tour de parks review

Well, I promised that if I got bored enough, I would add on a review to our “tour de parks” so clearly, I’m pretty damn bored.  Just kidding.  But I used to love nothing more than to watch “Siskel and Ebert” back when I was a kid and always dreamed of being a movie critic, or some kind of critic.  Too bad poor Siskel met an untimely demise (he was my favorite.  Ebert was such a grouch, wasn’t he?)

In any case, here goes nothing.

Shaw Park Review:

(Now for those that don’t live in the area, I know what you’re thinking.  You’re thinking, “Why the hell do I care about a dumb park review out in Nowheresville??”  But you never know when you might be in this area.  With young kids.  Looking for something to do.  Then you’ll think back to my blog and this park review and the clouds will part.  Trust me.  When you have kids and are in an unfamiliar area, a park is a saving grace.  The difference between screamsville and happy town.  And i dunno about you, but I’ll choose happy town every time).

First of all, we kind of went on a blah day.  We (I) were/was desperate to get out of the apt. and breathe some fresh not dog fart air (don’t ask…I have an elderly dog with intestinal issues) so even though it was only in the forties and cloudy and seemed like rain might fall any minute, we still went.  Miles fell asleep on the way there which was ok because I just parked on the side street and left him there to snooze while the older two played.

I can sum up this park in one word: quaint.  It was nestled cozily in a nice neighborhood and contained all of the requisite play structure equipment but also had a little wooden house, some soccer nets on one side, a few towering spruces and even a bit of topography, enough to give it a bit of a dynamic mysterious feel.  Abutting the park were peoples private lots bordered by shrubs instead of fences.  The play structure was on wood chips, which though Greg tells me are laden with chemicals and awful for the environment, I prefer aesthetically to pea gravel.

There was a tire swing that the kids spun themselves dizzy on for a good twenty minutes.  Then I pushed them a bit on the regular swings but after that they got too cold to play and never ventured onto the play structure.

Miles woke up at this point but was too stunned from the cold and his cut-short nap to let me put him down so Ruth and I (holding Miles) took a walk around the perimeter as Joel retreated to the car to play “car” (where he gets in the car and pushes all the buttons, turns the radio knob all the way up and pretends to steer and gets mud all over the driver’s seat.  Super fun).  Someone had some forsythia in early bloom and Ruth and I stole a branch while no one was looking and it’s sitting here now in front of me on our dining room table in a mug of water looking beautiful and spring-like during our meals.  We also saw a little rabbit which we speculated might have been the Easter bunny keeping tabs on everyone.

I love little neighborhood parks like that.  They are kind of like a little hidden oasis, a secret fort or something.  Because of their secretive nature, they are often little known and less busy than a bigger public park.

However, because it was freezing and yucky out there weren’t many friends to make (which is our actual goal in perusing all of these parks) and the one person that showed up with kids just had two little kids, barely made eye contact and shortly met a friend in what as clearly a pre-arranged engagement, otherwise known as a “play-date”.

So perhaps I’ll revise my one-word summation and add another to my review and say it was : “too quaint” meaning that the neighborhood surrounding it was a little too nice, the people (the few we saw) a little too snooty-tooty (think I’ve been reading too much Judy Moody??) that probably don’t look too kindly upon outsiders from nearby apartment complexes honing in on their turf.

I give this park three out of five stars but would be willing to give it (and it’s patrons) another chance in warmer weather.



Author: Terry

Welcome! I am a Waldorf and unschooling-inspired homeschooling parent of three, ages 2, 5, and 8 living in the metro Lansing area writing from the front lines of parenthood. Join me as I try to navigate homeschooling and bask in the craziness of life with young ones. Feel free to leave a comment. I would love to hear from you! Thanks for stopping by!

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