Marylhurst Heights Park

Marylhurst Heights Park is delightful.  It is a new, natural, innovative playground that enhances a child’s imagination to explore nature and the wonder of creation at its best. Marylhurst Heights ParkThe actual play structure surpasses any other natural play area I’ve ever seen.  For example, in order to go down one of the slides you or your child has to climb a rock/bulldozer. (There is no ladder! It is simply amazing.)  In addition, you will also notice remnants of dinosaurs in various rocks, as well as look upon the astounding water feature, shaped like a dinosaur skeleton.  One thing to note although creation is huge, Marylhurst Heights Park isn’t.  It is large enough to keep your children occupied for at minimum an hour with the splash pad, merry-go-round climber, log crawl, rope links, and large open grass to play in, and If you want more there is a labyrinth to walk through (like Elizabeth Price Park), and also trails for further exploration.  My family and I played at Marylhurst Heights Park for about an hour and didn’t do the splash pad, but we will be back!  We did walk trails, and could have explored more, but I didn’t want to get lost.  One thing we did notice that older kids would love is back past the fence, the walking trail has been transformed into what looks like a trail for mountain bikes.  If you have older children this could be a dream come true and keep them busy while your younger ones played at the rocks and/or fountains.  Regardless of what age your children are, your children will love this park.  I can’t wait to go back, the structure is astounding, and the natural landscape is a perfect playground in itself.

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Click on City of West Linn to see their description of Marylhurst Heights  Park.

Click on maps for directions to Marylhurst Heights Park.

Harper’s Playground at Arbor Lodge Park

Harper’s Playground in Arbor Lodge Park is one of Portland’s newest playgrounds!  It is accessible for all abilities and amazing, like A+ Amazing!  It is definitely my favorite playground in Portland!  In addition, Harper is a real girl from Portland.  She has an amazing story and you can read about her life and how the playground developed here.  IMG_6894One of the greatest things about Harper’s Playground is it is truly accessible for ALL abilities. Ranging from ramps that gradually escort to the top of an easy slide entrance, state of the art swings, concrete seat walls, and a spinner that is better than traditional merry-go-rounds.  FYI, you may want to bring extra clothes because there is a sand and water play area, which may keep your kids occupied for hours.  Lastly, I have to mention the xylophone as It makes your little musician sound like an expert xylophonist.  It is so refreshing and a beautiful sound to hear throughout the playground.  Overall, I’ve never been more excited about a playground actually in Portland than Harper’s Playground.  It is a playground that no-one should miss!  Thank you, Harper for hanging on to life and influencing others to make an A+mazing playground!


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Click on Portland Parks and Recreation to see their description of Arbor Lodge Park.

Click on maps for directions to Harper’s Playground at Arbor Lodge Park.IMG_6890

Sofia Park

Sofia Park is an intimate park with a whole lot of fun! It is in a beautiful neighborhood and like Elizabeth Caruthers Park it has a Farmers Market on Thursdays with live music from 4-8p.m. The playground consists of a modern structure from KOMPAN mixed with natural play including rocks, logs and water. KOMPAN has designed the fun and innovating Supernova along with other equipment your kids can spin, climb, jump, bounce, slide, shout and play on! I mentioned this park has water, which for detail sake consists of a low-key splash pad/fountains! Overall, this park is absolutely fabulous!  My kids played here for a lot longer than they originally thought because they initially couldn’t see ALL THE ROCKS and logs they could climb on! The modern and natural landscape of this park is so beautiful that you and your kids will want to return.

Click on City of Wilsonville in Oregon to see their description of Sofia Park.

Click on maps or Sofia Park for directions to this park.


RiverPlay Discovery Village Playground

RiverPlay Discovery Village Playground is one of the largest playgrounds in Oregon. It is located in Skinner Butte Park in Eugene and is packed with fun historical insight. One main focus of this playground is the 25-foot replica of Skinner Butte, which is located less than a mile away. Other historical information can be learned through play by riding the ferry over the Willamette River as workers did in the 1800’s or pretend to be a pioneer at Pioneer Village. Kids can pretend to travel via the Stagecoach Spring Rider and stay at the St. Charles Hotel or get dry goods at Bristow’s Mercantile. There is also a city hall, jail, schoolhouse, Sloan’s Blacksmith Shop, and more. There is a literally a load of imagination and fun.  A highlight of this park is the ginormous twisty slide, in addition to the water feature and sand pit, which even has evidence of dinosaurs. Your child can dig for hours and find various artifacts that reveal the city’s history. One thing I must say is, prepare for your kids to get dirty! The water feature does a great job cleaning kids off, but you will still need to be prepared. Overall this is a great park. It is a just a tad bit over a two-hour drive from Portland, but if your kids are studying Oregon history or you are driving through Eugene it is a great place to learn and play.


Click on the official website of Eugene to see their description of RiverPlay Discovery Village Playground.

Click on maps or RiverPlay Discovery Playground for directions to Skinner Butte Park.

53rd Avenue Community Park

53rd Avenue Community Park, like Snyder Park is amazing! The water feature is one of the biggest I’ve seen! The disc swings are the absolute coolest, and the play structure is a lively modern design built by one of my favorite playground companies, Landscape Structures. For the most part, this park isn’t missing anything, well, except shade. If it is a hot day, this park can be flaming! However, remember, there is water, and it is a BLAST! (Maybe at this park you might want to wear a suit, and run in the water with your kids.) As for more features, this park has sand and a concession stand! What could be better? Before you want to pack up your things and head out to this park right now there are a two other features I would like to describe, for instance the popular climbing merry-go-round (also at Raleigh Park) and AIRPLANES! Yes, you will see and hear quite a few airplanes at this park so check it out. This park is spectacular!

Click on City of Hillsboro to see their description of 53rd Ave Park.

Click on maps or 53rd Ave. Community Park for directions to this park.

Snyder Park

Snyder Park is amazing! It may end up being one of your kids’ favorite parks once they experience its entire splendor. There is water, sand, modern climbing structures, the latest spinners, big rocks, nice bathrooms, and a cleaning shower station (so your kids can wipe of the dirt and mud and actually come home semi-clean)! Since the park has so many amenities you will probably want to move around with your kid(s), but don’t worry, as there are plenty of places to sit. There are big wooden benches throughout the playground area, as well as big cement blocks that kids may climb on, and/or you may sit on. Please note the cement blocks may get hot from the sun, but there are also shady trees to sit under. When you decide to come to Snyder Park, plan on hanging out for a while, and after a long day you can go Sherwood’s finest coffee shop Symposium, which proudly serves Stumptown coffee. They even serve Kombucha! You won’t be disappointed! So pack up the car, and get ready for a fun day at Synder Park! Your kids will LOVE IT!

Click on maps or Synder Park for directions to this park.

Happy Valley Park

Happy Valley is an enjoyable park as it has some features like none other. For instance, my kids and I specifically love spending time on the boardwalk in the wetlands. My kids also like that Happy Valley Park has 2 separate playgrounds! (One off to the side behind a baseball field, and then a bigger one near the end of the park next to a parking lot.) At the bigger playground there is a near by sand box, cement tunnels to run in and out of, a volleyball sand court, swings and paths to enter into the wetlands. There is also a splash pad (fountains) by the gazebo, but I haven’t seen the fountains turned on. One thing that is great about the fountains is there seems to be a good amount of space for quite a few kids to have fun. (Contrary to Irving Park, which has nice features, but not a lot of room.) Another benefit to the fountains is they are not right next to the playground. Overall, this park is fun and accommodated with restrooms, drinking fountains, covered picnic tables and lovely paths to walk on. I think anyone could enjoy this park because it is delightfully pleasurable. Plus you might see wildlife in the wetlands. We spotted a bunny just the other day! Have fun playing at Happy Valley Park!

Click on Happy Valley Parks & Recreation to see their description of Happy Valley Park.

Click on maps or Happy Valley Park for directions to this park.