Thursday, September 8, 2011

Explore-a-Park

I'm loving that the weather is still good here.  Once the rain starts, it's rare that it lets up for very long.  I'm not complaining.  I'm a born and raised Oregonian, so it's all good.  I'm used to it.  I figure it's the sacrifice we make for all the green we enjoy for the rest of the year.  The one drawback is having little ones inside all day.

I once got that attitude that I didn't care what weather it was, we were going to be outside.  I learned within the month, when my children started getting sick, that this probably wasn't the best attitude to have, so we have to get creative with indoor activities.  Even after seven kids and seventeen years of motherhood, I'm not great at this, but maybe it's something worth exploring more of as I'm currently mother to the most active of the seven and preschool's not going to be four days a week, like it was last year, but two.

Since school started, after we've dropped off the middle schoolers, we've taken a little drive around the neighborhood to find a park to play in.  Our favorite, Rivendale Park was reserved, so we didn't get to go there, so we proceeded on to find another.  We ran across a park with a creek that runs right through it.  I don't  know the name of it, but it's in the Cross Creek neighborhood.

It had an old wooden play structure with a tire swing, a slide and two steering wheels (a fave with my kids), and there was a swingset.  We have a park just across the street from our home.  We don't love it because it has little to play on, but it has a picnic table and a huge field for running around in.  The Cross Creek park was about the same.  Nothing to write home about, but it was different than our usual park, so for the kids it was an adventure.  #6 wanted to go back there this morning.

Here's the bad thing....As we left, I saw that there was a small sign stating that it was a private park and you had to be a resident of the neighborhood or a guest to use the park.  Oops.  Ah well, no one else was around, and we had a good time while it lasted.

This morning, I didn't even try Rivendale.  It's reserved too much of the time, but it IS a great park.  We proceeded on up the mountain and ended up at the Cooper Mountain Nature Park.  Before this, I thought it was just a bunch of hiking trails, but it now has a play structure too.  Maybe that's been there forever, and I'm just unobservant, but we had a great time even though the play structure seems a bit mature for my four-year-old and two-year-old.

There's a covered wagon to climb on, which #6 made into an airplane in his imagination.  We all took turns jumping off pretending we had parachutes.  There's a slide--the good plastic kind that makes #7's hair stand on end--and a sandbox.  Does anyone else get freaked out by such things--thinking of cats, etc.?

I'm learning that any park is great.  We stayed for an hour.  #6 found some bubbles from the glove compartment in the van and started blowing them.

I'm not sure I loved this park for my little ones, but I'm hoping as the quest continues I'll find the ideal place.  I'm just impressed with how many parks there are in this little part of the world.  Now, if the sun'll just stay long enough so we can explore them all.

3 comments:

Tonya said...

have you tried 53rd st. park in hillsboro? not exactly super close, but WAY cool!

Julie said...

I haven't. Thanks for the tip Tonya. We'll have to give it a try. I'm also realizing I bought an OMSI membership and haven't used it yet. That'll be in the plans in the next couple days.

Kimberly said...

Yes, I am just now getting caught up on blogs. Sean and I just discovered the Catlin Gable park. It is PHENOMENAL. Seriously, it's amazing. The disadvantage is that you can only go after school hours but seriously...the wait is worth it.

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