Frank Kinney Park – 875 Martin St.

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Way down W. Amazon Dr. on Martin st, in the Fox Hollow neighborhood, is a pretty little park with a wilderness feel.  Here is Frank Kinney Park on google maps.

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We came down W. Amazon and turned right on Martin. We then went passed the park and turned around so that we could park right next to the play area.  They have an accessible parking spot which is always nice to see.  Martin St. is a nice quiet neighborhood, so it doesn’t feel too nerve-racking to park on the street.  The park is also separated from the street by lots of plants.

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Did you ride your bike?  They have bike racks and water fountains.  You can see a little dog bowl of water and there were definitely a lot of dog-walkers as well as joggers who would come through this park for water.  With an attachment to the Amazon trail system, this is a popular spot for everyone using the outdoor spaces in this area.  It’s neat to see people in the community enjoying the outdoors together.  However no bathrooms or potties here.

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Lots of pretty flowers were in bloom when we visited
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If you are walking around in bare feet, watch out!  A lot of these pokey little plants

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There’s a little path around the park, although there are a lot of dandelions growing in it, so it may not work great for little bikes.  There are picnic tables and also some shady areas in the grass to sit on.

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This park also has the beautiful tile work we see at so many parks in town.

So, the play area!

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It’s not a big one for swings, but it does have one baby swing and one regular swing.

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We also have a 2-kid motorcycle bouncer.

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Some cute kiddo stuck a flower in there 🙂

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A merry-go-round spinner.  You can also see the doggy bags, trash, and some benches on that side.

The main play structure is mostly made of wood and has a nice rustic charm.

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It’s actually very similar to the play structure in Rosetta Park, except for that the one in Rosetta is made of plastic and it has a slide!  So unfortunately, there is no slide on this structure for the kids who live for sliding.

There is a great climbing wall, as seen above.  And the below picture shows a rope where kids can climb down.  I know it’s a drop that makes some parents a little nervous.

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There’s a nice lounging area under the structure

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And a shady hut to be a little play house or fun hidden area.

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Frank Kinney also has a sand play area with water in the summer months.

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The sand pit area always seems to have some buckets or Tupperware for kids to play with, which I think is really nice of someone or some people who are keeping it stocked up.

Behind the sandy area is a pretty field for playing and running and lots of dandelions.

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There’s also a connection in the back to a little trail loop that we did.

 

There’s a little work-out area that the kids enjoyed

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And be advised about cougars and bears: this park is so close to the real wilderness experience at the edge of Eugene!

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Being pretty far out, another issue was that I didn’t have cell service in the park itself, only when we went on the little walk.  So this might be a big downside, unless you are ok with being unplugged.  Verizon did seem to have service in this area, though.  But it does make you hesitate and think about “what ifs” in cases of emergency when you really need a phone.

Frank Kinney Park may be on the outskirts of Eugene, but I love seeing all the trees and hills of the close-by forest.  It’s a quiet park where you can hear the birds and chirps of insects.  It also has such a nice wood play-structure, even if there is no slide.  I like to be there with friends so that the no cell-service doesn’t make me so nervous. Even though it’s a drive, it’s a park with a nice feel and worth visiting sometimes.

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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.

 

 

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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Bethel Community Park – Hamilton Ave.

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https://www.google.com/maps/place/Bethel+Community+Park/@44.080009,-123.198484,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x54c11cf3ab960e41:0xff282067e93ac1a8?hl=en

So, first thing I noticed was that this park has a parking lot.  Sometimes it’s nice to have a parking lot so you don’t have to park on the street with kids.  This is also a very large park, so there’s lots to do, but it may be hard to keep track of multiple kids.

It has this very nice shaded table area

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And lots of shady trees close to park areas.

The park has two basic areas.  One area has a tall play structure with some unique Kompany gear and bark chips.  Behind the trees in the above picture and here:

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The other area is all sand.  It has a play structure as well, that is lower to the ground.

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It also has some water features

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Plentiful baby swings and regular swings, but they aren’t next to each other.  So, if your baby and big kid want to swing at the same time, they won’t be next to each other.

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Here is our favorite part: 2 excavators!!!  Turns out, kids will still find the one excavator that is “better” and fight over it, though. The blue one has a seat and the yellow one does not.  I’m glad that the yellow one doesn’t have a seat because when my son, Atticus, was younger, he used to almost fall off a similar excavator.  Without the seat, that isn’t a problem.  (He’s big enough to use the one with the seat now, as you can see).

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This park does have bathrooms, but the kind without stalls.  So, less gross than an outhouse, but not so much privacy.  It also has a skate park.

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So, in short, this park is great for lots of space and lots of unique play.  But, it’s not your quiet neighborhood park.  Let me know if you have any other questions about this park, and thanks for checking out my first post 🙂