Sometimes we get so busy with our regular routines, we forget to do one of the most important and healthy things with our children: get outside! Spending times outdoors is so healthy for kids (and parents) physically, mentally and even emotionally. With nice weather, everyone’s itching to spend some time outdoors. And what better way than to run, jump, and climb your way around the Greater Hartford area? Use our list of parks and playgrounds to spend tons of time outdoors with your family!
Rockwell Park - Bristol
A beautiful park with hiking trails and a pond to walk around. They have a great splash pad and learn-to-swim pool for the warm summer months and a skate park for the older kids. The playground has a section just for the toddlers so they don’t get trampled on by the big kids.
243 Jacobs St. Bristol, CT 06010 860-584-7799
Wickham Park - Manchester
Wickham Park is a very unique park with many attractions including a nature center, bird sanctuary, various sports facilities, and a special sensory garden. You will never forget the peacocks! There are three public playgrounds available but the largest one is located near the aviary. Conveniently located right next to the restrooms this playground has many things for your kiddies to swing, spin, and climb on. There are minimal parking fees. The park is open 7 days a week from the first weekend in April through the last weekend in October.
1329 West Middle Turnpike Manchester, CT 06040 860-528-0856
Buckingham Road Recreation Area - Avon
A boundless playground, Buckingham Road Recreation Center is a fully accessible playground for children of any ability. With plenty of shaded spots and picnic tables, you can pack a lunch and spend the day. There is ample parking available in the free lot. The parks season runs from April 1-November 15.
10 Buckingham Rd. Avon, CT 06001 860-409-4332
Wolcott Park - West Hartford
This park is located not far from West Farms Mall. With a smaller playground that has a cute castle theme and rubber padded areas it is perfect for the 5 and under crowd. During the summer months they have a splash pad open.
1341 New Britain Ave. West Hartford, CT 06107 860-561-7500
Stanley Quarter Park - New Britain
This park has soccer fields and a big pond to walk around. It also has a fun playground with swings, monkey bars, slides and all the usual favorites. The park also features a skate park for your older kids, hiking trails, and a children’s fishing pond. We like to bring leftover bread with us to feed the ducks in the pond after we're finished at the playground.
451 Blake Road, New Britain, 06051 860-826-3360
Salmon Brook Park - Granby
This large park has many amenities including a huge, multi-age playground, a basketball court, public swimming, a running brook with access, and great picnic facilities.
215 Salmon Brook Road, Granby, CT 06035 860-653-0173
Mikey's Place - Wethersfield
This is a wheelchair accessible playground with play for younger and older children. There is a sand pit with digging tools, handicap accessible swings, and plenty of shade to relax in.
329 Garden Street, Wethersfield, CT 06109 860-529-2711
Mill Pond Park - Newington
Newington's largest park includes: a baseball field, boundless playground, outdoor pool, basketball court, and a nature walking trail amongst other things.
123 Garfield Street, Newington, CT 06111 860-665-8500
Simsbury Farms - Simsbury
There are 235 acres of fun at Simsbury Farms and loads to do. It features four separate pool areas, an ice skating rink, and a play-scape in a natural setting.
100 Old Farms Road, Simsbury, CT 06092 860-658-3836
Elizabeth Park - Hartford
Elizabeth Park is on the National Register of Historic Places. The amazing rose garden attracts hundreds of visitors. On site, there is a tennis court, ball fields, a playground and plenty of gardens to walk through. This is the perfect place for a picnic.
1555 Asylum Avenue, Hartford, CT 06117 860-231-9443
Photo Credit: J. Ferrer
Originally published 4/19/12.