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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