.5-5.
I didn’t notice any drinking fountains and the only bathroom is a port-a-john about 50 yards away. There is a McDonalds extremely close-by, which worked out great for us as it was really hot the day we went AND I forgot water bottles.
I noticed some bike/walking paths surrounding the park, so if you brought the right equipment along you definitely have options for other things to do. Lots of covered pavilions and benches under a tree for those parents that are able to sit and watch the kids play or have a picnic. Be sure to check this park out–particularly if you bring along stuff like I mentioned above to enhance the dramatic play quotient. I could see both boys and girls having a great time pretending it was their castle!