How many times have you heard, “I’m borrrrrrrred” so far this summer? My daughter is only 2, so while we don’t hear that actual phrase (yet), we can tell by her attitude when she is getting bored or needs a change of pace. One of our favorite ways to get out of the house and get moving is to slap on a hat and some sunscreen and hit the playgrounds in our area.
Here are our favorite Addison County playgrounds (with a couple bonuses thrown in.)
Monkton Central School – 1036 Monkton Road, Monkton
I went to elementary school here as a child, so this playground has a special place in my heart. Of course, that was many moons ago, so the playground has seen several changes and updates. Our favorite part about this cute little playground is that we can walk there from our house in about five minutes. While I understand that isn’t a perk for the rest of you, it’s so nice to have a playground so close! It makes for great morning walks, pre-dinner playground trips once my husband is home from work or a quick way to escape the house and shake our sillies out when we’re getting stir crazy indoors.
Bonus attraction: If you want to get some steps in before your kiddo gets their turn on the swings, the field directly below the playground boasts a mile or two of stroller-friendly dirt paths with views of Camel’s Hump and glimpses of Monkton Pond.
Bristol Green Playground – 12 West Street, Bristol
This Addison County playground is located right on the green in the center of town. The first thing you’ll notice is the nature-inspired treehouse structure. The ground surrounding the climbing structure is covered in turf which makes a great soft surface to play on, and if you peek under the tree house, you’ll even find a Little Free Library sponsored by Lawrence Memorial Library! Being outside and reading books are two of our favorite things, so it’s double the fun to have them together! The green is also home to Fourth of July celebrations, and the Bristol Harvest Fest in the fall.
Bonus attraction: The Bristol Town Green is right alongside Main Street, where you can find some cute little local shops and restaurants like Cubbers Pizza and the Bristol Bakery. You can grab some lunch at one of these spots (or bring lunch from home) and set yourselves up a picnic on the grass, or in the large gazebo in the center of the green.
New Haven Community Park – 50 North Street, New Haven
This beautiful Addison County playground, located at Beeman Elementary School, has some fun and unique equipment that I haven’t seen at many other playgrounds. There are several slides, unique climbing walls (which are great because I’ve got a climber on my hands) and some crazy stand-up spinning contraptions that left this mama dizzy for about ten minutes after I tried them.
Bonus attraction: When playing on this playground, you are just a hop, skip and a jump over to the Village Green Market to grab a delicious creemee after you finish playing. Grab a vanilla in a cone or whatever other yummy rotating flavor they have available and sit outside on the porch or across the road on the town green.
Kid Space at Mary Hogan Elementary – 201 Mary Hogan Drive, Middlebury
This is easily the largest playground on our list. It. Is. Huge. It has double-level bridges, tunnels, climbing walls, giant faux rocks to climb on, an enormous web contraption to climb on. Age and abilities are definitely something to keep in mind at this one. Reagan was in heaven, but my heart may have stopped a few times. However, just play at your own risk and be aware of your child’s skills, and it’s a great place to run and play!
Bonus attraction: Trust me, with the size of this playground, your kids won’t get bored, and probably won’t need a bonus attraction. But if they do, head over to downtown Middlebury and grab a frozen yogurt and check out the local shops, and then head down Frog Hollow to Marble Works for a view of the falls.
Wainer Park and Playground – Silver Street, Hinesburg
This playground is tucked behind the Hinesburg Community school and aside from Monkton, this is probably the one that we visit the most. It may not technically be an Addison County playground, but it’s just outside, so it’s still convenient for us. It has a range of equipment for children of different sizes and abilities which is awesome with a toddler because there are several things she can easily do without one of us adults trailing behind her. There is also a large covered pavilion with picnic tables for when you are ready to take a snack break or have lunch and get right back to playing. It’s also nice to get some time in the shade.
Bonus attraction: Head up the hill past the school, and cross the road to Papa Nick’s where you can grab a creemee from their snack window. (Can you tell we’re suckers for a good creemee?)
Dorset Park – Dorset and Swift Street, South Burlington
This playground is not in Addison County either. It is at the intersection of Dorset and Swift Street, right near the Cairns Arena. There is plenty of parking, picnic tables (under trees so you’re likely to get some shade) and play structures of varying difficulty to make it appropriate for all ages. My daughter tends to bounce around playgrounds like a ping pong ball, and there is plenty here to occupy her attention.
Bonus attraction: Just before you hit the intersection, turn into the Wheeler Homestead and Garden Park (1100 Dorset Street). This is the cutest little nature park with children’s gardens, a sandbox, tree house, grapevine tunnel, and lots of other hidden treasures. Absolutely worth a visit! We’ve never run into more than one other family at a time there, so it’s really never too crowded.
What are your favorite local playgrounds to visit during the summer? Are there any hidden gems I missed? Now, who’s up for a play date?!