Monday, May 23, 2011

The Summer Challenge

I love to make goals for myself, and attain them. In fact, I won't make a goal unless I know I can accomplish it. I have parenting goals, marriage goals, personal goals, spiritual goals, and just for fun goals. I like to feel that satisfaction you get when you've completed something important to you.

One of the goals that I gave myself for the summer is to visit every playground with my family in Topeka. My only stipulation is that in order for me to consider it a playground worthy to visit, it must have some sort of new equipment. If it only has a slide and a merry-go-round, or teeter totters, it's not on my list. I want to take my children to all the different jungle gyms at Topeka's finest playgrounds.

I have a list that I found on the Topeka Parks and Recreation website that I'm getting my information from. This past weekend, we were able to cross 3 playgrounds off the list, and I believe there must be at least 30 more.

We have turned into playground hoppers, and we're loving it!
Our first playground we visited was Cyrus K. Holliday, a triangular park located at the corner of 12th and Western. It's the fourth oldest park in Topeka, but as you can see has been updated with new equipment.

It's a great park for a picnic, with a few tables, and lots of shade to rest in.

Our next stop was to the Samuel Jackson park located at 1220 SE 10th. We had been looking forward to this trip for over a year! For $250,000, Topeka just built their first Spray Park, newly opened last week. We didn't make it to the ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, but we did get to visit two days later when the weather was beautiful. This is sure to become a very popular spot in Topeka for children on a hot summer day.

Gabriel was very excited to see these "fighting swings" and couldn't wait to try them out. They are a unique way to swing as you are all in a circle facing each other.

The Spray Park is sure to be a free fun activity for all kids. Since the park is brand new, all the kinks have not been worked out yet. When we were there only a couple fountains were working, and the water pressure was very low. I'm sure if we wait a couple weeks and go back, we won't be disappointed!

My kids love to play in the fountains at Crown Center in Kansas City, and the fountains at a Wichita playground. This is so exciting for us to have something similar not far from home.

Our second day of playground hopping brought us to this playground behind Hummer Sport's Park, near 6th and MacVicar. We were meeting some friends to try out a playground they enjoy. It's a very quiet area, and far away from traffic.

I think the highlight of the park was this toy. As all the parts are swinging and you must jump from one rock to the next. It was very fun, and actually more challenging then it first appeared.

Since the spray park was not up and running as it should have been, I think my favorite park we visited this weekend was Edgewood, located at 2nd and Edgewood, near Potwin neighborhood.

I found the park to be rather enchanting. We didn't stay for long, but we are definitely planning a trip back for a BBQ sometime. I really loved the scenery and the quietness of the park.

The park had the modern equipment that I find a must for the children, but also had the historic feel with the older toys to play on.

As a kid, I always loved the big metal slides because you could shoot down them quickly. You always needed the speed because of the metal heating up in the summer sun. Now, I'm rethinking the height of those slides, and I admit I cringe every time my little boy climbs the tall open stairs, and then he shoots down, practically flying off at record speed. It's amazing how different of a perspective you have as a mother.

This playground has an enormously high swing set that to a professional swinger like Gabriel was the idealistic set.

To add to my historic feel, I found this marker in the ground, right next to a large field of grass, with a stone circle around it. I would have loved to have seen the wading pool years ago. This added of course to my enchanted feeling.

Right before we were leaving, I spotted this musical piano with notes on the wall, under the playground equipment. How fun! I got Zech interested for a few seconds, but my older two wouldn't give it a single thought. I was excited to see it, and felt it made the park all the more unique.

I love to travel around my town finding new treasures that I never would have known existed had I not ventured out. I am very excited to complete this challenge, and can't wait to find new places to go! I will be sure to share the rest of our summer challenge with you.

1 comment:

  1. Oh what a fun summer activity! I never knew about these playgrounds...I'll be interested to see what others there are