Perhaps you have a favorite park. Think of all the reasons why it is your favorite. For various reasons your child may choose a different park. I am guessing there is at least one that you both love. A park is more than a designated “green” space. Every community needs and benefits from them. Some towns may have only one small park and larger towns and cities may have a plethora of them.
In two previous posts I encouraged you to explore the library and the resale stores in your community. These posts can be seen at
In this third installment in my “Around Town” category, I want to encourage you to take advantage of your parks. Many towns also have a park district, a governing board that manages and develops the physical parks and programs. It’s time to explore the parks in your community for your sake and your child’s. The following are my best 10 discoveries regarding parks:
- Playgrounds of all kinds. Kids will have fun. Two summers ago my daughter-in-law set a summer goal of visiting every playground in her community. That was a summer goal her 5 kids loved.
- Rose gardens, herb gardens, Oriental gardens, botanical gardens, butterfly gardens, Conservatories. . . . While your children are young teach them to identify flowers and plants. Learn to appreciate nature and its beauty. Much later these sites can be awesome locations for free dates, and boys with plant knowledge will impress their dates.
- Pools/waterparks/splash pads. Everyone can cool off and have fun. Children can take swimming lessons. Swimming is a valuable life skill.
- Walking/Bike paths. Many communities have safe, off-road paths for walking and biking. Just like driving an automobile, remember to stay to the right side and pass on the left side of the path. (A great opportunity to practice left and ride).
- Dog Park. This is a great bonus for pet owners with a small yard or who live in an apartment.
- Frisbee Golf. A growing trend and usually free to play.
- Park District classes and lessons. Besides swimming many districts offer other sports such as tumbling, soccer, and little league baseball. My children also enjoyed the following district classes: Safety Town, Super Tots, Cooking and Me, and Fort Building. There are also summer camps.
- Fitness Courses. We all need more movement. Some parks have a fitness course. It is a track with exercise stations and equipment to do the exercises. Exercise is a de-stresser.
- Outdoor Locations. I have heard that almost everyone in North America is low on Vitamin D. So go outside and get some in the purest and most natural form from the sun along with some fresh air.
- Also Park District Employment. With a work permit districts will hire even 14 and 15 year olds for part time seasonal work. Our eldest son worked as a soccer referee.
Parks and playgrounds can be enjoyed in all but the most extreme weather. Each season has a different view to offer. If your town doesn’t have many parks, then head to the next town, and maybe even the one after that. This is a great way to spend time with your children.
P.S. Pack a picnic lunch or snack and leave your cell phone in the car.
Upcoming: “Around Town” #4 – Art in your community