It seems like it is raining all the time this fall, doesn’t it? So when the sun comes out, I am ready to find an outdoor activity ASAP. Well, a few weeks ago, a friend told me about a popular playground in Colchester, CT that is part of a town Parks & Recreation facility affectionately referred to as the “RecPlex” (shortened from “Recreation Complex”). Colchester is an easy drive down Route 2 for us, and this time of year it’s also an opportunity for some prime leaf-peeping. So we hopped in the car and headed out.
The playground is just off to the left, so parking is very convenient. The playground is not fenced, but it is set way back from the road so you don’t have to worry about your little ones darting out into a high-traffic area.
After days of being cooped up inside due to rain, Boo was ready to go!
This is a great play area with activities spread out across the space and lots of benches for parents to relax on. There are two main playscapes: one that has more advanced climbing and sliding, and one that is smaller-scale plus has some neat opportunities for pretend play. Because Boo never wants to do anything that is age-appropriate, we checked out the larger playscape first 🙂
This one is pure paradise for your little slide enthusiast. There are four different slides!
Boo needed a boost in some places, but he was able to climb around somewhat solo. Of course, this playscape is more open on the sides in places, so we shadowed him pretty closely.
Next we went to check out the small playscape. This one is definitely designed with toddlers and preschoolers in mind. The high parts are fully enclosed with sides and railings to keep your wee one safe while climbing.
This one has some great slides too, including a super tall one–perhaps the tallest slide I have seen on a toddler-friendly playscape. Boo loved it. But this playscape also has a fun playhouse, a challenging puzzle game, and lots of ins and outs for little ones to explore.
If your little one likes swings, you’ll find plenty of those here too. One really nice feature is that both sets of swings–the baby swings and the regular swings–are set away from the playscapes, minimizing the opportunity for an air/ground collision, if you know what I mean 🙂
These little ride-in thingys were fun too.
What really makes this playground special though, is the surrounding amenities. For starters, there is a lovely covered picnic area complete with grills.
Another amenity is the spray park. As you may remember from our summer adventures, we love these water activities for cooling off our non-swimming toddlers. They are always a super find. Obviously, this one was not in use on this late October visit. Brrrrrr.
If you’ve got older kids, they might enjoy the skatepark and the nearby challenging climbing equipment. Both of these amenities are located a short distance from the main playground.
There is also a little walking trail (marked in yellow on the map below) that meanders around the athletic fields that make up the majority of the complex.
The trail is .62 miles (roughly 2/3 of a mile), and it’s mostly a gravel surface. You can definitely use any kind of stroller on it. So you can push your kiddo around the park for a few loops to get some exercise for yourself, and then let the little one burn off some steam at the playground. Now how’s that for multi-tasking? 🙂
And finally, there is a real restroom with–wait for it–a changing station. Now, it’s not exactly the Ritz-Carlton of restrooms (c’mon, it’s still a park bathroom, what did you expect?), but it is nice to have an option other than a porta-potty. (There are some of those around too, by the way). The restroom is located in a building behind the playground.
So let’s recap: pretty drive, fun playground, nice walk. Sounds like the perfect recipe for a low-key outing to me.
Oh, and in case you’re like me and a cup of coffee is practically a requirement for a playground outing, there is a Starbucks (27 Broadway) AND a Dunkin Donuts (164 Linwood Avenue) just down the road toward the Colchester Green. Like I said, perfect 🙂
Colchester Recreation Complex (The RecPlex)
215 Old Hebron Road, Colchester, CT
Get directions here:
Daily from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
(When open, the spray park hours are 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.)
- Adjacent parking lot
- Stroller accessible
- Large playscape with slides, climbing equipment, mini zip-line, monkey bars, etc.
- Separate toddler/preschooler playscape with enclosed sides, slides, playhouse, etc.
- Baby swings and regular swings
- Adjacent spray park (seasonal)
- Adjacent restroom with changing station
Other Park Features:
- Covered picnic area
- Stroller-friendly walking path
- Skatepark and climbing equipment for older children
- Athletic fields
- FREE wireless internet
- Concession stand (seasonal)
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.