Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Summer Bucket List: Part 2

Well, it is officially Fall, according to the calendar. Summer is over, and yet some warm weather remains. I'm ok with that. I like warm weather, not so much the hot, hot, HOT weather.
I don't like that at all.

One thing I don't like about Fall is that the sun starts to set earlier and earlier. I don't want it to get dark earlier, there are things I want to do outside after the kiddos' bedtime while it is still warm, but it's not working out for me.

The whole thing about getting darker earlier is really confusing to my boy. He wants to be able to look at his books in bed but dusk doesn't make it possible, and he doesn't understand. The best I have come up with is that I tell him it starts to get darker earlier and earlier and that means Christmas is coming, soon. Oh, how soon the holidays are approaching. I'm trying not to think about it and yet, I am looking forward to it all at the same time. So much to do. So much!

We continued our quest to visit 13 different parks with playgrounds. We didn't make it to 13 though. We ended at 12. Ran out of time and season. But I think that is fine, 12 parks is plenty of parks to visit in the 10 weeks or so of Summer. We can visit the others that didn't make the list and the one we couldn't fit in throughout the year or over the next Summer.

Here's the finale of our Summer Bucket List. Read the first list here where we visited 7 parks.
Here are the final 5:

8. Eric Fowler Park: Completely fenced in and shady. Lots of room and lots to play on. Great place for picnic, large gathering's and cookouts. Downside, not restroom facilities and no real parking lot.

9. Benton Park in Springdale. Great location, right behind the police department. Awesomely huge play set for older kids. Smaller play set for toddlers. Slides, swings, merry-go-round, and a small splash pad. What's not to love? Also, it's fenced in as well, which is a good thing since it has two major roads next to the park. Tons of fun for the kids. Big plus, restroom facilities.

10. Red Bank Arena: Very impressive play set. It was huge, and there was so much to do, so many things to climb and figure out. Even the toddler play set was impressive. The kids had a great time. And since it is located in the sports complex, restrooms are available. Even the sports complex was neat. Baseball fields, the BMX dirt track, and some open dirt areas which I eventually figured out to be areas for barrel racing. There was also a paved walking path around the parking lot and intersects with the sidewalks around the ball fields. Great place for kids and adults. This one is definitely one I will take the kids back to because it is very nice and reasonably close to the house.

11. South Congaree Park: A fire engine play set, a kids dream. Also located next to the police/emergency department. It's a cute place and if we lived closer to it we would probably visit it again. Since it's not, I don't think we will go back to this one. The kids enjoyed it though. Swings, toddler play things that I don't think I took pictures of, volleyball courts and basketball. It's a nice community park if you live in that community.

12. Sunnyside Park: A very cute community park. Downside, no real parking lot and no restrooms. Very open and fenced in. Lots of things to do as well. There was a great play set to keep kids entertained. One unique thing they did have was what I call the fitness course. It looked challenging, but also looked like a ton of fun. If I was about 7 or 8 years old, it would have been my favorite thing to explore. My kids enjoyed parts of it, but they are a little young, i.e. short, to fully enjoy all it had to offer them.

There were other play sets there as well for the younger crowd. They were a bit older than the bigger play set, but that is part of their charm. They reminded me of the play sets I used to play on. Metal parts, slides, an actual wooden suspension bridge, and monkey bars. This park has a lot to offer in the way of challenging kids without dampering the fun.


Many parks have given up on the challenge to create a safe play environment (boring). I'm all for safety, but part of the fun is the challenge and conquering fears, and trying new things. I hope I was able to do that for the kids. Well, maybe not this Summer because they are little, they are supposed to be scared of certain things, but maybe in a couple of years when they get a little braver and need to conquer some fears we will come back to this playground.
That wraps up our Summer Bucket List for 2012. Everyone had a good time. I'm looking forward to next Summer and am already planning some fun activities, well, just one at the moment. A possible trip to Texas to visit my sister. I'll probably take my son with me so he can play with her son. It'll be a new experience for him. Flying on an airplane for the first time, visiting a new state, I think he might enjoy it.
What I am not looking forward to it the end of next Summer. My son will be a Kindergartner. He's growing up, so fast. I'll be a parent of a school-age child. But that is next year.


Thank you Summer for a great season.

Bring it on Fall. I have so much I want to do!

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