A GUIDE TO FINDING GREAT PLAYGROUNDS FOR THE KIDS AND FANTASTIC COFFEE FOR YOU
If your kids are now the age of independent play, chances are, you spend lots of time at the playground.
And unless you are a mutant or a saint, this can be pretty boring.
This is my guide to seeking out fun playgrounds (because even though I don’t find monkey bars and slides exciting, I sure get excited for my kids when I stumble upon a playground full of opportunities) that are both fun for your kids AND for you.
What makes them fun for you? Food and coffee of course!
Thus begins my exploration of Toronto and beyond to source out the best playgrounds and the best cafés!
- Lots of fun exploration for kids
- Good coffee and food nearby
- Uber Eats must be able to deliver to the playground
- Clean bathrooms
If you are a Torontonian like myself, YES, this playground and splashpad is a bit of a trek.
BUT IT IS WORTH IT!
I love brand new playgrounds with lots of shade and green space to picnic.
I love splash pads with things for all ages.
I love clean bathrooms.
This place ticks almost all of the boxes. Due to the fact it is not really in a neighbourhood – it lacks close coffee and food. But I will forgive it that because it is such a great find.
55 Olde Bayview Ave (but keep your eyes out for the big fish – the parking lot for the playground and splashpad is south of this address)
How to Get Here:
We drove. I have no idea how else you would get here. It is about a 40 minute drive from Toronto East.
Why We Like it:
This park is so lovely for so many reasons. It’s built on the shores of a man-made lake – so wherever we were in the park we could see the sparkling lake which on a sunny, summer afternoon was full of paddle boarders, windsurfers and kayaks. It has a promenade around the lake that makes for a nice walk.
The playground itself is great. As you can see from the pictures, it has a nature theme with fun touches like a woodpecker and an owl. It’s new and has different levels for different ages. Big twirly slide for George and a smaller toddler slide for Alice. It has two baby swings, five big kids swings, and one accessible swing.
There is also lots of sand (and not just sandy dirt!) as well as a fun little nature inspired play area.
The big bonus is all the shade where moms can sit and drink our iced coffee and look at our phones (just kidding, I always watch the kids).
Grassy areas surround the playground and there were many families full on camped out for the day complete with tents and BBQ’s.
Rubber and sand.
YES! Clean public bathrooms but no drinking fountain.
Hands down one of my most favourite splash pads of all time!
I joined the kids I liked it so much. Firstly, the water is NOT ARCTIC FREEZING! I was able to get wet without feeling like I was in the North Atlantic – the water here is that perfect cool we all crave on a hot day.
The surface was fantastic: part the regular rubber stuff you see but then there were walkways of bedrock which felt so nice to walk along to cool off.
Plenty of fun water play for all ages. There is water from above that George loves and then gentle fountains that Alice played it. There is even a baby/toddler section with very gentle water.
And a great big fish that sprays water from its fins. Loved it!
The greatest thing is that it is surrounded by artificial turf where families laid on towels in the sun as well as an area with really comfortable lounge chairs looking at the lake.
It even has butterfly gardens – I saw so many monarchs fluttering around.
55 Old Bayview Ave
WHERE TO GET COFFEE?
10268 Yonge Street, Richmond Hill
This is a 15-minute drive south of the playground but a worthwhile stop on the way.
Great coffee, yummy sandwiches and pastries that you can take away, and books! Lots and lots of books! As well as local art. Fantastic detour on the way to the playground.
OTHER PIT STOP IDEAS:
Ginger’s Desserts: Yummy cupcakes and squares
10220 Yonge Street, Richmond Hill
Lago Italian Bakery: Italian grocery store complete with hot table for delicious chicken parmesan sandwiches and fresh bread.
12930 Yonge Street, Richmond Hill
Starbucks: there are several drive-thru Starbucks in all directions surrounding the playground
This is a trek for those of us living in Toronto – but I really feel it’s worth it! In fact I am planning another day trip as we speak.