Playgrounds Are Awesome
Kids will be the first to tell you that playgrounds are great. It doesn’t take much encouragement to get your child to want to go run around a well designed play area.
The problem is that playgrounds can get old and stale. If you want to keep things fresh for your kid, you need to mix it up and that is where a playground vacation comes in. Here is how to pull it off.
Find 5 Good Playgrounds
Your first step is to find five good playgrounds that your kids can explore. Locating playgrounds is easy, but finding the good ones is a bit trickier. Luckily Google can help. Just do a simple search for playgrounds near me to get your list. Then, use some Google tools to vet the playgrounds to make sure they are top of the line. Here are some things to look for.
People love to talk and they like talking negatively the most. If a playground is not worth visiting or is crime infested, you will quickly find this out by reading the Google reviews. These reviews are on a scale ranging from 1 to 5, allowing you to quickly rule out the bad parks. For vacation purposes, aim high and stick with playgrounds rated 4.5 stars or higher.
If you live in a hot climate, a covered playground is priceless. It will keep you far more comfortable and while the kids might not mind either way, it will be easier to keep them safe from the sun. Most park information will fail to mention the availability of cover, so you will need to turn to the user pictures. Shade in the form of shade sails and tree coverage will be easily spotted.
There is nothing worse than having to pack it up early due to a lack of restrooms. Look to the park description and search the user reviews to determine whether restrooms are present. Also, be sure to look for the maintenance levels of said restrooms. Just because restrooms are present does not mean that they are usable.
Jungle gyms and slides are great, but they can get dull eventually. Having some additional amenities available like ponds and splash pads can take a park to the next level. For a full list of amenities at parks, check with city websites.
Plan Your Trip
Once you have your list of playgrounds, just visit one a day and wear those kids out. Here are some things to keep in mind though.
Plan to say much longer at the parks for two reasons. One, these will be new and it will take your children longer to explore. Second, the whole point is to wear your children out and make this seem like a vacation. If you normally stay at a park for an hour, double that time. Just be prepared to stay the long haul with a fully charged phone, and maybe some airpods.
Come prepared with snacks, juice boxes and perhaps even a picnic lunch. Your kids should have anything they want. Remember, your goal is to make a cheap playground vacation as fun as a trip to Disney World. The better prepared the better.
Keep in mind that you do not have to stick with playgrounds in your own city. There will be nobody checking ID’s at the park gate, so feel free to venture out. Choose a search radius as far as you are willing to travel. That will open you up to the best parks.
This being a vacation, give your kids a bit more freedom to do what they want to do. Remember, this trip is saving you a lot of money, so you should be patient and have a smile on your face.