Ziptivity’s MetroWest Boston Playground Favorites

I must admit – I was a playground junkie when my children were little. And with four kids, every year I felt like my requirements changed just a little bit… based on who was walking, who was potty trained, who was my escape artist, and so on. The one personality that I could never seem to find the right place for?  The “tackler”.  I am still waiting for the padded playground…

Here are our picks for some of the best playgrounds in Metro West Boston.

*Emerson Playground, Concord

Pros- brand new state-of-the-art structure, sprinkler play park in summer (limited hours), large adjacent playing fields, a running track (if you can get someone to watch your kids while you get some  exercise), and the recreation center is right there so you have access to bathrooms and water fountains. Cons- it gets very crowded, especially early morning and late day as this is when the Recreation campers are transitioning to and from camp. Oh, one other pro is you are in walking distance to Sorrento’s Pizza and Bedford Farms Ice Cream on Thoreau Street, delicious sandwiches at Concord Cheese Shop, and a very quaint shopping district on Main and Walden Streets.

*Rideout Playground, West Concord

Rideout is located in the middle of baseball fields and tennis courts. Pros – lots of open space to run or play ball, older structure but still very well maintained and an awesome tire swing (makes me want to puke just watching it!).  Bathrooms are right there and you are walking distance to a great 5&10 store, Nashoba Brook Bakery, Dabblers Hobbies & Cafe. Cons – very high slide that is more for kids ages 6 and up.

*Jack Walsh Field, Westford

Pros – totally fenced in for your “escapees” and a nice new structure for kids up to 8. There are also some large soccer fields for your athletic kids who want to run around too.  Cons – only a port-o-potty and no food options within walking distance. You can drive up to Route 110 in 5 minutes for Phil’s Diner, Applebee’s, McD’s, and plenty of other restaurants (and any errands you have to run).

*Goward Playground, Acton (behind the Library)

Pros – good parking and when the library is open you have access to to the bathrooms and storytimes if it starts to rain. Cons – older structure with no fence and it is very close to the parking lot.

*Smile Playground (Simple Mobility in a Learning Environment), Sudbury 

Pros – allows any child with a disability to have access to a playground. Cons  – NONE.  All are welcome.

*Nara Park, Acton

Pros – fenced in playground, beach, 1 mile walking/jogging trail, bathrooms and snack bar. Cons – no shade options means BRING THE SUNBLOCK.

*Shedd Park, Lowell

Pros – beautiful newly renovated playground, a lot of parking, spray and play area, playing fields, bathrooms and drinking fountains. Cons – NONE. My nanny and her friends from Lowell RAVE about this one.

*Kids Konnection, Billerica

Pros – fenced in, picnic tables and gazebo, favorite of local nannies.  Also, new recycling bins to promote clean parks. Cons – better for young children.

*Bedford Playground, Mudge Way (behind police station and across from library)

Pros – recently renovated, fenced in, separate play areas for toddlers vs bigger kids, adjacent to playing fields. Library across the street for bathroom use and an escape from the passing storm. Cons? None! My kids LOVE this one. Then I love heading to Home Goods down the road for some shopping.

Some Honorable Mentions from Local Moms…

Hannah Williams, Wayland – just off Main Street in Cochituate

Tavernside, Weston – Boston Post Road right in town center.

Warren Rec Center — Washington St. in Wellesley:  Has playgrounds for big and little kids as well as playing fields and big grassy areas for running and sitting. A few picnic tables but no grills.

Got any you’d like to share? Please send us your comments!

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