Saturday, May 21, 2016
Ashley Okland Star Playground
Today, we went to check out a new park on Des Moines' east side: Ashley Okland Star Playground. It's an all-inclusive park that's designed to be accessible. I noticed there's not a drop off to enter the playground area, and there's a ramp to get up on the equipment. There were some swings designed with a harness as well. My favorite feature was the shade on the play structure. It allowed for the kids to play a long time without getting too hot.
The park seemed fun for everyone, and it was busy this morning! Our kids spent a full hour running on equipment, climbing, and testing out the teeter-totter. There were a lot of parents on the equipment! It's possible there were kids there who needed the extra assistance. I noticed that almost every child had a parent by their side, helping them climb and go down the slide. One parent was going over ABCs with her child. So, it felt a little different to not have all the kids running around together, exploring and making friends, but it was still a fun playground.
There were two other issues I found with the park. The first is that the bathrooms were closed "until further notice" due to repeat vandalism. Second, the cars on one side of the parking lot park against a forested area. There was a lot of poison ivy growing right in front of where those cars were parked. So, keep an eye on your kids as they get in and out of the cars!