Oakmont Park – 2295 Oakmont Way

Oakmont park is right across from the Oakway Center Mall on Oakmont Way. Here’s the map.

I think that’s kind of the best thing about this park.  Grab a coffee at Starbucks, browse Old Navy, then stroll over to the park to let kids blow off steam.  Then you can head back to the mall for a potty break any time.  It’s a busy area, but that means a lot of people and company for your outing.  The crosswalks are well marked, and there’s parking on the street by the park if you don’t need to visit the mall.
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This park has wood chips under the taller play structure.  Here’s the nice rock-wall.

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Then we have our large sandy area with the smaller structures; bouncers, a little car (complete with two steering wheels which, while impractical for real cars, is advantageous for play cars with two or more drivers).  Lots of picnic tables and benches too.

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The raised, soft walkway separates the sand and bark chip areas.  It’s a little hard to navigate for new walkers, but they figure it out.

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I love this little house in the sandy area.  It’s a nice place to retreat to if it starts to rain.  It can also be a castle, restaurant, or cave, if needed.

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I haven’t actually been here when this water area is on and working, so perhaps we will revisit this park later.  If you have some feedback on the water area, comment below! Aren’t those mosaic animals beautiful, though?

There is a large field and paths to explore that lead to other neighborhoods.  A basketball hoop, water fountain (not on in the winter), trash can, and bike racks.  There’s also a quaint little hill for contemplating life and watching the construction at the Mall.

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One path leads to Frontier dr.

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And the other leads to Bedford Way.

So, I do like this park a lot, but there are some things about the play structure that I should mention.  First of all, it’s not a great set-up.  The things that the littlest kids will like the best are harder to get to, like the car wheel that’s at the very top of the structure

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…or the smaller slide that’s not easy to get to either. You have to go across this bridge:

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Now, I’m not opposed to challenging my kids.  I consider myself a pretty “free-range” parent and I like to let my kids explore on their own.  But, that being said, I think some kid has fallen off this thing every time we’ve been there.  It’s Eugene, it’s wet, there’s only a hand rail on one side.  I’m not opposed to the occasional cut or scrape, but I don’t actually want my kids to fall all the time. Same goes with the bouncy bridge:

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There’s such a huge gap between the railing and the bridge, I’ve seen kids fall off this one too.  The metal is slippery, unlike some of the wooden bridges at other parks.  My little 18 month old wants to go across this and it’s a little scary.  But I can’t blame him because all the stuff he wants to do is across these bridges!
So, not my favorite play structure. (By Game Time, btw, if you’re keeping score)
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There are a few other neat things

A steep tunnel, some unique monkey bars and a wavy mirror to name a few.

There is a spinny thing:
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I don’t know what those are called, if you know, please comment below.  Anyway, this one is a bit taller than usual, which is either more fun, or harder to use depending on your child.  There’s also a baby swing and kid swing.  So, if you’re kids are big on swings, this is not the park for that.

All in all, I like this park and I’ll continue to visit it, in spite of the high fall ratio.  I guess that’s just the kind of mom I am.

 

 

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Gilham Park – Park Wood Dr. and Lakeview Dr.

Gilham Park has got it’s groove back!  And by that I mean that a few things that were missing are back. But I’ll get to that in a moment.

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Link to Google Map Result:
http://tinyurl.com/otw6ewx

Just a word of caution when heading to this park: when I type “Gilham park Eugene” into google maps, the first thing that comes up is the nearby “Gilham Elementary School Soccer Field.” Thanks Google! Not quite.  In fact, I think a few friends have gotten lost thanks to that, so here is the disclaimer right away: Don’t go to Gilham Elementary School! This park is nearby, and in fact, you can see the school across the field, but it’s not the same place. Also, guess what? This park is not actually on Gilham Road.  Haha, good joke Eugene!  I’m always a fan of parks named after the area they are in and not the road they are on so it seems like they should be on the road that there name is and NO THAT’S NOT CONFUSING At ALL.

So, check out the link above or just go down Lakeview Dr. to Park Wood Dr.  You will know you are in the right place if you see tall pine trees and very large houses.  Like, super really nice big houses. So, it’s a nice neighborhood, I’ll just say that.

Wheel Chair Accessible parking spot and parking on a relatively quiet street.
Wheel Chair Accessible parking spot and parking on a relatively quiet street.

Gilham park has both sand and bark chips, with water play in the summer.

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There’s a bouncer back there too.

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If you’re like my son, you will notice the excavator first thing.  This was a nice little surprise for us because the excavator had been “out of order” for a very long time!  I was afraid they would take it away because people might complain it’s too “dangerous.”  Now it is back and actually less dangerous! It’s closer to the ground, so lots of kids will be able to play on it without their parents worried that they will face-plant right into the metal construction tool.

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His feet can touch the ground!

The other thing that has made a triumphant return is the Merry-Go-Round!  This has been gone for a long time, maybe a year?  I figured they’d be replacing it with some “safe” equipment made out of plastic.  But, behold, it is back in all it’s fast, metal glory. Around the Merry-Go-Round and winding through the park are paths with soft blue rubber.  I really like how soft these are for little crawling babies and mama’s aching feet.  A nice alternative to the bark and sand area.

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Also pictured: quite a few nice benches for sitting and trash cans too

Behind the Merry-Go-Round is a bridge, that is very fun to run across, and some little paths in the trees.  It’s not like you are very far from the street or park, but it is a pleasant little area.

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The play structure is one of the Kompany sets and it is also in the sandy area.  This can make it a little slippery at times.

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In the bark chip area is a baby and kid swing and a big bouncer.

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Also this odd tunnel thing.  It kind of reminds me of a rib cage of dinosaur bones.

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There is a nice large field and the school beyond that.  If you come on a school day, and the kids are at recess, this does make your little preschooler wish he could go play with them.  In fact, I’m sure some little kids would be sad or even dart off to go join them, so keep that in mind if you have a runner.

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It’s back there and you can hear those kids having lots of fun! There’s also some nice picnic areas and trees in the field.

Here is something new I noticed: a mosaic four square court.  Also, the water fountains and bike racks.  No bathrooms here.

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I leave you with some cute kid chalk art, just because.

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Brewer Park – 1820 Brewer Ln

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Head down Brewer Ln. between Norkenzie and Gilham to find Brewer Park; this nice little neighborhood park.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Brewer+Park/@44.0855711,-123.0869286,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x54c0e2126a1d5fc3:0x1476d9dbe078095c

Parking is on the street, but since it’s not on a cross-street, it isn’t too busy and there’s an accessible (disabled/wheelchair parking permit) parking spot as well. Walking into the park, you’re greeted by a nice little mosaic.

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Hey look, I made the picture bigger!  I’m learning.  I’m definitely a novice blogger 🙂

There are also little mosaics speckled throughout the paths in the park, some by kids, some by more experienced artists.  They’re cute; check them out.

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Now to the play structures:

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They have a mix of the same-old stuff and some unique items.  I haven’t seen this kind of bouncer in many parks, and I haven’t seen any other circular monkey bars like these.

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We like the shiny tunnel and baby likes crawling up the safely enclosed stairs.

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Bouncer/see-saw and 2×1 swings, or 2 kid and 1 baby swing set-up. You can also see lots of benches, tables, and bike racks hiding in these pictures.

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The park was pretty shady, but when we were there the sun was still partly behind a very tall tree.  However, even when the sun passed the tree, there was still a fair amount of shade.

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20150910_111721 Trashes and water, but no bathrooms here.  There were a lot of people passing through on bikes and walking dogs, with some people stopping to play.  I like a park that isn’t deserted.

Moving further along, there’s a field with trees and a path and a basketball court.  We didn’t go down the path this time (recuperating ankle), but it appears to lead to a street on the other side called Margaret St.

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I liked this park; with its nice, central location and a fair amount of trees.  I’ll definitely visit it again.

When I do a post for any park, I always go to the main government page.  Usually there’s just one picture that doesn’t show too much about the park (why I’m doing this blog in the first place).  With Brewer Park, the picture looks nothing like the way the park looks now.  It’s obviously a picture before the park was renovated.  I have to say, I’m sad to see the changes.  The merry-go-round is gone and the structure used to be made of wood and metal.  I’ll miss those old play structures from my childhood.  I wonder if we are missing out on something by getting rid of those classic play structures, but I guess old things need to be replaced eventually.