Good parks for kids?

playgroundSean emails:

In our kid-free days my wife and I liked exploring different bars + restaurants across the region. Now that we have a kid, we like exploring parks! Our kid is just old enough where he can navigate playscapes at the park by himself. Aside from the small rotation of parks we like to hit near our house in Albany, we'd love to branch out and explore some really amazing parks in the region at large. Do you have any favorites or know of any especially fun ones that you can reach within an hour featuring something a 2+ year old can climb on? If so, we'd love to hear about them!

Some of the parks around the region that Lauren highlighted last summer/fall have some fun things for kids to climb around on.

Got a specific suggestion for Sean and his family? Please share!

Comments

Of course the playground at The Crossings is very popular. But not far from there is a nice playground behind Shaker Elementary School, off Albany Shaker Road. At least I assume it's still there, as my kids are older now. It has (had) lots of wooden structures and bridges. I think it was called Imagination Station.

Waterson park is great, located up by Harriman office complex. Also has a splash park in the summer!

Collins Park in Scotia uses sand as its surface. Great for diggers, bad if you have a crawler or a new walker. It's also fully gated and tucked a short walk away from the main road and parking lot.

Schenectady Central Park has a great "under 5" playground. Fully gated with equipment for all abilities. Also good shade on hot days, unlike The Crossings.

You can also use the playgrounds at any elementary school after hours and on weekends.

Our favorite spot is Vorheesville's wooden playground. It's a short block from there to Smith's Tavern (Smitty's) - a family-friendly place to get pizza and an icy beer. Oh, and a juice box for the kid.

This is a really nice list of playgrounds, with descriptions: http://www.albanymommy.com/2012/09/playgrounds-in-the-capital-region/

The riverfront park in Rensselaer (five minute drive from Albany just over the Dunn Memorial bridge) is super cool. It's got a great little playground area, grassy spaces, and amazing artwork!
Wrote about it here: http://juliejourneys.com/2014/09/26/riverfront-park-in-rensselaer/

It's not a park, but if you are looking for a playground, "our" playground at the Duanesburg Elementary School (Route 7) is open to the public in the non-school hours. It's a huge, sprawling wood and gravel playground that my kids could spend all day at and not get bored. It's designed really nicely in that no matter where your kids are, you can still see them. A really great resource for those with kids.

My son, now 8, always enjoyed Cook Park in the Village of Colonie. It also uses sand as it's surface, so again maybe not for a crawler, but great for digging. It's not as big as The Crossings, but does have some climbing structures, swings, slides and part of it will be in the shade depending on the time of day you go. It's also a short walk down to the water where you can watch ducks and other water fowl. On the weekends you can catch a little league baseball game.

Great link, Amy - thanks!

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