Over the summer, I visited several (okay, all) of the Lenexa playgrounds with my kids. Beginning in May 2012, they released a map of all their playgrounds and offered a prize if you could visit at least 24 of them by September. Each playground had a little sign with a number and letter on it, specific to a puzzle on the map you had to complete to earn the prize. I have previously reviewed a few of the playgrounds here and plan to post about all of them as a reference for my readers. Here are a few more!
Matt Taylor Park is an awesome park with two play areas, swings, tennis courts, and covered picnic tables. It's located at 83rd and Rosehill Road, just west of Quivera. The play structures are really clean and new and my daughter, Molly (5), loves the "modern" shapes to climb on. There is one for big kids and a separate one for little kids, and I mean LITTLE kids! My two-year old loves it but even crawlers can play on the soft astro turf and play on the low, creative structures. There are several benches in good spots for parents to sit and watch. The only downfall is that the playgrounds are both in the sun, though there are great shade trees around them.
Heritage Forest Park is really hidden and you have to walk along a path for a short ways to get to it, maybe a quarter of a mile. Of course, part of the fun is walking the wooded path that follows a creek anyway! Park your car in the parking spaces along 83rd, west of Pflumm Road, and follow the path back east. The playground itself is in the shade so that's a big plus! It's kind of dirty since it's under the trees and so close to the woods, but it's a good one. No swings or picnic tables, but a nice bench in the shade to sit and watch. SIDE NOTE: if you park and then take the path west instead, it winds around for a loooong time through the woods, goes behind neighborhoods, zig zags up a crazy hill and finally you reach an elementary school playground to play on too!
Ad Astra Park also has two great playgrounds! I can't believe we've never been here before because I thought it was great! Ad Astra is located at 83rd and Maurer Road. They have a covered picnic area, swings, and two really unique playgrounds. Not to mention it's right next to an elementary school playground and a public swimming pool. Unfortunately, the equipment is in the sun, but the slides were placed in a way that they were actually shaded by the equipment itself (as seen in the below photo) around noon. There was a whole line up of percussion instruments to play, a couple varieties of rock climbing walls, and the BEST slide of any playground we've been too! (It's pictured in the bottom photo, sticking out from behind the "rock mountain" - it's steep and fast, but not too scary.) There's also ample room to run on the raised platforms so we had some good games of chase.
*Funny story: we almost didn't get out and play at Ad Astra Park that day because right when we pulled in, a couple of Animal Control officers got out of their vehicle and headed into the park! I rolled down the window to check if there was any problem animals in the area we should be worried about (an injured raccoon or something!?). Turns out, they were literally there to have a picnic!