Summit Park (Review of the Nature Playscape)
4335 Glendale Milford Rd
Blue Ash Ohio 45242
Its open! And based on the number of people there this morning – it is definitely creating a buzz. I am going to touch on some of the highlights as well as some of the inadequacies we encountered. My hope is that the inadequacies will be addressed as they continue to develop this new addition to Summit Park.
I’m starting here because this is important to save you some unnecessary extra steps on your Fitbit (or help you reach a goal if you’re feeling active). This Playscape is next to the observation tower – not near the traditional playground. It is directly across the big grassy field from the main parking lot. It’s a bit of a hike with toddlers. Take a stroller.
I was both pleasantly and unpleasantly surprised here. The structures themselves are very nice. They are big logs for climbing and jumping with “spiderweb” netting. This is perfect for rough and tumble kids. There are underground tunnels and zip lines for older kids. There is a sand digger (just one….I don’t want to be present on a Saturday afternoon during peak hours to see how well that goes). I loved the structures and they are definitely an A+ for fun. Nothing like your kids eyes lighting up at the fact that they get to climb out the kind of things you’re usually shooing them away from. But…..
I was not a fan of the layout of this. At all. I envisioned one large cohesive play area but instead was met with something that is laid out much more like ”stations” along a path. There is limited visibility and quick accessibility between the various elements. This was both annoying and quite honestly – not conducive to play.
No benches or tables near by. I expect that to change as construction continues.
This is the highlight of the Playscape and is probably my favorite water feature of any park. It utilizes water from an adjacent pond.
1) This is natural water and as we were driving home – I did notice my son had a distinct smell to him requiring a scrub down before school.
2) This is much deeper and wetter than I had been prepared for. In fact – one pool of water did come up to my son’s lower waist. He is almost forty inches tall. I was prepared for calf deep water. Wear swim trunks, swim diapers, water shoes. My son’s britches were down to his knees by the time we got to the car and his diaper weighed several pounds.
3)This feature does connect directly to the small pond and I had to scoot my son away from the pond several times. I’m not sure how deep the pond is – but I was not dressed to go after him 😂
4) We left with a few injuries – my son scraped his knee and had a scratch down his back. He didn’t even notice when they happened – neither did I.
5) So many fun little features – like dams to be able to redirect the flow of the water, water falls and a spicket. All the kids were very clearly enjoying themselves.
Restrooms 3 to 5 minutes walking distance from the nature scape in the observation tower building. They are family style restrooms with handicap access, stroller access and changing tables. Very clean.
In general – I find Summit Park to have a bit of an identity crisis and this Playscape continues to add to the confusion. But the water feature is worth a visit over the next several days which are predicted to be in the high 80’s. once the weather cools – it may be worth waiting for construction to complete to pay a visit.