Wow. Today was beautiful, wasn’t it? It was so beautiful, that I’m sad I couldn’t get this post up in time for some of you to enjoy this new-to-me destination today. Well, at least now it seems like we’ve turned a corner on spring, so there should be many more beautiful days ahead. And I know where you can spend them!
So I actually had a different post planned for this week, but the weather last Sunday was so gorgeous, that I knew I just had to get the kiddos out on a playground after our long winter hibernation. And of course, I couldn’t just go down the street to my little neighborhood playground. Oh no. I had to find a new playground so I could blog about it too 🙂
And that’s how we ended up at Pierson Park in Cromwell, CT.
It was actually really easy to get there from my town of Glastonbury. It didn’t take very long at all. Maybe it’s my native Rhode Islander mentality (whenever I drove more than 15 minutes in Rhode Island, I wound up in Massachusetts 🙂 ), but I am always thinking places are farther away than they turn out to be. Fortunately, one of the things I love about writing this blog is that it forces me to go exploring. And I am always so happy that I did!
Pierson Park is located on West Street in Cromwell. It’s right next to the police station. You can sort of see the playground set way back from the road, but you won’t miss the turn because there is a giant sign. There is also a large (free) parking lot right in front of the playground.
I knew before we even got out of the car that this playground was going to be awesome for my 3 1/2-year-old. It was so colorful and just filled with things to explore in every direction.
It’s not fenced-in, but there is a fence separating the playground from the parking lot, which is the most important place to have a fence, in my opinion. And there is a short barrier around the whole playground, which varies in height from a few inches to a few feet around the perimeter. But it’s just enough to keep a toddler or preschooler from making a run for it 🙂
Speaking of toddlers and preschoolers, this playground is perfect for them. First of all, there is a completely separate toddler area with big bouncy bugs, a hippo to crawl through, a ship structure to explore, a springy see-saw, and a sandbox. It’s way off to the side of the main playground, so you don’t have to worry about your wobbly walker getting run over. I loved that my little guy (only 8 months) could get in on the fun. Usually the only thing he can do at a playground is swing.
Then, there’s the preschooler area. It has a small playscape, a merry-go-round, a musical element and one feature I have never seen before at any other playground: a giant dragon!
Look at Boo all the way up there!
The rest of the playground was so filled with fun things, I probably didn’t capture them all in my pictures. The really nice part, was that Boo could handle just about everything there. This playground is definitely a find for the preschool crowd. It’s challenging enough to keep the kiddos interested, but there’s nothing too crazy.
There are toy trucks everywhere–Boo’s favorite!
The playground surface is shredded rubber mulch (made from old tires, I think). I love how cushy it is, plus the fact that it won’t get muddy like real mulch. But it does tend to turn everything it touches black. Boo was wearing dark clothes, so I didn’t really notice. But hubby had on khaki pants and they were covered in black smudges by the time we left. I’m hoping it comes out in the wash. I’ll let you know.
There are swings and baby swings. I like that they are set back from all the playground action.
In addition to the playground, the park has athletic fields, a basketball court, and this picnic pavilion with nearby grills.
The park also has a stroller-friendly, paved walking loop around the perimeter.
I also found this rose garden out near the entrance. It doesn’t look like much now, but I bet it will be gorgeous in a couple of months.
Gorgeous day. Great playground. Happy kids. I’m so glad we ditched our plans and took a chance on a little adventure to Pierson Park. I’m already looking forward to our next visit!
West Street, Cromwell, CT (next to Cromwell Police Station at 5 West Street, Cromwell, Connecticut)
Parks & Recreation Dept. 860-632-3467
7:00 a.m to sunset
- Stroller Friendly: Mostly. The actual playground surface is shredded rubber, so it’s not the easiest thing to push a stroller through (yes, I tried it 🙂 ). But there is a paved path all around the playground, so you can easily bring a stroller from the parking lot to anywhere along the perimeter.
- Coffee Mug Friendly: YES! There’s even a Dunkin Donuts not too far away on Shunpike Road (24 Shunpike Road, Cromwell, Connecticut) in case you want to grab yourself a coffee beforehand.
- Baby Changing Station: NO. In fact, I did not see any restroom facilities at all. There are lots of fast food restaurants nearby on Shunpike Road, however, so in a pinch you could always head to one of them. UPDATE 4/20/14: See reader comment below for restroom info!
- Parking: Very convenient parking directly in front of the playground.
- Food for Sale: NO
- Outside Food Allowed: YES! There is a covered pavilion with picnic tables located a short walk from the playground (reservations required for groups of 10 or more), and also a few picnic tables and benches near the playground.
- Cash Required: NO.
- Dress Code: Play clothes for the kiddos (and remember that the rubber shred surface tends to mark things black). The playground is in full sun, so plan outfits accordingly (hats, anyone?) and bring sun block.
- Evening/Weekend Hours: YES! The park is open 7:00 a.m. to sunset every day.
- 4D Vision Gym – A vision training center located in Cromwell, CT where Dr. Juanita Collier, MS, OD and her staff show members how to utilize Vision Therapy to correct visual issues and make learning and playing easier and more fun.
- The Independent Day School – Located on a rural campus in Middlefield, CT this private pre-school, elementary and middle school serves families from over 20 communities.
- Kathryn Deane Photography – A natural light photographer located in West Hartford, CT and specializing in maternity, newborn, child, family, and senior portrait photography.
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