Some of the play grounds around Winnipeg have been re-vamped, and it’s about time! The Children’s Garden playground at Assiniboine Park is an unbelievably beautiful transformation from its former dilapidated swing-set mess. Even better is Kildonan Park’s playground that has emerged from what was previously a decrepit compilation of railroad ties and painful ancient slides. There are two big structures with some moving parts, ropes, instruments, a multi-level sand box and, a rock-climbing-rock and two swing sets. It may not be a ‘Garden’ but there are some flowers around it and it’s the best playground around! After two hours we were still not bored! Here are my reasons why:
Activities: there are moving/rotating parts to spin on, different areas to climb that are made of rope and plastic saucer ‘things’, there are musical instrument parts, little seats and different areas to pretend-play in. The ramp style entries to the main structure mean even the grandparents will be on this up there! Kids can run on the surfaces to different areas and try a bunch of different slides and poles to go down (or up!). The sand ‘box’ has different levels so there is room for everyone to build.
Safety: The ground under the structures is a super spongy and attractive foam surface; better than wood chips or pea-gravel! The structures have ratings on them: one is rated age two to twelve years and the other is rated five to twelve years. The two structures are separate from each other just enough that the toddlers won’t wander onto the big kids’ structure but close enough that if you have a child in each area you can keep an eye on them both. The swing sets are set just away from the structures at each end of the play ground; far enough that running kids by the structure won’t get struck by swinging kids.
Location: Kildonan Park is located on Main Street. It’s a bit far north for most but easy to get to by car or bus and worth the trip. There is a lot of parking along the road way throughout the park and there are two parking lots that are a short walk to the play ground.
Cost: Free! Unlike indoor playgrounds this outdoor park is free and way more fun. The pool area is not free (see Winnipeg.ca or call 311). Other than the cost of getting there and any food you may bring or buy (concession stand and ice cream bikes available) it’s a pretty cheap activity.
Accessibility: not only are different age groups accommodated on the structure, so are different abilities. Wheelchair users can wheel right onto the structure from two entry points. They can wheel up to the upper level of the sand box and not have to get out of their chair to build a castle. There are even two swings that are full support swings with high backs and a front-torso support that swings over the child’s body and securely locks into place between the legs.
Washrooms: it’s a short hike to the washrooms where it is cool and there is a water fountain to get a drink from.
Other things to do: There’s an awesome supervised pool with a beach-entry, huge splash pad and water slides (see Winnipeg.ca or call 311 for costs and hours), picnic areas, volleyball net, Rainbow stage, a duck pond, witch’s hut, green fields and the river nearby.
Downside? If I had to be picky I’d say the washrooms were old and a bit creepy, there are not enough benches for adults to sit on and watch their big kids play, the play ground is a bit close to the road that winds through the park and would be especially busy on Sunday ‘cruise’ nights.
All in all I am so impressed with this play ground! In my opinion, this playground is a close second for beauty but by far the most ‘playable’ and my favourite place to spend a couple hours with the kids in Winnipeg! See you there!
Post written by Christine B for the Summer Stories contest