Washington Park is fantastic. It's the biggest splash pad in the county (I think? Does someone out there know of a bigger one?) and it is super fun. Not only does it have a splash pad, but there's also a large playground, a fun hill, and an extra bonus cheese structure (yes I said cheese structure).
Now, you may be wondering why I am writing about the water feature of a park when it's nearly midway through August. Here's why: because we live in Oregon, and you know there are going to be at least a few days - maybe more - in the next few weeks (even into September!) when the heat climbs up into the uncomfortable region of the 90's. Because that's how Oregon rolls.
- The water feature is so much fun. Splash pads are awesome because there is no standing water (and all the mama's shoulders went down just a few inches).
- The water feature is just plain pretty. Check out the tiles that march around the perimeter of the concrete - they're beautiful! The water catching the sunlight on a lovely afternoon, the sound of kids laughing, the knowledge that your little crazies are burning soooo much energy...it's all just really really nice.
- There's a playground as well. Double header! I recommend starting at the playground and getting all dirty and sweaty, and then heading over to the water to wash off all the grime and sweat.
- Washington Park is a free lunch spot (see this post) so if you hustle over there in the next few weeks, your kiddos can score a free sack lunch!
- It's also a site for the city's Fun for All program. Wahoo!
- That cheese sculpture. I assume it's art, and I assume that some people find it beautiful (anyone?). I find it...cheesy. At any rate, the littles love to play in it.
- The splash pad isn't shaded at all. There's a small sliver of shade over in one spot by the short concrete wall next to the tennis courts, but mamas hoard that shade like it's going out of style. Here's an idea: let's all put our giant bags on the ground and get comfortable sitting pretty close to one another, and that way we can share the shade. And maybe have a nice conversation. And maybe not turn red like a lobster. Deal?
- Call me a nervous Nelly, but that splash pad is awfully close to the street. There's just a little path separating your turbo charged toddler from traffic. If you've got a runner, beware.
- Excited kids mixed with concrete equals bloody knees.
A few tips:
- Bring some empty yogurt/sour cream/salsa containers for the littles to fill up and dump. They love it.
- If the water turns off, tell your kid to go stomp on the blue dome near the bike rack. That is the goofiest sentence I've ever written.
- Often unsuspecting littles will put their faces really close to the ground where the water shoots out. You know how that ends.
- To avoid crowds, go in the morning. To avoid freezing, go in the afternoon.
- Don't forget the sunscreen!
Parking: Plenty of free street parking
Resting Spots: A few short concrete walls, lots of grass, a bench by the park.
Food: Nada. Bring it, dudes.
Push/Wear: Neither. Let the crawlers crawl and the noncrawlers lie on a blanket! Freedom for all the babies! But a stroller will also work really well. :)
Restrooms: Yep - port-a-potties
Time Frame: At least an hour
What do you recommend for staying cool on these last few hot hot days?
Megan Defferding is the mom to two super fun boys who love to find great stuff to do all around Lane County! Check out her blog series, Happy Adventuring, weekly on GoMomGo.