12 Cool Parks and Playgrounds in the Capital Region…And Beyond

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Whether we like to admit it or not, we are living in a technology-crazed world. I knew I was in trouble when my not-even 2 year old learned how to scroll through Facebook on my iPhone! The good news is that we reside in an area where we can take kids to do many cool things that don’t involve media, including going to fun local parks and playgrounds. Not only is it a great way for kids to burn off energy, but they’re also free, and there’s bound to be one near you.

NEW! Our previous list included seven cool playgrounds, but we scouted out a few more throughout the CDPHP service area, and now the list up to 12. Check it out!

1. Clifton Common – Clifton Park 16-1283 7 Cool Playgrounds in the Capital Region_clifton commons

Open from April to October, dawn to dusk, this giant wooden playground is a staple of Clifton Common, located in the heart of Clifton Park. There are several climbing structures and swings, as well as areas appropriate for younger children who can’t quite navigate the bigger obstacles yet. This playground is pretty expansive, so you’ll want to keep a close eye on your little ones.

If you happen to visit on a Wednesday or Sunday evening during the summer, make your way over to the outdoor stage for a free, family-friendly concert.

2. Crandall Park – Glens Falls 16-1283 7 Cool Playgrounds in the Capital Region_clifton commons

Not only does Crandall Park offer a fun playground, but it’s also got multi-use fields and courts for soccer, softball, basketball, and more. Looking to make a day out of it? Use one of their charcoal grills to cook up some dinner, and then head over to the outdoor amphitheater to catch a live band or even the Glens Falls Symphony Orchestra.

Bonus! Each year in May the park’s pond is stocked with fish for an annual fishing derby, so if you’re so inclined, be sure to bring your fishing gear.

3.  Indian Meadows – Glenville16-1283 7 Cool Playgrounds in the Capital Region_crossings

This playground boasts an enormous structure, perfect for your adventurers! However, there is also equipment suitable for younger children who may not be ready for heights just yet. Indian Meadows also has a restroom nearby, as well as fitness trails to combine a few cool outing ideas into one. Indian Meadows also has an outdoor fitness area just past the playground.

4. Melissa Penfield Park/Dog Park – Plattsburgh

If you’re looking for a park that has it all, look no further than Melissa Penfield Park. Located on Boynton Avenue, it has a playground, a BMX bike and skate park, sports fields and courts, hiking trails, picnic areas, and more. Check out the community garden, and take advantage of the picnic areas with grills.

As the name suggests, it’s also dog friendly, so bring along your four-legged friends for the fun!

5. Cook Park – Colonie

Cook Park went through a major upgrade in 2017, adding an inclusive, Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant playground. Features include a special slide for kids who use wheelchairs, zip lines, and a quiet area for children with sensory issues. This park is especially good for very young children, as it is enclosed and offers them many structures to choose from.

The Tuesday Nights in the Park summer series features concerts in the Frank A. Leak Amphitheatre for the Arts. Free to the public, food and drinks are available for purchase before showtime at 6:30 p.m.

6. Shuttleworth Park – Amsterdam

Shuttleworth Park has a rich history in Amsterdam, dating back to Memorial Day, 1914. The playgrounds are brightly colored, well maintained, and surrounded by pavilions, fishing spots, and more. Take a walk along picturesque Chuctununda Creek, and stick around to catch Amsterdam Mohawks Collegiate Baseball League game!

Fun fact – The grandstand section of the baseball field at Shuttleworth Park is original from 1914, and is one of the oldest ballparks still standing!

7. River Road Park – Niskayuna  crawling through jungle gym

This is a great spot for younger children to climb and play. A pavilion with restrooms is available during the spring and summer months, in addition to softball fields and a basketball court. If you take a short walk through the woods, you’ll arrive at Rosendale Elementary School, which has a fantastic playground for younger and older children alike.

8. Iorio Park – Cobleskill

Another awesome wooden playground makes our list! Iorio Park went through some improvements in recent years, including adding a preschool area safer for younger and less mobile children to slide and climb. The playground area also includes an adult and teen outdoor fitness area. And, if you work up a sweat on the playground and exercising, good news! The Cobleskill Village Pool – complete with a sweet waterslide! – is right next door.

9.  Butler Park – Averill Parkcrawling through jungle gym

Butler Park is a pretty unique place, with structures that you won’t see at other local parks. Featuring a futuristic theme, it’s definitely geared more toward younger kids, but there is some equipment that would appeal to older children, such as a fire truck, several swings, and monkey bars. The area is nicely shaded and hiking trails are also available. The playground is located just past Averill Park High School, so if you don’t live nearby, consider making a day out of it and include a trip to Grafton Lakes State Park or Snyder’s Lake.

10. Gavin Park – Wilton

I took my daughter to a birthday party here last summer and boy, did we have a great time! Gavin Park has an awesome play space, complete with soft AstroTurf surrounding the structures to help keep kiddos safe. There are numerous slides, swings, climbing activities, and more. It’s also got the coolest splash pad! You can rent out the pavilion for parties/events, which has public restrooms and a snack bar area.

wilton parkwilton splash park
11. The Crossings – Colonie

This park is beautiful and is more or less centrally located within the Capital Region, making it easily accessible to many.

Open 8 a.m. to dusk, the fun doesn’t stop at the playground.

The Crossings also offers walking trails, a pond for fishing in the summer and ice-skating in the winter, and is the perfect place to bring a picnic lunch.

12. Voorheesville Elementary – Voorheesville

Another fantastic wooden playground to bookend our list, this one is geared more toward older kids, but younger children can still enjoy it, too. There are also some swings and plenty of benches around for parents and guardians.

Make a plan to visit one or all of these awesome playgrounds. Be sure to tell us about your adventure in the comments section below! If we missed one of your favorite places, we’d like to know about it.

Looking for more low-cost, outdoor fun? Check out previous posts for ideas on where to swim, take a day-trip adventure, bike, and pick your own fruits and vegetables!

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