Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A new park adventure - Park 1

Reece, Brody and I are on a new adventure this summer. What kind of adventure you ask? A park adventure...we want to find the best park in Bloomington/Normal! Reece loves parks so I figure why not visit them all and find the best one. Each week (Lord willing and weather permitting) I will take the kids to a new park. We will give it 0 to 5 stars based on 1) cleanliness, 2) multiple ages group friendly 3) safety 4) place to relax/pinic (mostly for mommies), and 5) having facilities/restrooms on the premises. I will give all of you the scoop on the parks including some pictures. I will try and put some pics of the kids at the park too for your enjoyment of course :) Feel free to add comments as well, ask me questions, offer suggestions, etc. Not only will we discover some new places to travel, we will find out which ones are worth it and which ones aren't...and you won't have to waste your time doing it. You can also find out about Bloomington Parks on http://www.cityblm.org/ and Normal Parks at http://www.normal.org/Gov/ParksAndRec/Facilities/index.asp . These websites list all the parks, their addresses, and some of their features. I'll warn you, the Bloomington site is quite frustrating but the Normal site is pretty user-friendly. So here we go...

The first park we visited was O'Neil Park. It is located on the West side - the BEST side - of course! O'Neil Park is located on 1515 W Chestnut. O'Neil Park has:
  • Basketball Court (be sure to bring your own ball)
  • Picnic shelter
  • Playground
  • Softball field
  • Swimming pool
  • Tennis court
  • Skate Board park/area
  • Baseball field

A couple of good features about this park is that there is a pavilion close by with picnic tables and there are a few benches for mommies to watch their kids. There were plenty of things to do for several different age groups. I'd say the playground itself was more designed for ages 3 and up. Reece did fine being 2 but she did struggle a bit on the rock climbing wall and also got stuck in some of the tubes. There were only two baby swings and one was broken. The play equipment itself seemed clean but the ground was littered with garbage and cigarette butts even though there were 4 Bloomington Rec vehicles and a dozen workers on the scene working on...well...something I suppose. Another downside to this park is the location of the restroom. It took several minutes to walk there and with a potty training child that could be disastrous. It was also not well marked (I wasn't sure we were even walking to a restroom) and it wasn't "baby" friendly. Overall, we give this park 3 stars! See ya next week!

Main playground area with rock climing wall and 4 slides.

Other side of playground showing swings and picnic area (in the back)

And of course a few of the kids having fun...

4 comments:

Natalie said...

This is a great idea! I will look for more updates.

The Growing Tree said...

Terrific idea!!! I'm curious what you'll think of Clearwater Park. We went there Monday and I thought it was the WORST ever!

I'll def. be looking for your updates on these! As well as just your blog updates ; )

The Bunn Family said...

This is great...I'll be checking in!

amber said...

Great idea Lindsay. If only we lived closer to take advantage of all your hard work...