Before we get started with today’s post, I have some exciting news to share with you. Back in March we reached a big milestone when our pageview counter hit 10,000 views (well, it was BIG for us, anyway!) Well, it took us 7 months to hit that 10,000 mark. But you know what? Not even 3 months later, we’ve hit a new milestone:
That’s right! 20,000 pageviews! (I thought it was fitting to celebrate with Goldfish since they now rank up there in importance with things like carseats and strollers when it comes to our outing essentials 🙂 )
But in all seriousness, we can hardly believe that in less than 3 short months we’ve doubled our total pageviews! And it’s all thanks to our wonderful readers who have embraced our little blog project and continue to inspire us to find new, fun, family-friendly places that we can all enjoy. Thank you!!!
Now, back to our regularly scheduled blogging…
A couple months ago, as soon as the weather was hinting at warm, I started doing some research on new-to-me playgrounds in the Hartford area. That’s how I stumbled upon this review of a Wethersfield playground called Mikey’s Place on our friend, Amy’s blog. It sounded too good to be true, so I had to investigate for myself.
Mikey’s Place is like Jonathan’s Dream in that both playgrounds were inspired by the tragedy of a lost child. Mikey was just shy of his third birthday when he was taken from his family by the neuromuscular disease, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, with which he was born. Out of that time of darkness grew his parents’ desire to create a place where all children could play together, and the spirit of their happy, loving little boy could live on. As the Mikey’s Place slogan goes, they wanted to create “A Happy Place for Every Face.”
As I mentioned before, Mikey’s Place is located in Wethersfield, CT and situated in one corner of Standish Park. It is also right near an elementary school, so don’t be confused by the smaller school playground that is just across the field. There is a small parking lot, but there is also plenty of street parking on the playground side of the street as well.
Mikey’s Place is ginormous. But here’s the best part: there is both a fenced preschooler playground and a larger, open playground for older kids. It’s the best of both worlds!
Let’s start with the fenced playground. This is no tiny toddler play area. It is expansive and filled with ramps and stairs and slides and swings and even a puppet theater. Yup. A puppet theater.
First we checked out the slides.
Then it was time to run the ramps.
Boo has never been much for swings, but there are lots of them here.
Plus a sandbox.
And all kinds of other neat things.
And here it is–the puppet theater. How cool is that?!
It happened to be about 85 degrees the day we were there, which was actually great for my research because I am able to confirm that the plastic slides were only a little bit warm, and the metal structures appear to be coated in something that keeps them from retaining any heat at all. To borrow a phrase from my mother: they were cool as a cucumber. Now, we were there at about 11:30 a.m., so I can’t say for sure that things don’t heat up later in the afternoon, but hey, if it’s 85 degrees, why would you want to be out there in the middle of the afternoon anyway???
Unfortunately, unlike the playscapes, we were not having much luck at staying cool. Although there are trees surrounding the playground, the actual playscape is in full sun. Fortunately, there are plenty of nice places to cool off, like this shady spot with picnic tables or a comfortable bench.
Still, Boo’s face was starting to match his outfit from all that running around in the heat, so we knew we had to go check out the big playscape quickly and then head for the air-conditioned car.
It might be more accurate to call the other playscape the “tall” playscape, as opposed to the “big” playscape, because both playscapes are about the same overall size. This one just has steeper slides, higher walkways, and more challenging ladders.
But there are also plenty of toddler-friendly ramps.
And more swings.
This area is not fenced in at all save for a length of fence separating the park from the road on the Garden Street side.
Before heading out, we decided to rest for a few minutes in the shade of the lovely park.
Boo didn’t quite understand the whole “resting” part.
Is that a flower for mommy?
On the way back to the car we noticed the “restroom.” There’s also a bike rack, which is great if you live locally.
Overall, this is one of the best thought-out playgrounds I’ve seen. It’s got the fenced-in area for the little ones, the challenging “tall” playscape for older children, and a beautiful green, shady park that’s perfect for a snack or a picnic.
It’s definitely worth checking out. Who knows? Mikey’s Place might just become your new favorite place too.
What’s your favorite playground?
Mikey’s Place Playground
329 Garden Street, Wethersfield, CT 06109
Get directions here:
- Slides, ramps, ladders, stairs, monkey bars, climbing wall, and more.
- Baby swings and regular swings
- Puppet theater
- Picnic tables and benches
- Mulch and padded surface
- Restroom (porta-potty)
- Bike rack
- Parking lot
- The fenced playground is designed for children ages 2-5, although a younger child who is steady on his or her feet would enjoy it as well.
- Due to the mostly mulch surface, I would not recommend this playground for a crawling baby who may be prone to putting things in his or her mouth (ick!).
- Note that the fenced playground does not have gates at the openings (1 near the parking lot, 3 near the tall playscape).
- The tall playscape is recommended for children ages 5-12.
- The tall playscape is not fenced.
- Although there are many shady areas in the park, both playscapes are in full sun, so bring sun block, protective gear, and plenty of drinking water.
- Both playscapes are stroller accessible.
Water, water everywhere! Next Tuesday, Mandy’s going to show you a great way to cool off in the hot weather. Then on Thursday, it’s time to introduce Boo to some of my favorite sea creatures.
Want to keep up with all our Out and About Mom adventures?
Check back every Tuesday and Thursday as we dish up more Momsense for getting out and about with your little ones. Don’t have time to check back in? Let us send you an automatic notification of new posts straight to your email inbox by signing up here. Also, you can like us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest posts and get some extra tidbits we share only through those sites.