How To Find The Best Playground Near Me? – A Guide for Parents

Playgrounds can provide a place for physical and creative play, exploration, and all-around fun. But what makes a great playground? And How can you find the best playground near you? Here is the parent's guide you need to read.

If you have ever been on the hunt for a great playground for your kids, you know the struggle of finding the right one. It can be time-consuming and stressful if you don’t know where to look.

Fortunately, there are options to make the process easier and faster. From parent groups to travel apps, there are plenty of ways to find the best playgrounds near you. 

How To Find The Best Playground Near Me? – A Guide for Parents

What Makes A Great Playground

If you’ve ever been to a playground and looked around, you know how much fun they can be. After all, it’s a place where kids can run around, play with friends, and enjoy some fresh air. But what makes a great playground? One that offers unique features, up-to-date playground equipment, kid-friendly themes, lots of natural elements, and other features to make the playground even more enjoyable.

Unique Features

A great playground isn’t just about the slides, tire swings, zip lines, and other traditional playground equipment. It should also have unique features that kids can’t get enough of. Popular features like a splash pad or climbing structures can make a playground stand out from the rest. The splash pad is great for hot summer days; kids can cool off and have some water fun at the same time!

Boy enjoying a baseball themed playground.
Baseball themed playground. Photo from Gowhee App

Newer Playground Equipment

To keep kids safe and engage we recommend looking for playgrounds with newer equipment. Like fully enclosed play areas or structures that offer different types of physical challenges. Being up to date with the latest playground trends will help ensure kids stay excited to come and play.

Themed Playgrounds

Themed playgrounds is a great way to create an exciting afternoon for kids. You can make it a day with a themed restaurants or show instead of going to a theme park. Instead of traditional playgrounds, look for ones with a grand pirate ship, castles, or even fairy-inspired themes. It can also help teach kids about different environments and cultures.

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Natural Elements

One of the best things about a great playground is the natural elements that it provides. Look for playgrounds that are grassy or have lots of trees and greenery. You can also try to find playgrounds with walking trails around to allow kids to explore a little further and initiate them to hiking. Breathing in the fresh air and exploring the natural elements can help them relax after all their running around.

Playgrounds for all ages

When searching for playgrounds to accommodate kids of different ages you will need to find ones with baby swings and lower structures, as well as things to entertain older children and teens. Head over to a playground near you with a basketball field or a soccer field to keep everyone happy.

Other Features

Aside from the playground features, always scout for other features such as a dog park, drinking water, picnic tables, and shade. Too much sun can be dangerous and the lack of drinking water can make kids very cranky, especially during the hot summer months. Having a dog park nearby will let pet owners enjoy the playground too, while a shady area can provide some peace and quiet for those that need it.

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Ways To Find The Best Playgrounds Near Me

Based on a survey amongst parents going to to playgrounds often, here is list of the best ways and their pros and cons on how to find the best playground near you.

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Asking for Recommendations on a Local Parent Group

Parents’ groups are usually full of great information and advice. If you have the time and patience to go through all the recommendations, it can be a great source of playgrounds that you can go to. However, if you’re in a rush, it may not be the best option.

Pros: They are often made up of other moms or dads who may have personal experience with nearby playgrounds and can provide detailed information on their recommendations.

Cons: You may find yourself having to wait for another parent to respond or having to search through multiple groups before you find what you’re looking for. It is also often lacking pictures of the play structures or the community park to get a sense of the space.

Screen shot of Gowhee App showing playgrounds near St Louis Mo
Screenshot from the Gowhee App, filter Playground near me

Use A travel app designed for parents, like the Gowhee app

Gowhee is one of the top-rated travel apps designed specifically for parents. With this app, you can easily find local parents’ favorite playgrounds, worldwide just with a few taps, so it is a great tool if you want to save time or need to quickly find some parks and playgrounds to entertain the kids on the go. 

Pros: The Gowhee app allows you to search for playgrounds in other countries and has translation features to read local parents’ reviews in many languages. It offers photos and detailed information like what age is appropriate, whether or not the playground is enclosed, or if there are picnic areas and shaded spots. You can also use it to search for other family-friendly places to plan a whole-day trip or vacation too, like restaurants, museums, and kid-friendly hikes.

Cons: When using a travel app like Gowhee, you will need to pay a small subscription in order to access the best features. But it is well worth the cost in order to access quality and reliable information.

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Using Playground-Specific Apps

Playground apps are a good way to find playgrounds near you in a matter of minutes. They can also provide useful information about the playgrounds, like reviews and pictures, so you can make an informed decision. However, some apps are not as user-friendly and may lack information. Additionally, it can be challenging to plan a whole day with them since they only show playgrounds. 

Pros: Playground apps can save you time and effort in finding playgrounds nearby. They list playgrounds in your area and allow you to quickly find the one that best meets your needs. 

Cons: Unfortunately, these apps aren’t always user-friendly. Additionally, they don’t always provide the best information and aren’t great for planning a whole day trip since they often lack the detailed information you’ll want to make a comprehensive plan. 

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Use Google Maps

Google Maps is another good option if you want to find playgrounds near you. It is easy to use and you can sometimes find reviews of the playground. However, not all playgrounds appear on the map and it can be difficult to find playgrounds in foreign countries.

Pros: It is a free tool and since it is mainstream, most areas are populated.

Cons: It is not designed for parents so there is a lack of information. You may not know about things that are important for your family, like safety, cleanliness, and the age range.

No matter which approach you choose to find the best playgrounds near you, make sure you’re taking the appropriate measures to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for your kids. Taking the time to do the research will allow you to relax once onsite.

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