Ziptivity’s Top 10 Playgrounds on the South Shore
Posted by Karly, Ziptivity’s South Shore Community Ambassador
It’s that time of the year where we are all loving a warm, sunny spring day. And while our “go-to” playground is fine and actually awesome for the first few visits, wouldn’t it be nice to change it up a bit? Here is a list of top 10 playgrounds in and around the South Shore:
1. About a year ago this time, I stumbled upon a great little playground near my library called Torie’s Place. It’s nestled in this little valley… the only sign of it being a playground is, well, the sign. It’s great for so many reasons: we could park in the center of town and walk to Ames Free Library, drop off the books at our car, then hit the playground. It was SO age appropriate for my 1.9-year old AND my 3-year old. Also, it abuts a little farm with chickens and a pony. And this playground leads me to pick #2…
2. The true gem of all was brought to my attention by the mom I met at playground #1, who told me about some wood playground in Abington. I went home and googled it… nothing turned up. Hmm, so this was before I knew about Ziptivity and could just look it up there. So what was I supposed to do? I even called the Abington Police! They gave me vague directions , so I piled the kids in the car and set out for the wood playground. I got as far as the Chinese restaurant on Rt. 18 and took that right and I knew I was close, but I was missing something. So I pulled into what looked like a school and off to my left, the wood playground! Jackpot! Buddy Beaver’s Place. It’s truly a unique playground. It is all wood. Reminds me of the “old school” playground I used to play on in elementary school… so is that where that saying came from?! It has so many nuances about it. For one, the structure seems to go on for miles. It’s like a big wooden castle with secret passages, tall towers, good uses of big truck tires, and great for all ages. And of course we went when my oldest was a newbie at going to the potty, so we know that there is a Dunkin Donuts less than a half mile down Rt. 18. No public restrooms beyond that… possibly the little school across the way, but I haven’t tried. So pack a lunch, have a seat at the picnic table and enjoy hours of endless fun for all your kids!
3. On my quest for something new and different, I had asked my friend who is a local mom and has kids the same age as mine. She told me that her dad takes her kids to World War I Memorial Park and Zoo. Bring carrots and apples for the deer, llamas, and all the other animals in the various outdoor cages. The animals are great and there is a small area for 3 and under. Further up the hill, the big playground is for 3+, however there are baby swings and a small play structure. The big structure was all too tempting for my 1.9 year old, just an FYI. Lots of great changes made to this park, so check it out!
4. Messinger Field & Playground is just over in Canton and great for a quick trip to the playground. It has a jungle gym for 3+ and a smaller one for 3 and under. What I like about this playground is that it has a paved walkway for new mommies with strollers and also a large paved area for the older kids with bikes and chalk.
5. Norton Community Playground is fenced in, has picnic tables, suitable for kids 6 and under… plus a whole bunch of smaller toys for kids like cozy coupes and kitchenettes! Beware: really no restrooms nearby.
6. The Bradley Lessa Memorial Playground in Stoughton is located just off West Street. What’s great about this playground is that the older kids have a challenging structure to climb, along with a huge rock wall! There is a little firetruck structure for the kids 5 and under, but again, the bigger one is too tempting! Also, no bathrooms here and there isn’t too many local businesses to pop into, fyi.
7. Ward’s Berry Farm in Sharon. Definitely an old school playground, but the kids LOVE it! It has a huge slide that makes me nervous frankly, but they are careful on it and enjoy themselves. Ward’s also has a barn full of animals – bring $1 for a bag of feed. It also has a sandbox that my kids play in for hours. Lastly, pick up some fruits and veggies for home! Organic and locally grown products are sold here. I remember when this was an actual farm stand with wooden bins filled with fruits and veggies. Oh, and if you want to grab lunch, they have a great little cafe with yummy smoothies and sandwiches. Yum!!
8. Capron Park Zoo has a FREE playground outside on their property. Great for all ages and a nice little spot to bring a towel or blanket for a picnic. No tables, but lots of grass!
9. The imPossible Dream in Warwick, RI. My husband’s family is from Rhode Island and his cousin (a very smart mom and school teacher) turned me on to this place. It’s AWESOME! The best thing about it? It has a rubber foundation! So when your kids go flying across the playground, fall and skin their knees, it’s no big deal because it isn’t cement. Not only that, but you don’t get those annoying wood chips in your crocs or flip flops! The place has a bathroom facility and places for a covered picnic. Totally worth the drive, approximately 40 minutes from Easton. Great ride for, oh let’s say, naptime?!
10. Houghton’s Pond Recreation Area in Milton. This is a great playground for all ages. It gets really busy on the weekends, but during the week it’s pretty open. There are 2 separate areas for the younger kids and the older kids. Even the older kids play structure isn’t too difficult for the little ones. While it isn’t swimming season just yet, my kids love to throw rocks and sticks into the pond. It’s right off the highway and easy to get to just follow the Houghton’s Pond signs.
Hope this helps to give you some new ideas on where to visit for the upcoming sunny days! Got any you’d like to share?