Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Playground Reviews: Laurel Hills Park; Tall Pines Park

(Note: The scoring system is designed so that 50% is an average score. "Perfect" scores are rarely given.)

Laurel Hills Park - Edwards Mill Road, Raleigh, NC
Visited: Saturday, June 7, 2014
- Google Satellite

Summary: Scouring the web for a nice playground to visit last Saturday morning, I stumbled upon Laurel Hills Park, which according to the pictures looked a lot like the 4th-ranked Kelly Road Park in Apex: a playground with large wooden climbing structures, as opposed to the standard smaller plastic sets. Let's check it out!

Things for Marla to do: 9/14. Since I can't help but compare this to Kelly Road Park...this is basically a smaller, older version of that playground, which slightly less stuff to do. It's larger than the average playground and has lots of places to climb and hide (most of which someone of Marla's age can handle), but it isn't as large as Kelly Road Park, and doesn't have a sand play area, for instance. (The ground is all sand, but there isn't an area with sand toys and whatnot.) It does have swings and a few slides, though. They also had a four-or-five-foot tall small basketball hoop, which I thought was neat. Even Marla can shoot into that hoop! (Well, almost.)

Uniqueness: 8/10. Kelly Road got a 9/10 here, so 8/10 sounds about right for Laurel Hills.

Upkeep: 3/10. Trash was an issue, and the playground is clearly old and shows its age. The slides are the old metal kind, and so if you touch them with your skin (which is hard to do if you're wearing shorts), you basically stop.

Crowd: 6/10. As is often the case when we go to a playground on a Saturday morning, it was mostly clear when we arrived, and getting busy when we left, although that had a lot to do with a birthday party that was about to begin at the park. (Marla wanted to join the party, but I told her that it's not polite to come to a party uninvited.)

Marla enjoyment: 3/5. Pretty much every playground we go to anymore, Marla has an "average" amount of fun, so...

TOTAL: 29/49, ranking 8th out of 32. Pretty good score, because the park is a little different than your typical playground, although the comparable Kelly Road Park is better.


Tall Pines Park - 9th Avenue North, Jacksonville Beach, FL
Visited: Saturday, May 24, 2014
- Google Street View

Summary: This is a small neighborhood park with a couple of old, small playground sets, the type you go to more for convenience than for anything else. (And also because the park is very well shaded, and this is Florida.)

Things for Marla to do: 6/14; Uniqueness: 3/10. Your basic playground setup: a "big kid" and "small kid" play set (both a bit smaller than average), plus quite an inventory of swings.

Upkeep: 2/10. Attention playground owners: visible writing on the playground equipment will detract from your upkeep score.

Crowd: 8/10. Normally not busy, but it's in the middle of a residential neighborhood, so the park does get some use.

Marla enjoyment: 3/5. See my note in the previous review.

TOTAL: 22/49, ranking 28th out of 32. To date, the three playgrounds I've reviewed in Florida are ranked 23rd, 25th, and 28th out of 32. What's going on here? Maybe next time we go to Jacksonville, we should go to the fanciest playground we can find to help balance it out.


Spartangoogle said...

That's what happens when half your tax base pays no realestate taxes, and there is no income tax in FL either. So you "get what you pay for."

James Allen said...

Try the playground outside of the parking garage in St. Augustine.