Monroe Bicentennial Commons
250 Jerry Couch Blvd, Middletown, OH 45044
This park is truly a hidden gem. It’s not visible from the main road. If you don’t know it’s there – you are never going to just stumble upon it. So I am here to tell you “THIS PARK IS HERE!”.
I love amusement parks. I love visiting them, reading about them, telling others about them – and this park was built on the grounds of the old Americana amusement park. Not only is this park super adorable – but there are still structures from Americana on the grounds and I just think that makes for such a great history lesson.
This park’s play structure is very whimsical. It reminds me a lot of the one at Highfield Discovery Garden (but without the admission fee!). The structure is built to resemble trees with stumps to walk across and mushrooms to climb up. The structure features a few slides.
While this playground does not really have a separate toddler area – it is built in a way that I believe allows all age groups to play together – even early walkers can enjoy the ground level features such as the adorable little hobbit house!
There’s a scavenger hunt which is a favorite of mine – I wish more playgrounds incorporated scavenger hunts into their design.
ALSO! This thing is completely covered. You will have some shade no matter the time of day. I would imagine it would also offer some protection from rain – though you’d get a little wet as the parking lot is a little bit of a walk.
If the information within the “Master Plan” from the city of Monroe is correct – the structure is the old Americana carousel building – which just makes my heart so completely full of joy.
At this time – there are no swings at this park. (which will be a major yay for some people – you won’t get stuck in the endless “keep pushing me!” loop)
There are benches surrounding the entire play structure as well as a cute whimsical table within the playground. The park is a whole lot of green space – so picnic blankets would also be perfect here.
Visibility is fair here. There are a lot of “nooks and crannies” built into this structure. But it’s on the more compact side – so it should not take more than a moment for a kid to pop out of whatever little cubby hole they have found and for you to regain those sight lines.
Parking and Safety
The parking lot is huge but it is a minute or so walk (with tiny legs) from the parking lot to the playground.
This park is also located next to train tracks. You do cross over train tracks on the walk from the parking lot to the playground. I have no idea how often (if at all?) trains go through here.
This is not a playground that I would feel comfortable unloading and sending the kids on their way while I grab the rest of our stuff. There is a railroad crossing gate that I’m assuming will sound and come down when a train approaches but I did not see any trains today to confirm.
BUT the train tracks are a very good distance away from the playground. It would take a great deal of time for a toddler to waddle-run their way to the train tracks unnoticed.
Flat Paved walking path that makes a big loop around the grassy fields.
Two bathrooms available. Super clean. Bathrooms have changing tables. You can easily fit a small stroller, a couple toddlers, and a baby in the bathroom with you if necessary. They are adjacent to the playground – so great for those potty training kids!
I don’t have very vivid memories of Americana. I did go as a child – but I don’t remember much. But I got an absolute kick out of seeing some of the structures still standing today. There are several picnic shelters from the amusement park still standing and from what I’ve read – the plan is to freshen them up a bit and use them again!
There is also the base to the sky ride still standing with plans to incorporate it into the park.
Even though my memories of Americana are pretty foggy – I felt a bit of nostalgia standing in the grassy field wondering what ride had previously stood where I was.
This is a beautiful park. The playground is fresh and fun. The open green space surrounding the playground is practically medicinal – so very good for the soul. It’s been awhile since I’ve visited a park that I thought was worth a drive – but this is one that is totally worth a look no matter what part of Southwest Ohio you live in.
If you want more information on the park – I found the read through of the master plan from the city of Monroe to be absolutely fascinating ( no sarcasm – it was an inspiring read with historical nods to what this bit of land has meant to people over the last 100 years and the bright future that lies ahead for this land). You can read that here.