Although I’ve always loved a good park, one thing I didn’t realize about Critter hitting the toddling stage was how important parks would become to me. We take Critter to the park several times a week. She’s sort of come to expect it. Leaving the park too early or being stuck inside because of bad weather can cause a major meltdown. I mean, I get it. The swings are way more exciting than our living room. There’s nothing really exciting about our kitchen, other than food. Parks have way better hardware.
When my best friend came to town last weekend, we had a little bit of time to kill. We were near a park I had been wanting to try out, and she (and her boyfriend) gamely agreed to check it out with us. Isn’t being the friend of a new parent fun?
Seriously though— major shoutout to my friend for being game to go check out a playground.
Vandergriff Park is located in Hixson, Tennessee, a suburb of Chattanooga. It’s a small park, but it has something going for it that most other parks in the area don’t. Yep, it’s got age appropriate playgrounds! Vandergriff Park is actually three playgrounds rolled into one. There’s a small, toddler appropriate playground. There’s a larger playground for larger kids. And, as the icing on the cake, there’s a wheelchair accessible multi-age playground. Whaaaat?
Okay, sorry. I’m way more excited about playgrounds than I should be.
The one thing I didn’t like was that there were only two Baby swings. Out of like twenty swings, you think there would be more than two baby swings, right?
Jenna loves swings and baby slides, so we had a lot of fun on those. She also had fun making music on these chimes on the accessible part of the playground! Since she’s toddling, she can walk right up a wheelchair ramp now. Stairs still elude her.
If you’re thinking this playground is more fun for kids than for adults, you’re right. However, there’s a really nice paved walking track surrounding the playgrounds. You can easily watch your kid play on the playground while getting a workout (or just strolling and talking with friends.) There’s also a pavilion with restrooms and picnic tables, and several benches strewn throughout the park.
Vandergriff Park is in a residential area, and it can get packed pretty fast in good weather. Justin and I will be headed back, despite the crowds, and we might even bring a picnic. Or just coffee. I might just bring coffee. A mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do.
On a more serious note, this will be a nice park that we can bring Critter to as she ages. Several of our closest parks are either aimed at “little kids” or “big kids” without much overlap. That’s a real pain when we’re babysitting our friend’s kids, because there are things they can’t do or things Critter can’t do. Vandergriff Park is a nice compromise.
Does your kid like visiting the park?