Parks: Playgrounds and parks! We are blessed with many good ones in the Brainerd Lakes Area and it’s a great way to get out and hang with other families as well. Some of our personal favorites include Whipple Beach, Loren Thompson Park, and Berrywood. There’s also two play groups for those of you with little tots. Fresh Air Fridays and Nisswa Time to Play can both be found on Facebook.
Here a review of a few of our area Parks and Playgrounds:
On a scale of 1-10 (10 being best) how was the safety for the kids at this park: For safety we give this park a 10. The park has a great variety of equipment that is new and in good repair. We love that there is equipment available for all age groups. A huge safety issue is when you have younger children trying to play on equipment that is too big, and not developmentally appropriate for them. This park has the best of both worlds. For those of you familiar with Loren Thompson Park, Berrywood has a familiar layout.
On a scale of 1-10 (10 being best) how “parent friendly” was this park ? (shade, benches close by, bathroom close, parking lot close, etc?) For Parent Friendly we give this park a 9. Berrywood has a good size parking lot that is located right off of Berrywood Dr.. The park is set far enough off of College Drive that the busy traffic on that street is not an issue. There is a bathroom located right next to the playground equipment, with benches and drinking fountain out front. There are also picnic tables available for a lunch at the park. The biggest downfall is the lack of shade in the morning. The playground equipment has a sand base, which is a plus or minus depending on your preference. The Layout of this park has very little for blind spots, which makes keeping your eyes on the kiddos pretty easy.
Gregory Park of Brainerd:
This park has a great feel to it. Beautiful trees, paved paths, Open spaces for a good old game of Frisbee, or flying kites! ( Who could resist with all the wind last week.) Speaking of wind, here’s a little history on Gregory Park. This park has a the central location and is a pretty good “meet in the middle” spot for families coming from any direction. Great open spaces for running, and who doesn’t love that water fountain? 🙂
Downside: No Parking Lot! Its all street parking on busy streets. Loading and unloading is a challenge due to the amount of street traffic around the park, and the speed of cars not aware of the possibility of a darting child. There really doesn’t seem to be a “side of the park” street-wise that is safer than the other either. Just know, when you go to this park, be on your “A-game” and be watchful.
For safety we give the park an 8. Everything seemed to be in good repair at both of the playground structures. Both playgrounds have pea rock for their base. We would recommend parents being on high alert for trash, however. Several parents were fishing out the gross and grimy from between ever-seeking fingers.
1-10 on “Parent Friendliness” (meaning trips to the car or bathroom are not a headache): we give it a 9. Parking is up right next to the playground. The park boasts a wonderful shaded picnic area with a pavilion, picnic benches, grills, and great trees for shade. There are benches that line one side of the playground area. A great spot to watch your kids from that has little-to-no blind spots. Bathrooms are inside the warming house just off the playground as well. The 9 for rating is only due to the drive from Brainerd through construction, so in a few months hopefully that difficulty will be gone.
2. What did you like the least?
3. On a scale of 1-10 (10 being best) how was the safety for the kids at this park.
4. On a scale of 1-10 (10 being best) how “parent friendly” was this park ? (shade, benches close by, bathroom close, parking lot close, etc?)
5. Overall rating.email thoughts and answers to rebeccaflansburg (at) gmail (dot) com. Thanks!