Back in February, I wrote about our Dinosaur State Park adventure. As you probably know, this famous park is located in Rocky Hill, Connecticut. But what you may not know, is that Rocky Hill has another great park that is right around the corner. There may not be any dinosaur fossils to discover at Elm Ridge Park, but there are still plenty of fun things to explore.
My husband likes to joke that if it’s Saturday, it must mean that I have something I need to return to Kohl’s. I’d get upset with him for this, except that he’s usually not wrong 🙂
Well, a couple Saturdays ago, Kohl’s in Rocky Hill was once again on the errand list. But this time, I thought it’d be nice to make a dull errand into a fun family outing. A quick Google search and I was mapping the way to Elm Ridge Park, also in Rocky Hill.
This 26.5-acre park is located in a residential neighborhood. It is very easy to find, and there’s a big sign by the road and a traffic light at the entrance so you can’t miss it. There is plenty of free parking too.
This park is truly a multi-use facility. Here are some of the things available here:
- Two playscapes; one for toddlers and one for older children
- Baby swings
- Outdoor pool and wading pool
- Little league fields
- Softball field
- Open fields
- Covered picnic area (with at least one grill)
- Dog park
I need a nap just from reading that list of things to do! Of course, we start with the playscapes. First, we check out the toddler area.
This is the perfect pint-sized playscape with three slides (two straight, one a little curvy), easy-to-scale stairs, and fun activities tucked into every corner. It’s compact, so it’s very easy to supervise your wee one from every angle. But it’s also big enough that parents can climb around on it too if necessary.
Boo had a marvelous time with this one. Here’s the expression I got when I tried to tell him it was time to move on to a new activity.
We wandered over to the bigger kids’ play area. It took me a few minutes of circling the structure to realize what was missing from this maze of tunnels and bridges and monkey bars and ladders: slides. There are no slides on this playscape. I don’t know why I find that odd, but I kinda do.
Since this playscape was mostly about climbing, we found fewer activities here for Boo. Of course, that’s probably the point since this equipment was made for older children.
Boo still found some fun things to try. But he needed MUCH more supervision over here. And by “supervision” I mean a pair of parental hands no more than two feet away from him at all times.
Even if that meant climbing up there with him.
Before Boo got too tuckered out, we wanted to walk around and see some of the other features this park has to offer.
The pool was not open yet while we were there, but Boo looks like he’s ready to jump right in anyway. This side is the wading pool. Behind those benches on the right is the regular pool. The are real restrooms in that area too, but they are just for pool patrons. See Momsense for more details on the pool.
Beyond the playscapes there is this great covered picnic area with plenty of tables
Right near this picnic area are the baby swings. It’s nice that both these baby swings and the regular swings are so far removed from the playscapes because it means you don’t have to worry about your little one getting an accidental kick in the head as he or she runs around. (And conversely, you won’t find yourself lunging wildly to catch your baby in mid-swing before careening into someone else’s errant toddler. Both good things.)
The dog park and the skatepark are quite a ways back into the park–past the playscapes, past the picnic area, past the open field space. We weren’t sure if Boo could make the trek over there, so I don’t have any close-up pictures of those areas. Here’s a shot to show you roughly where each is located.
From a distance, the dog park looked pretty nice. If anyone has been to it and can let us know how it was, that would be super. My first baby is a rambunctious, middle-aged Beagle, and we are always looking for places where we can take both of our “kids” 🙂
We were having a great time at Elm Ridge Park, but unfortunately, I still had to sneak that errand in before nap time. Clearly, Boo was not ready to say good-bye.
Aw, don’t cry, baby! I’m sure momma will have another reason to go to Kohl’s next Saturday 🙂
Tell us: Do you have a great park in your neighborhood?
Elm Ridge Park
376 Elm Street, Rocky Hill, Connecticut 06067
Rocky Hill Parks & Recreation: (860) 258-2772
Get directions here:
Hours & Admission
Park: Dawn to dusk
Pool: Open from late June through August. A schedule will be available online in late May.
No fee for parking, play areas, picnic area, dog park, skatepark or fields (sporting fields may be used when not in use by a town program).
There is a fee for pool use. The daily rate is $2 for residents and $5 for non-residents
Rocky Hill residents can also buy a pool pass for the season. Call (860) 258-2772 for more information.
Tips/Things to Bring
- The footing in both play areas is mulch, so this may not be the best playground for a crawling baby, or one who still likes to put everything in his or her mouth. Ick.
- However, there is also lots of green grass, which is great for crawling in, and plenty of space to spread out a blanket for little ones to play on.
- There are several benches surrounding the large playscape, but no seating near the toddler playscape.
- There is a porta-potty near the entrance to the park. (The website mentions another porta-potty at the back of the park, but we did not venture far enough back to confirm this.) There are also real restrooms located in the pool area, but these are reserved for paying pool patrons.
- There is a curious sand pit near the regular swings. It appears to be an intentional play area, but there weren’t any toys in it when we were there. Some kids were playing with twigs and leaves and things, but you could also bring your own pail, shovel, toy trucks, etc. for playing.
- Rocky Hill holds their summer concert series here in the amphitheater. This year (2012) it will be held every Thursday from June 28 to August 2.
- Click here to see a schedule that includes all 2012 events for Elm Ridge Park.
- If you have time, also check out the exhibit center at Dinosaur State Park, which is just around the corner. (Well, technically two corners. But it’s still only 2 miles away!)
- Work up an appetite? Head over to one of our favorite kid-friendly picks, On The Border, which is just 2 miles away on Silas Deane Highway.