Jul 25

132. Happy Hollow Playground

06 happyhollowHappy Hollow Playground is located at the City’s oldest continually-operating rec center.  Inside the rec center–which was locked on the sunny Sunday that we visited–is apparently a boxing gym.  The playground has a set of standard equipment, including three hopscotch games, infant and children’s swings, and two playground structures.  Up a curved path behind the playground will take you to the rest of the rec center’s fields.  And a small well-tended garden is tucked in next to one of the rec buildings.

happyhollow5 happyhollow4 happyhollow3 happyhollow2 happyhollow1Philly Playground Project (not yet reviewed)

Visited: July 2014

Jul 22

131. Daniel E. Rumph II Rec Center / Mallery Playground / Carpenter Park

04 rumphThis neighborhood park in Germantown, attached to a rec center, appears to have three names.  Daniel E. Rumph, II, sadly, was a local teen who, according to news reports, was a local teen who went into sudden cardiac arrest in 2005 while playing basketball.  After his death, his family worked to get defibrillators installed in many Philly rec centers.  Today, there are two playgrounds at the rec center.  There’s a toddler one to the north (which we didn’t have a chance to visit) and one for bigger kids to the south.  Zora most enjoyed the retro rainbow climber.  The playground was nice, but the basketball court was the apparent real draw, with many more patrons than the playground when we were there on a mild summer Sunday.

carpenterpark4 carpenterpark3 carpenterpark2 carpenterpark1Philly Playground Project review (visited 8/7/2010)

Visited: July 2014

Jul 21

130. Cliveden Park

05 cliveden“It’s the Clark Park of Northwest Philly,” this West Philly guy thought as we ran down the hill to the playground.  The park has a lush bowl just like Clark Park (which is apparently designed to be a big rain garden?)  The playground is great.  The two best features are a climber bridge between two structures and the low masonry wall circling the swings.  But really the playground is just a small piece of this beautiful neighborhood oasis.  And that’s coming from a playground guy.

clivedon1 clivedon2 clivedon3Philly Playground Project review (visited: 1/11/2011) Visited: July 2014

Jul 21

129. Pleasant Playground

01 pleasantparkPleasant Playground, just off of Chew Avenue, was, according to news reports, renovated in 2012-2013.  Today, it’s clean and fresh and beautiful.  Fortunately, we went on a hot afternoon and Zora had a bathing suit with her, because the park has this amazing water sprinkler that’s activated by a button on a nearby pole.  Push it, and water shoots 15 feet into the air.  That sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it?  But there’s something about giving kids control over water sprayers that makes them giddy with joy.  And I don’t think that’s just Zora.

pleasantplayground4 pleasantplayground3 pleasantplayground2 pleasantplayground1Philly Playground Project (not yet reviewed)

Visited: July 2014


Jul 20

128. Playground at Allen’s Lane Art Center

03 allens laneOne Sunday afternoon, after attending a friend’s birthday party on Lincoln Drive, Zora and I drove over–yes, we own our own car now for the first time since starting these playground adventures–to the lush Allen’s Lane Art Center.  Nestled into the trees, behind the tennis courts, is a lovely playground that was very busy while we were there.  It’s a wonderful mix of benches and trees, and great equipment, and a simple balance beam (which, on this day, captured most of Zora’s attention.)  The Art Center seems to offer a ton of great events (see the link below), too.


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Philly Playground Project review (visited: 9/3/11)

Allen’s Lane Art Center link

Visited: July 2014

May 10

127. Germantown Jewish Centre Playground

02 gjcThe Germantown Jewish Centre has a nice playground attached to it.  I had seen the GJC several times while driving on Lincoln Drive, but had never stopped until the day we explored the playground.  There’s a lot of room to run around, there’s a shady arbor, an innovative water toy (that needs to be connected to a nearby water hose to work), and–Zora’s favorite–a Tire Mountain.  The Tire Mountain was probably conceived as an after thought to prevent a hill from sliding down into the lower playground, but it was a hit with Zora.  We ran up and down it several times, jumping from the sprongy tire tiers.  The GJC gets extra points for making its playground so open and accessible to the public.  Thanks, guys!

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Philly Playground Project (not yet reviewed)

Germantown Jewish Centre link

Visited: July 2014

May 09

126. Mt. Airy Playground

09 mtairyOn the day Zora & I visited the Mt. Airy Playground, small children were mostly playing on the playground unaccompanied while their parents kept half an eye on them and half an eye on the action on the baseball field where–presumably?–their older siblings/cousins were in a heated youth baseball game. There are two playgrounds here–one for younger children on the first base line and one for older children on the third base line–and they’re both pretty great. But it’s clear that the real action is at the baseball fields and the football fields that are the real focus of this rec center. If you’re a playground fan, though, that might be for the best as it means no waiting for the swings and greater access to the climbing equipment. All of which are in a pretty good condition.

mtairy1 mtairy2 mtairy3 mtairy4Philly Playground Project (reviewed: 8/7/2010)

Visited: May 2014

May 06

125. Water Tower Rec Center Playground

08 watertowerWater Tower Rec Center appears to be a pretty gigantic rec center with lots of offerings, including pickleball, zumba, yoga, gymnastics, tennis, baseball, soccer, bocce, and a summer camp.  The playground, on the other hand, is pretty straightforward.  There’s a retro fire truck and a few simple pieces of equipment.  What really got Zora’s attention, though, were the two pipes, turned on their sides, that you could climb into and out off.  Hard to describe, really.  They’re shown in the second photo below.  On the very hot and humid day that we visited, I was super glad that the playground was very shady.

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Philly Playground Project (reviewed: 3/2/13)

Water Town Rec Center Facebook page

Visited: May 2014

May 02

123. Jenks Elementary School Playground

07 jenksEver since we started this project, people have been asking me whether we’ve visited Jenks yet.  And on a lovely May weekend day, we finally got up to see what all the fuss was about.  What a beautiful, community-driven playground!  My first thought when I saw it: this is incredible!  My second thought when I saw it: this is going to be an incredibly difficult map to draw!  Zora was enamored.  At one point, after we had been at the playground for nearly an hour, we started playing hide and go seek and, on the second or third time, Zora found such a good hiding place, that I was truly worried this whole project was about to end with a missing child.  This place has so many good hiding places and interesting spots.  If you love playgrounds–or even if you just like them a little bit–you should get yourself up to this jawn.

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Philly Playground Project (reviewed: 3/2/13)

Visited: May 2015

Mar 21

110. Cloverly Park

cloverlyThere are just a few pieces of equipment here, including a stegosaurus climber that made us feel like we were back in our home town favorite, Clark Park.  But Cloverly Park has what every playground should have: an expansive field of green space surrounding it where you can run and play tag.  Plus, there are at least two trees that are perfect for climbing.  All this in the shadows of a couple high rise apartment buildings.

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Philly Playground Review (reviewed: 9/3/11)

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Visited March 2014

Feb 21

87. North Light Community Center Playground

13 northlightOne afternoon, as we were walking up the hill from attending Manyunk’s annual ice carving festival, we came upon this small playground tucked off of Green Lane.  The North Light Community Center is a neighborhood non-profit that’s been around since the 1930s.  Today, it has many programs and is the site of a lovely neighborhood playground.  There’s an amazing mosaic mural on one wall and a lot of great benches around the playground structures.  And Zora’s always a sucker for turtle statutes.

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Philadelphia Playground Project (not yet reviewed)

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Feb 11

66. Kendrick Rec Center

We visited this playground on a cloudy Sunday afternoon while a very competitive softball game was going on in the field next to the playground.  12 and 13-year-old girls hovered on the swings talking about their moms.  Zora was a big fan of the swings.  She’s just transitioning from the infant swings to the regular kid swings and is starting to learn how to kick her feet out.  She was a bit bored by the rest of the playground equipment, though.  It’s nice, but, you know, she’s seen it before.  Don’t let her assessment stop you from going to check it out, though.

Philadelphia Playground Project review (10/16/11)
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Visited: September 2012

Feb 11

65. Pretzel Park

There are some bizarro playground equipment in this small oval neighborhood playground on the hill above Manayunk’s Main Street.  There were lots of families in the park when we were there, but Zora seemed a little bewildered by the space-age equipment.  She wasn’t quite sure how to climb them and when to swing on them.  Once I taught her, she still wasn’t convinced that this would be fun.  I guess she knows what she likes and is in a bit of a rut.  But you should go check this one out for yourself.

Philadelphia Playground Project review (5/1/11)
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Visited: September 2012