A trip to your favorite playground can be a little startling in the summer. School is out, and all those big kids have to go somewhere. Here are my best strategies for having fun on days your regular hang out is a seething kidapalooza. See if I have yours!
1.Go Early Have your fun in the morning, and you’ll beat a significant portion of the crowd, including day care field trips and bored teenagers. Plus, it will be cooler, and your kids will probably be in a better mood.
2. Go Elsewhere At the risk of stating the totally obvious, most communities have one really popular park, and a bunch of smaller parks that hardly anyone goes to. Head to your park department web site, or the one for a neighboring community and make a little list. Neighborhood parks are often good bets. If you’re a local, Metro Parks Tacoma tends to call these, “Pocket Parks,” There are also a few they call, “Tot Lots.”
3. Go to school My son’s school has a great little playground, and in the summer there is almost never anyone there. There is something totally delicious about getting to hop on the equipment without having to wait your turn.
4. Go wild While playgrounds tend to get packed, less developed parks are much less likely to see a whole group, and even if they’re crowded there is room to spread out. For local readers, we’ve been to Owens Beach and Dash Point on days the parking lots were nearly full and easily found room to spread out by walking a bit.
5. Just embrace it! A park full of kids means you might get to skip a day of tag duty. Just teach yours to answer loudly, “Here I am,” when you call and scope out the exits to the play structures.
What’s your favorite less crowded playground? I’d love to hear about if if you’re willing to spill!