With just a week to go before the arrival of baby #3, the boys and I have been trying to stay close to home. So this week I finally took them to a park that I have literally driven past hundreds of times. It’s actually attached to the Westover Hills Methodist Church, and they are gracious enough to allow the public to use it. What a great find it was for us. It is nicely shaded, completely fenced in and FULL of toys and fun things.
When we first arrived the boys literally stood in place for what felt like 5 minutes taking it all in. I am not sure they knew where to start. There are 4-5 jungle gyms with slides and swings for all ages. There are several play houses, a wooden fire truck to climb in and on, and a large covered sand box. My personal favorite was the see-saw which is sturdy enough to hold a parent and child on each end. They loved it! Did I mention the toys? My boys are at the stage where they love toys that can be pushed around. I lost count of how many lawn mowers, vacuums and ride-in cars they found. It was a dream come true for two very happy one year olds. It was great for me because I could sit on one of the many benches or tables and see them, and not feel like I had to constantly run after them. There were also plenty of child-sized picnic tables which would be great if I decide to pack a lunch and bring it with us next time.
Whether you live in this area or just happen to be passing by, this park is located on the corner of Westover Hills Blvd and New Kent, just over the Nickel Bridge from Maymont. Both times that we have been it was full of very friendly parents and kids. Now I only wish that we lived close enough to walk. If you ever decide to stop by, I will most likely be the only one there with the 3 boys under the age of 2.
If it’s a Saturday morning in Richmond Virginia during the Spring, Summer and Fall, we are headed to the Farmer’s Market. Our favorite is called South of the James. It is located in Forest Hill Park and is always very busy. It is a great place to take the kids for some fresh air, breakfast and a little shopping.
Last week we headed out early to try and beat the crowds. After a brief coffee stop at the Crossroads stand we were ready to get down to business. I like to buy all of our weekly produce at the market to support our local farms, and one day I will explain the importance of this to the boys. For now, they like to come along and sample whatever is being offered. We happily tasted brownies, strawberries, pound cake and Grammy O’s sticky buns. Not exactly the breakfast of champions but it was all delicious and certainly helped us decide what to purchase. This day was also the first time that the boys had fresh strawberries and I was pleased that they enjoyed them so much. For a more substantial snack we headed over to the Cielito Lindo stand for breakfast burritos. These were mostly for mom and dad but we did share a few bites with the kids.
What I love about this market, aside from its proximity to our house, is the fact that it is so far back from the main road. It is safe for us to let the kids out of the stroller and not have to worry about anything more than foot traffic. And if you love animals like we do, there are always plenty of dogs to meet. Also, don’t forget to stop by the Farm to Family bus to see the bunny. Then head on over to the playground for a little more play time before you leave. In our family a good time is always had by all! You can find a complete list of vendors here: http://www.themarketumbrella.com/vendors_SDTC.html. Do you have a favorite local farmer’s market?
Last week we met some friends at a park that was new to us. It is located in the city at the intersection of Kensington and Thompson, right next to a fire station. It seems like there is something for everyone at this park; soccer, basketball, volleyball and of course the playground itself. I was so excited to see that they have toddler swings. For some reason I have not found many parks near my house that have swings for toddlers. The boys wasted no time getting to the task at hand…exploring.
I love taking them to new places and watching them discover all that it has to offer. This playground has things for different ages and stages of development, which is great for families with lots of children. The bigger kids were climbing and going down the much bigger slides while the smaller kids were enjoying the see-saws, swings and much shorter slides. My guys are still pretty young so they did lots of watching at first and eventually wandered over to the swings. It is so nice to put them in swings that don’t need batteries or a doorway to hang from. They loved it! When they were finished with the swings we wandered over to watch some older kids. Before I knew it, one of my little guys was climbing the stairs to one of the slides for older kids. Not wanting to disappoint, I climbed up behind him and we went down together.
I must say that the most exciting part of our visit to this playground was the train. Since the park is situated overlooking 195, there is a perfect view of the train tracks. As soon as the train was heard all of the kids there at the time ran over to the fence to watch. My two followed the pack not knowing what was going on, but wanting to be part of the crowd. I look forward to the day that I can sit on the bench and watch them play without having to follow so closely behind.
All in all it was a good time for us and a great playground to add to our list. I must also note that there are public restrooms on the premises, and although I did not go in personally, I was told that they should only be used for emergencies. Please visit this link for a little more information about the programs offered for children, teens and adults at the Humphrey Calder Community Center. http://www.richmondgov.com/parks/CommunityCenterHumphreyCalder.aspx