Last month we had one of our wonderful readers (thanks, Jessica!) recommend a playground in Cheshire, CT that is fully fenced-in and also offers an array of other desirable features including shady picnic spots, accessible playground structures, and separate big and little kid playscapes. Although, let’s be honest, she had me at the “fully fenced-in” part 🙂
So I started doing some
Googling research to try to figure out more about this destination.
While browsing things to do in Cheshire (I’m always looking for ways to double up on outings these days now that my kids are getting totally over-scheduled with sports and school events and birthday parties– I never know when I’ll get a free weekend anymore!), I happened upon a website for Sweet Claude’s Ice Cream. To my delight, I realized that this delicious destination was–wait for it–literally down the street from Bartlem Park, home of the incredible Kids in Motion Playground.
It was fate! A legendary local ice cream shop and a new-to-us playground. Now that sounded like just the kind of adventure we needed over the long Memorial Day weekend! So consider this a playground post with a bonus: two new activities that make for one terrific outing 🙂
Our first stop was for ice cream. I figured it was better to let the kids eat their ice cream and then run off all the sugar at the playground. That turned out to be a good plan because after the playground they were so spent anyway that I think they would have fallen asleep in their ice cream dishes!
So Sweet Claude’s is right on Route 10 (South Main Street) in Cheshire. It’s pretty easy to spot– a big red house with a sign out front. There is a parking lot around the back where there are some other stores.
The entrance is on the side. As you can see, there are lots of outdoor seating areas including picnic tables, benches and also some seating up on the covered porch.
The inside is small, but there are also several tables in there too. Since it was so hot that day, we decided we had a better chance of the kids actually eating their ice cream (as opposed to wearing it) if we stayed in the AC.
One important thing to note is that they DO NOT TAKE CREDIT CARDS. No, this is a cash and check only establishment. But there is an ATM (as well as restrooms) in the back of the store. So don’t panic if you get there and realize you don’t have any cash on you (because who carries cash anymore???).
There were so many delicious flavors (including dairy-free options), like one called Caramel Cashew that came in a super close second to the flavor I ordered: Nutella Crunch.
Those are chocolate covered graham crackers in there and they are YUMMY.
Hubby opted for Coffee because I think if he ever ordered any other flavor the Earth would immediately rotate off its axis and spin out into deep space. Seriously, how many different ice cream shops/stands have we visited over the past five years of blogging? Coffee at every. single. one. This man loves his coffee ice cream.
The kids ordered vanilla and chocolate chip. They enjoyed it, of course.
After our frozen treat we headed back out into the nearly ninety degree heat in search of Bartlem Park and the Kids in Motion Playground. As I mentioned earlier, this park is just up the road from Sweet Claude’s. The entrance is across from Cheshire High School. Just a refresher:
The playground was a little trickier to spot. It’s actually way at the back of the park. You should be able to see some bits of color as you turn into the park, but even if you don’t see it, just keep following the road around back. I promise it’s there 🙂
There’s plenty of parking. (The only reason we parked so far away is so that we could park in the shade!)
As I noted already, this playground is fully fenced-in with a latching gate and everything.
This may not seem so extraordinary until you actually see just how HUGE this playground is.
Let me give you a tour.
There are three main play areas. The “big kid” playscape:
A lot of shenanigans took place on that slide 🙂
Next there is the “little kid” playscape:
Then there is this area further back with a giant rope structure (that’s actually only half of it!):
But that’s not all! Look at all these other unique features:
I really love that a large portion of the playground is covered in that synthetic padded surface (though there are mulched areas too). It just gives a little extra padding so I don’t have to worry quite so much about all the inevitable stumbles of my two crazy wild boys 🙂 Plus, it makes it easier to push around a stroller if you need to.
There are also some large covered picnic areas, one on either side of the playground.
This is a really amazing playground. Not only is it fully fenced-in, but as you can see it has activities for many age groups. That makes it a great destination if you have kids of different ages and abilities.
There are also restrooms nearby (straight back across the parking lot) in this brown building:
The one drawback to this playground is that, except for the covered picnic areas, this playground is in full sun. And it gets HOT. In fact, there’s even a sign there to warn visitors about that.
So this may not be your best bet for the hottest days of summer.
But temperate days, early summer mornings and probably even evenings would be a great time to head out to Cheshire to get your kiddos moving at the Kids in Motion Playground. It’d make a super destination for a playdate, and it’s definitely worth the drive!
Many thanks again to Jessica for sharing her favorite playground with us. I’m so glad I got a chance to share it with all of you.
Kids in Motion Playground at Bartlem Park
520 South Main Street (Route 10), Cheshire
828 South Main Street (Route 10), Cheshire, CT. At the juncture of Route 10 and Route 42, right next to the McDonald’s.
Bartlem Park: Dawn to Dusk
Bartlem Park: FREE
- Stroller Friendly: YES. (Sweet Claude’s is also fully accessible.)
- Coffee Mug Friendly: YES.
- Baby Changing Station: NO.
- Restrooms: YES.
- Parking: YES.
- Food for Sale: NO. (Unless you want to count the ice cream at Sweet Claude’s as food. You totally could 🙂 )
- Outside Food Allowed: YES.
- Cash Required: NO for the park; YES for Sweet Claude’s; credit cards are not accepted but there is an ATM in the store.
- Dress Code: NO.
- Age Recommendation: ALL AGES.
- Evening/Weekend Hours: YES.
Are you interested in becoming an Out and About Mom sponsor? Click here for more info.
Want to keep up with all our Out and About Mom adventures?
Check back every 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.