This newly renovated park, at 1390 Rochester Ave., is a favourite with local families and revered by mom bloggers. Cue beaming smiles as your child sets sight on this park’s spectacular nature-themed playground structure with plenty of space to climb. Other features include a zip line, climbing wall, tube slide, saucer swings and a skate spot. In summer, tots will love the sand and water play area in the park’s lower level. You’ll also find a washroom facility on site, a picnic shelter and grassy areas for picnicking.
Rochester Park • Caleb, 9, “I like the wooden climber. It’s awesome!”
WINNER: Voted the #1 Great Public Space in Canada in 2017 by the Canadian Institute of Planners. This park, at 1299 Pinetree Way, is the beating heart of City Centre, where people convene year round to walk, run, play and celebrate. Children go wide-eyed when they see the colourful playground, which has a variety of equipment suitable for all ages and abilities. The park also has a large spray park, sand volleyball courts, free outdoor table tennis and foosball tables.
Town Centre Park • Anabella, 9, “I always have so much fun on the spinning tree.”
Climb, slide, repeat. This park, at 3415 Queenston Ave., has an impressive playground structure built into the side of a hill, so children burn their energy by climbing the wooden bridge or spider web to the top. Once there, they enjoy the long, thrilling slide that zips them back down — ready to repeat the fun again. Smaller play structures for younger children are also on site, as well as a fenced-in area for soccer and basketball. Park benches are conveniently located next to the play area. Make note, this neighbourhood park does not have on-site washrooms so plan your visit accordingly.
Queenston Park • Amalie, 5, “I like the big slide ’cause it’s really fast. I like the lineup for the slide because I’m kind of nervous.”
This forested park, at 975 King Albert Ave., is home to a wonderful playground. Not only does it have a roller slide, oodle (or saucer) swing and music chimes, its popular spray park and splash pool are a delight in summer. Other highlights include a paved bike path through the urban forest setting with plenty of tall fir and cedar trees offering much-needed shade on hot days. Kids love the impressive stone sculptures and cave with mini waterfall.
Blue Mountain Park • Adrian, 9, “I love the spray park. I like how you can run through the water challenge (tunnel)!”
Calling all scooters, skaters and bikers! If your kids go wild for riding around on wheels, you’ll want to take them here. Mackin Park, at 1046 Brunette Ave., has one of the best skate parks in the city, featuring a quarter pipe, rails and ledges. The park also has a playground area, washroom facilities, four ball diamonds, two lit tennis courts, a perimeter walking trail and wide-open playing fields for kicking a ball around. In summer, take the kids and cool down on hot days at the fantastic spray park.