P is for Parks: Top 5 Playgrounds in OKC for Grandparents + Grandkids - MetroFamily Magazine
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P is for Parks: Top 5 Playgrounds in OKC for Grandparents + Grandkids

by Debbi Marshall

Reading Time: 3 minutes 

Seeking some fun outdoor activities you and your grandchildren can experience together?

Public playgrounds are often a forgotten gift. We are all naturally drawn to the newest big things —the glitzy, high-tech adventures. But outdoor parks offer fresh air, physical exercise and unstructured creative play. When I presented the idea of exploring our local parks to my grandchildren (ages 10, 8 and 6), they were eager to re-visit old favorites and explore some of the Oklahoma City metro’s unique and diverse playgrounds. Most of us have a neighborhood park near our homes and we’ve been there countless times; however, the metro offers dozens of options if we look beyond the familiar.

Over the summer months, my three grandchildren and I set a goal of visiting 25 different playgrounds. With that challenge in mind, we felt a sense of excitement and urgency. We typically visited two parks each “park day,” which kept curiosity levels high.

We focused on those within 20 to 30 minutes from home and arrived as early in the day as possible. Sunscreen, insect repellent, hand sanitizer, snacks and water were essential.

I saw my grandchildren’s confidence grow as they conquered new play structures. My granddaughter kept a list of the parks’ names to provide a tangible reminder of our accomplishments.

Traveling from one park to another, we discussed how some parks are actually in a suburb of Oklahoma City, like Bethany, Edmond, Yukon or The Village. I seized the opportunity for some civic education when the children noticed police and fire trucks bearing the names of the suburb we were visiting.

Naturally, we discussed which parks were their favorites and why. Here are the kids’ top 5:

  1. Lions Children’s Playground at Lake Hefner Park: Clean, clean, clean!  This park’s cushioned surface is handicap-accessible, and a variety of colorful play structures entertain all ages.
  2. Bumpass Park, The Village: The slides and climbing options were the stars of the show. Shady benches for grandparents are another win.
  3. Stars & Stripes Park at Lake Hefner: The patriotic rocket ship beckons from a distance and is adventurous enough to excite even the oldest child.
  4. Myriad Gardens Children’s Park, downtown OKC: The “hills” are perfect for climbing and the “GROW” structure offered lots of ninja warrior challenges. We grandparents were delighted with the shade.
  5. Piedmont Community Park, Piedmont: The seated zipline, climbing walls and balancing planks/ropes drew rave reviews from our crowd. The park’s features provided challenges for every age.

Honorable mentions:

  1. Scissortail Park Children’s Play Pavilion & Playground, downtown OKC: The number and variety of play structures is unmatched at any of the metro parks we visited.
  2. Kite Park, Nichols Hills: The beautiful, large play area offers several unique climbing and swinging options.

At the end of our summer of outdoor adventure, we met our goal of visiting 25 local parks and playgrounds. The kids even declared they want to repeat the challenge next summer! The time spent together in the sunshine was a beautiful gift for this Grammie and a powerful reminder that sometimes the simplest of activities create the best memories.

For even more park fun, explore MetroFamily’s Guide to Metro Parks at metrofamilymagazine.com/metro-parks, where you’ll find the most popular, most unique and some hidden gem parks near you.

Editor’s note: Debbi Marshall is a retired U.S. probation officer, master gardener, active community volunteer, therapy dog mom and Grammie to Addie, Hutch & Weston.

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