Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Duke Park - Durham

The big park
Can you believe it SNOWED here?!  I, actually, was pretty happy and hope that you all got lots of pictures of your kids frolicking in the 0.5 inches we had.  I sure did.  Anyhow, it is going to be playground and park weather later this week and we've got a new one for you that is great!  Duke Park in Durham is a great playground area for you to hit and, really, has nothing to do with Duke University.

Duke Park has a really interesting history.  There was an old bathhouse here (that structure still stands, although you can not get in to it) and a very popular pool on site during the '30s and '40s.  You can read more about that at this link here, complete with some fabulous old pictures.

Duke Park is located in a beautiful, historic Durham neighborhood and sprawls across some rolling hills with old growth trees.  It is quite beautiful.  You can see a vista of playground equipment across some of the more scenic pieces of Durham's land.  If you are not a parent that probably doesn't do much for you, but I loved the line of sight and the vision.

Parking was odd.  I tried to pull in to what looked like the park entrance but it was locked shut.  So I went around to the side where there is public parking provided (near the port-a-john, which is the bathroom facility here, by the way).
The toddler playground
There are 2 playground structures although warning that it is somewhat frustrating that they aren't closer together. It would be hard to have 1 kid on 1 structure and 1 kid on another and keep an eye on both.  There is a toddler structure in the gulley for younger kids.  That had fairly good shade and a synthetic ground cover in parts.  But the massive beauty is the huge 5-12 year old play structure up on the hill.  This thing is tall!  Yet let me assure you that it is safe.  Obviously you will always want to keep an eye on your child while at a playground, nothing is foolproof, but C wound his way up that hamster cage of a tower with glee and easily but he is almost 3 and experienced in the art of playgrounds.  I would not have let him up that 1 year ago.

The tower

Beyond the looming tower of play structure, this place also has some nice climbing structures, musical exhibits, interactive play, and other imaginative stations that a lot of these newer playgrounds have.  There are benches surrounding the area and a lot of picnic tables off to the side.

The big playground doesn't get a lot of shade, so watch out for hot days.  Ground cover is mulch.

This playground is off of a community greenway so expect to see a lot of dog walkers and neighbors.

We really had a great time at this playground and would gladly go back.  By the way, this is over near Northgate Mall, so stop by for a Chick-Fil-A storytime (make sure to call ahead!) or to hit the carousel if you would like.

Amenities:
  • Greenway Access
  • Grills(5)
  • Picnic Tables(18)
  • Playground
  • Picnic Shelter(SMALL)
  • Water Fountain

Duke Park
http://www.durhamnc.gov/
106 West Knox Street
Durham

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