Whether we like to admit it or not, we are living in a technology-crazed world. 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.
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.
Not only does Crandall Park offer a fun playground, but it’s also got multi-use fields and expansive courts for soccer, softball, basketball, and more. And, if you’re into disc golf, this is the park for you! 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.
This playground boasts a large climbing structure, perfect for your child’s 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.
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!
Cook Park, the largest of three Town of Colonie parks, includes 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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. You can also rent out the pavilion for parties/events, which has public restrooms and a snack bar area.
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.
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.