Updated March, 2017
First, if you’re not on the SFM Facebook page, a quick heads-up that this should be the day Target discounts toys to 75% off. It’s a twice a year event and a great time to nab some goodies for Christmas. If you miss out, no worries…..another bargain is always round the corner. Moving on…..
Edit: One important note. My kiddos had such a blast here last time, that we returned today. Still fun, but my kid had a nasty fall on the sprayground. Reader CoreyAnn left a note on the Facebook page that they resurfaced it without the texture stuff. Not good! I still love the place, but I don’t want your kiddos or mine to take any spills. My suggestion, especially if you happen to live in the City of Auburn, is to contact someone on the council.
Honestly, I don’t know that this playground/sprayground needs a review. It’s a super popular place, which means there is a good chance you already know about it. Plus, it made the SFM Top 5 Playground List.
But….I’m going to go ahead and blab a little more about it, because it’s such a worthy destination for a summer day. I wish I had some pictures that captured the size of the place, but I don’t want to take pics of kids I don’t know, and I really don’t want to be the creep at the playground….kwim?
Les Gove Park is right in the heart of downtown Auburn, and it’s home to the truly amazing Discovery Playground and a super fun sprayground as well. If that’s not enough, you also have the White River Valley Museum and the Auburn library. Plus, in the summer months, you can score a free lunch. That’s a lot of fun in one stop.
The playground is a unique, barrier free playground full of things that appeal to all 5 senses. It’s designed to be friendly for kids with special needs, and I don’t think there is a kid around who would haven’t a ball on it. It has way better than average equipment, including a big, ‘ol sandbox, a merry go round flush with the ground, and some saucer swings that really go. Best of all, it’s got that cushy rubber stuff under the whole thing-no pea gravel, no wood chips, no scraped knees…..yippee!
It does get very busy, but because of its size you never feel too hemmed in. Your kids Will have to share the popular equipment, so keep that in mind. It’s an open space, which I liked because I could see my big kid on the other side of the playground while I stood with Henry by the sandbox.
Now, if you have little ones, you might not appreciate the open setting, and you should also know that some of the equipment may not be suited for a little one when there are lots of other kids using it. Seriously-that merry go round is on the ground, but it can really move! You should also know that parking is even trickier than usual because of library renovations.
The sprayground next to the park is also better than average. There are fountains to run through and under, as well as things kids can try to spray each other with. It’s bright and clean and very much has a waterpark look. Your kids will love it.
If the crowd at either spot is overwhelming, there is an old-school wooden jungle gym that no one really uses, or you can head into the museum, which is one of the area’s most kid friendly and a total bargain. There are also free museum programs and concerts on summer Wednesdays that I include in my weekly lists.
If you haven’t hit this spot yet, pack a picnic and get an early start. It’s got plenty of fun for a whole afternoon. If it’s not in your area, I think it’s worth up to a 30 minute drive-maybe even 45. If you’d have to trek longer, I think your best bets for comparable big fun are Wright Park in Tacoma and Sehmel in Gig Harbor, though the latter doesn’t have water features.
By the way, on our way home, we passed Terminal Park, a little neighborhood park with brand new playground equipment. One block away and totally empty. Not nearly the, “Wow,” factor you’ll get at Les Gove, but if you or the kids have enough of the crowds, it’s your Plan B!
Have you been to this hot spot? What did you think?