Archive for April, 2011

Daniel Ford Playground at Emerson Park

Overall Impression

The Daniel Ford Playground, or “Pirate Playground” as my two year old calls it,  is a unique play spot located on Davis Avenue in Brookline.  The residential playground is situated inside Emerson Park, a small open green space great for picnics, tossing a  frisbee, or playing catch.  The playground’s main feature is a large wooden pirate ship which features climbing ladders, a slide, multiple steering wheels, and below deck seating.  The pirate ship is surrounded by sand which provides plenty of space for those little diggers and castle makers.  The playground also has “big kid” and infant swings, a jungle gym climber, and a smaller separate structure with two additional racing slides and a fireman pole.  I have found the kids and adults at this park to be very friendly and always willing to share a shovel or extra bucket.   The open space makes for a great spot to relax, have a snack, and play with a ball or two so I recommend packing a lunch and your child’s favorite soccer ball.  There is also a paved walkway around the whole park which lends itself nicely to bike riding and roller skating. If your little one is into pirates or could get lost for hours in a sandbox, this is the perfect spot for you!

Nitty Gritty

Climb, Climb, Climb: There are two structures, one wooden pirate ship and a smaller structure off to the side.  I do not find climbing to be a high priority at this park since pretending to set sail usually takes over.

“All Done”: If climbing and swinging are not your things, there is a big open space perfect for a game of t-ball or soccer.

Afraid of Heights: There are infant and big kid swings here.  There is also a gigantic sand box.

The Escape Factor: This playground is not fully fenced in.

Hit the Ground Running: The ground is covered with sand under the pirate ship and cement under the other structures.

Braving the Elements: There are some shady spots but the sandbox is very exposed.  Pack some SPF!

Snack Time: There are several benches, a few picnic tables, and a large open space perfect for a blanket lunch.

“Potty Please”: There are no public restrooms.

Parking: There is plenty of parking along Davis Avenue.

Water, Water Everywhere: There is a small sprinkler section off to the side of Emerson Park.

Donations: There were some donated sand toys when I visited but not many so bring some from home.

The Others: Very friendly!  I found both the parents and children to be open and willing to lend a hand (or pail) at this playground.

Located on Davis Ave in Brookline

Pirate ship structure

Jameson climbing the pirate net

All hands on deck!

Nolan tries out the infant swings

Jungle gym structure

Jameson plays with some donated sand toys.

Nolan tries out a borrow shovel.

Second climbing structure

Open space for picnics and ball games

Water wading area with sprinklers

Community bulletin board


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Rossmore/Stedman Tot Lot

Overall Impression

The Rossmore/Stedman Tot Lot is one of my favorite local playgrounds.  The tot lot is located at the corner of Rossmore and Stedman Street in Jamaica Plain near Doyle’s Pub.  The tot lot has two climbing structures, one very small slide structure for those first time sliders and one larger structure for those looking for some extra adventure.  The tot lot also has an open air car for those pretend rides to grandma’s house, a giant xylophone for those musically inclined tots, and some rocking horse type ride ons as well.   The ground cover is cushioned foam so it is perfect for crawlers and emerging walkers. Due to the nature of JP tot lots,  there are often donated toys for all to enjoy.  During our visit, there was a kitchen, a basketball hoop, some trucks, and some ride on scooters.  Finally, I find this playground to be the friendliest of all JP playgrounds.  Every time we visit, parents are eager to introduce their little ones and make a new friend.  I have left this tot lot with many a scheduled playdate.  If you have a little one at home, this is an excellent first playground!

Nitty Gritty

Climb, Climb, Climb: There are two structures, one very small slide structure and one slightly larger structure that includes slides, wheels, and a rock wall.  More advanced dare devils may find these structures too easy.

“All Done”: There is an open air car, some rocking ride ons, and a giant xylophone if climbing isn’t your child’s thing.

Afraid of Heights: There is no sand box and there are no swings at this tot lot.

The Escape Factor: The entire playground is fenced in!!!

Hit the Ground Running: The ground is covered in cushy foam…perfect for those clumsy toddlers.

Braving the Elements: The large multi family homes do cast shade over this tot lot for a good portion of the day

Snack Time: There are no picnic tables but there are several benches  (pack a blanket).

“Potty Please”: There are no public restrooms at the tot lot.

Parking: There is parking on the side street but it is limited.  If you can walk, I would recommend it.

Water, Water Everywhere: There are no sprinklers at this playground.

Donations: This park does accept donated toys. Most of the toys were in decent shape!

The Others: This playground gets my vote for FRIENDLIEST in the area.  Parents are very attentive and involved with their children.  This is a great place to make new friends in the area!

The tot lot is located at the corner of Rossmore and Stedman Street in Jamaica Plain.
Small slide structure
Larger play structure
Fun dual racing slide
Climbing area
Donated toys
Large xylophone
Car and ride-ons
Jameson enjoying a donated kitchen set.

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