We are a frequent park-going family. I take the kids to a park at least once a week, usually more. I am so thankful that the weather where we live in Texas is conducive to playing at parks year-round. It's usually not too cold for long in the winter, and although the summers are hotter than hell it's not so bad first thing in the morning and with splash pads.
When I quit my job 2 1/2 years ago, our entertainment budget dropped significantly. We rarely go to movies or to many of the other zoos/museums around town that cost money (we do go to these places, we just can't go to these every weekend). So parks provide an economical form of entertainment and exercise for our entire family.
And the city of McKinney, Texas has many parks near our house. There are 39 city parks, 7 of those have splash pads for cooling off in the summer. In addition to those city parks, there are parks maintained by neighborhoods and playground equipment attached to elementary schools. Not to mention that we're close to the borders of the cities of Frisco, Allen, and Plano, which have just as many parks.
My kids love going to parks. However, sometimes I have to drag them out of the house and convince them they will have fun outside. And they always do. But they also get tired of going to the same parks over and over, so last year I started exploring some new ones that are within a few miles of our house.
This weekend (3-day weekend) we visited 2 "new-to-us" parks. Today I'm reviewing one of those parks, W.B. Finney.
Park Name: W.B. Finney
Address: 6350 Glen Oaks Drive, McKinney, TX
Directions: North on Stonebridge, right on Glen Oaks, park is on the left hand side about 1/2 mile down the road next to the elementary school
This park is 3.4 miles from my house. Although it's so close, I've never driven by or seen it until today.
* It has 2 separate playground equipment sets.
* It has huge amounts of open space around it--plenty of room to fly a kite. It has a few baseball fields, a soccer field, 2 basketball courts.
* It has something unique that I haven't seen at other parks--tetherball! It has 4 tetherball courts, 3 of which had a ball attached. I have fond memories of playing tetherball as a kid.
* The playground equipment is toddler-friendly--meaning it has some smaller slides and some walkways/bridges that are not too high off the ground and with railings.
* It has many big trees, which in the winter translates to playing in the leaves!
* Behind the elementary school there is another playground set and another basketball court.
* The park is set back a ways from the street, which always makes me feel safer since I have some "runners".
* The park has plenty of parking, since it's attached to an elementary school.
* It has a covered picnic area and a water fountain.
* This park has no baby swings! You know, the swings with the leg holes for babies and toddlers. It has 2 sets of the "big kid" swings.
* No bathrooms! (most parks around here don't have them)
The kids had a lot of fun here today, the tetherball was great, and we plan on coming back someday. I give it a score of 8 out of 10.
What are your favorite features in a park? Do your kids have a favorite park?