Update May 2017: The slides have new rubber surfacing shown in some of the photos below
Location – map
Address: Haysboro – 1204 89th Ave SW
Parking: Free lot and street parking
Gordie’s Review (7 years old): “Kind of everything was the best.”
Nicky’s Review (4 years old): “I liked the slide that was big, the thing I practiced on and that.” [the rope nest and the log path]
Robbie’s Review (16 months old): Loved challenging himself on the hills and the freedom to walk around and explore.
Age Range: All ages.
Ground Cover: pea gravel
Shade: plentiful. Big mature trees and as well as newly planted trees that will be great as they mature.
Features: natural playground features – hills, big slide, little slide, rope nest, 4 swings (2 baby), rocks and logs, labyrinth
Surrounding Park Area: Grassy area, outdoor rink, Haysboro community centre, Haysboro School (and playground)
Seating: a few picnic tables and log benches
Overall assessment: This playground is new last year (2015) and is the most ‘natural’ natural playground in Calgary right now. The playground is quite different from a more traditional metal and plastic playground and provides different kinds of challenges that kids can miss out on in the city.
This is the first phase of their plan. The 2nd phase is expected to be completed in 2017 and will include more features like a full body climbing structure, tunnel, loose part play learning garden and more! They will also be putting in nature steps alongside the big slide this summer (currently the kids are learning a lot about erosion!).
At first my oldest (7) was a little underwhelmed looking at the playground at first. But once he started playing he absolutely loved it. He set out ‘obstacle course’ routes that involved running up and down the hills to the different park elements. Later on he was having a blast having races down the big slide with some of the other kids are the park.
My 4 year old also had a great time. She found the rope nest really challenging at first but was so proud of herself when she figured it out.
I also found it worked well for my toddler. He was able to roam around fairly freely without getting into much trouble. He liked trying to walk up and down the hills, putting rocks on the little slide and stepping up onto the low stumps. At many playgrounds right now he can end up quickly getting higher than he should be – this park is a lot less stressful as the only way he can really get into trouble is wandering off too far.
I think this playground has great play value and I hope to see more playgrounds like it in the future.
Have you been to this playground? What did you think? Would you like to see more natural playgrounds in Calgary?