FINALLY!!! Our tour continues. Three weeks of rain has drastically affected our summer park outings and...my sanity. We have a wedding on Friday that our daughter is in and it has been a crazy week but with one day of sunshine, we just had to find a park to hit up. We packed some water bottles, sun screened up and headed to Dormont Park around 4:00pm. Ever since I can remember, we referred to this park as Castle Park. Check out the pictures and you'll know why.
Let me start by saying that this playground is a child's dream (according to my kids). It is shaped like a giant castle. The all wooden play area is filled with alcoves to hide in, bridges to run across, and towers to yell from. Throughout the maze of awesomeness, there are rings and monkey bars,slides, swings,and tires to climb on and run through. I like the fact that the objects are kid sized, so the drop from the money bars isn't as high as it used to be when I was a kid. As a 5'3" adult, I can stand flat footed and easily touch the bars. I love all the little play spots and even found myself running around and playing for a while. It was a great park for me to get some exercise.
Super big bonus were all the sitting areas. There are benches and nooks built in to the playground that provide lots of shade. Some of the sections accommodate a stroller for the sleeping siblings too. Benches and tables surround the outside of the playground as well. This is a great park to head to for lunch. Pack a picnic lunch and spend a few hours relaxing while the kids run a muck. I only needed to entertain my two for about 3 mins until they found some new friends to play with. Another plus to this park is that there are always kids there!
The park was really clean. There are garbage and recycling cans throughout so you don't have to take your garbage home with you. The swing area was crazy muddy, but what can you do? With never ending rain, you learn how to deal with the mud. I walked around and didn't seem to be able to find any slivers or big breaks in the wood, but it is a playground made of wood, so I would pack a pair of tweezers.
I think my biggest gripe about this playground would be the fence. Without sounding like a mother who doesn't watch her children, all playgrounds should be enclosed. Sometimes it is very difficult to run after one child at a park, add a few extra and you feel like you are being pulled in all directions. This playground does have a wooden fence on the side closest to the street. There is also a walkway to get "in" to the castle area that gives a false sense of enclosure. The castle itself serves as a section of the fence, but there are paths to take to get out. (Serves as an escape route for the kiddos. Bad news.) The steep hillside is the barrier for one of the other sides the park. I do love that they can run around on the hill in the grass and I can see what they are doing, but again, it isn't enclosed. With most parks, this wouldn't be such a big concern for me, but with the intricate design and the "hideouts" that make the playground so cool for kids, it can be very difficult to keep an eye on them and I found myself following them around to check up. I was a nervous wreck because I couldn't always see or hear them.
Really, the lack of fencing was the only downfall for us. Everything else was awesome. This is a park that can make an adult want to be a kid again. Some of the spaces are a little tight (for grown ups) but it is still a ton of fun to run around and swing and jump. I love that the castle theme helps with the imagination. At one point in time, I swear I heard that dragons were attacking.
One thing that I didn't notice was a water fountain. Again, we pack water bottles just in case. As for the bathrooms, surprisingly, this may be the ONLY place my 5 year old didn't have to go. (This is a child who's outing is not complete if she can't check out the bathroom) Point being, I'm 90% sure there is a bathroom across the field by the swings, but will have to check next time we go.
All in all, this was a great afternoon. We highly recommend this park!
So the final consensus.
- Clean: 9/10
- Safety: 7/10
- Fun: 10/10
- Unique: 10/10
- Kids' rating: B: 8/10 A: 15,000/10