Marche Chase Park – Chevy Chase St. and Regent ave.

Hi there friends!  Please enjoy another guest blog post from my friend Deborah Fike:

We visited Marche Chase Park on August 8, 2016.  

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Marche Chase Park is located just east of Autzen Stadium and the Science Factory.  It’s a very basic neighborhood park.  Not many people who don’t live here know about this place, so while you might see the occasional dog walker, you probably won’t see anyone else.  The park itself is in an established, older neighborhood.  Some of the houses and yards in the area are quite beautiful, making it ideal for a sidewalk stroll around the neighborhood.  

Ample street parking is available along both Chevy Chase Street and Regent Avenue.  I prefer to park along Regent since it’s a less trafficked street that dead-ends just a few blocks down. Here’s your map.

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The playground portion of the park has only one play structure.  (I wasn’t kidding when I said this park is basic.)  The play structure is optimized for experienced climbers, so I wouldn’t recommend this park for kids just learning to climb.  This makes this park best for kids ages 4+, although if you have a kid who either doesn’t climb well or is dangerous in high places, I’d wait until they got past that stage.  

The play structure is a great place to play pretend, whether your kids like riding pirate ships, pretending to climb mountains, or being in their own treehouse.  This side of the play structure has a simple slide and curved climbing ladder:

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To get to the top portion of the play structure, you have two options. The first option is to climb the bumpy faux rocks with no railing or support.  Even though the rocks are fake, they feel real, so it’s a great compromise between having sharp edges but really feeling like you’re climbing on huge boulders:

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Or go up the rope ladder, which is twisted and curves for an added challenge:

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If your kiddo can make it to the top, he or she will be rewarded with a steering wheel and a pole to shimmy down.  Again, great for pretending to ride the waves on a great big ship:
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Besides the play structure, the park has one bench, one picnic table, one trash can, and lots of tree cover.  No restrooms or drinking fountains here.  The other major feature of Marche Chase Park is the little wooded path:

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This path runs through a wooded tree area (complete with fallen logs) across the length of the block.  The play structure is mostly visible anywhere you are on the trail.  It’s a nice path for the kids to go “on an adventure into the forest” without parents being afraid of losing sight of them.  I’m not sure if there’s any poison ivy or oak back in the area, but there isn’t a lot of brush back there, so if there is any, it’s minimal.  My kiddos love going on these kind of hiking trips, and it helps you to get some walking exercise while playing with your children.

This park is super basic, but it does have a few advantages.  I’ve been here about five times over the last three years and have only seen two other people, so it’s quiet.  There’s not a lot of car traffic to worry about.  It’s got a lot of older trees for ample shade in the summer.  The wooded path makes this an ideal place to let independent kids go on their first solo “hike.”  And being so close to Autzen and the Science Factory, you can take a quiet break away from other, more hectic activities you might be doing in the area.

by Deborah Fike, a project manager and marketing professional with two young children.

Thanks so much, Deborah!!  I love the rock climbing structure, and my kids did too.  It reminds me of Disneyland 🙂

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Bond Lane Park – Bond Ln. and Chasa St.

Brace yourselves: this park has a dinosaur.

IMG_2434Ok, so that’s not all they have at Bond Lane park, but I think my inner child is pretty much obsessed with the big purple dinosaur bouncer.

Bond Lane Park is nestled in the neighborhoods off Cal Young, here’s a link to the map. And actually, there’s a really nice 360 degree picture that someone has uploaded to google maps, you should check it out!

You can get to Bond Lane Park from a few different directions, like Norkenzie, or Goodpasture Island road.  I like to park right on Bond Lane.  I don’t park down Chasa st. because, even though it’s a bit closer to the play area, I don’t like crossing the street with my kids, and there is no parking on Chasa st. right next to the park.

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Where I park on Bond Lane, it can be pretty busy and full at times!
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Chasa St, beside the park. Sorry you can’t park next to the park!

A little stroll across a shady field to get to the play area.

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Lots of apples falling right now!

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Where would you like to sit?  There are quite a few picnic tables and lots of shade on the grass for laying out a blanket.

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The play area itself was partially in the shade for early on. I expect the play area to be somewhat sunny, but what I didn’t expect was no water fountains!!  We were pretty thirsty by the end of our play-time.  Bring extra water to this park!

Of course, the dinosaur is awesome, and seats two kids.

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You can see that there are just bark chips here.  Also a nice metal merry-go-round.

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(I love it when the bright paint starts to chip)

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And we’ve got our two baby swing, 2 kid swing set-up.  Yay, for two baby swings!

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I like the play structure, it has some unique climbing features.

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The spider web!

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The twisty ladder.

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This one can get tricky for the really little ones: they start up thinking it’s a regular ladder then get in over their heads as it twists!  So, I try to keep an eye out for my youngest guy.

Some, what are these, leap pad things?

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With a little “rock climbing” wall behind that.

And one big metal slide

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metal or plastic, slides just get hot in the summer!
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My kids like to play at these little windows.  Would you like some bark chip ice cream?

We also went to explore the pathway in the back of the park. That tree in the picture has a sign warning about some future herbicide spraying.  I’ve noticed this at some other parks lately too, but I’m glad they are warning people.

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Pear trees too!

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Going down a little path in back, a nice exploration.

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There’s the park way back there!

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Some construction nearby.

We walked until we reached a neighborhood on Happy Lane and then headed back.  It was a nice little walk and the paths were well-tended to.

Bond Lane Park is a nice and shady park, on a quiet neighborhood road.  The dinosaur is a unique detail, and I really enjoy the big trees.  I was disappointed about the lack of water fountain though.  Hopefully someday I will be writing an update about the city adding a fountain to this park. In the meantime, if you bring some extra water on the hot summer days, you will have loads of fun!