Monday, July 18, 2016

Union Park: Rocket Slide and Heritage Carousel

Union Park is also known as "rocket ship park." The rocket slide was first installed at the park in the late 60s or early 70s, and it's so cool to have an actual fun, fast slide these days! I remember when I was a kid, my mom would take us to a park that had a giant slide. I tried so many times to do it, but I'd always get scared halfway up the ladder and come back down.

Guess what? Jo was no different. When we arrived, she went straight to the top of the rocket ship! And there she remained. Oliver went up to try to get her to come down the ramp, but she refused to budge, terrified she'd end up going down the slide. Another boy tried to help her as well, to no avail. So guess who ended up climbing up there? That's right--yours truly.

There were a few tears when I refused to let her climb back up there. For what it's worth, there is a regular, smaller playground next to the rocket ship area. There's also a splash park/sprayground. But the highlight of the park really is this rocket slide!

Once Oliver was done playing, we crossed over the parking lot to the Heritage Carousel, The animals on the carousel are all hand-carved. Although the carousel is from 1998, it was designed to be a replica of a turn-of-the-century carousel. There are painted scenes of Des Moines on it. It's really beautiful! A ride costs 50 cents for children and $1 for adults.

Union Park is a big place. If you're wondering how to find these attractions, here is how we got there from 235:

We headed north on Pennsylvania (exit 8B on the highway). We went past the first few turn-ins for the park, and we turned right at Guthrie Avenue. It basically ends at the park, where you can turn left to keep driving, or turn right to park in the parking lot. From that lot, you can access the playground, the splash pad, the rocket slide, and the Heritage Carousel.

Here's a map, with the parking lot starred:

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