Few things make this blogger’s ears perk up more than the phrase, “New playground.”
Naturally, when we heard new digs were opening up at Frontier Park in Graham we couldn’t get there fast enough.
First, you should know that this shiny new structure is thanks in no small part to the efforts of a group of elementary students and their parents. You can read more about their story here. Way to go, kids!
The structure itself is accessible and surrounded by that nice, rubber matting. It’s a good sized structure similar to other newer playgrounds in the area, with slides and obstacles. Kids who love to climb will find lots to like. There is also a set of swings, including two for kids with special needs and one bucket.
Probably the best thing about the playground from a parent’s point of view, is the shade. Tall firs have been left all around it, so you can plunk down a blanket and relax. What you can’t do is sit on a bench. There is just one and no tables. There are several tables as you walk up near the horse barns, so maybe Pierce County will move a couple over by the playground.
Oddly, we also couldn’t find a water fountain. There are several spigots, and there is a large, maintained bathroom, but darn if I could find a fountain. Maybe I just wasn’t looking hard enough!
Frontier Park is best known as the home of the Pierce County Fair, and you can expect to find day camps and other groups there through out the summer. This, and the fact that there just aren’t very many playgrounds in the area, means this is not going to be a place to come for alone time-at least not through the summer. There were probably two dozen kids on it the whole time we were there, and although it didn’t seem like a mob scene, I definitely wouldn’t have let a toddler loose to get mowed over by free ranging big kids.
In fact, if I have one criticism of the structure, it’s that it really doesn’t offer anything for little ones. Aside from the one bucket swing, the equipment is too challenging, and it’s the sort of structure that makes kids want to play tag. If your kiddos are preschool age or older, I think they’ll have a ball here, but I wouldn’t pick this for a toddler meet-up. Feel free to tell me if you disagree!
Drive wise, I wouldn’t really consider this a destination playground, mainly because there is probably a similar structure closer to you, no matter where you live. On the other hand, the new factor and the shade definitely make it worth at 15-20 minute drive, especially if you’ve got big kids. I’d take it over sun baked South Hill Park any day!
If you enjoyed this post, you’ll also want to check out my list of the best playgrounds in the South Sound! Readers have told me I need to check out Lake Meridian in Kent, too. If you know of another fun spot you’d enjoy reading about on SFM, let me know!