Now that I’m trekking around with a 3 year old and an infant I’m putting a little more thought into which parks around town to visit for quality play time. The factors for what makes a good park have changed so much in the last few months (especially with potty training) so I thought I would share the parks we frequent the most and my thoughts on the pros/cons for each spot, in alphabetical order not preference order.
Daffin Park (fenced playground area)
The fenced playground area at Daffin Park is located at 1 Waring Drive on the Waters Ave. side of Daffin. It’s a nicely shaded park area with adequate parking that is mostly fenced. I say mostly because there isn’t a gate AND on the far right side the railing for the walkway isn’t actually a fence so you have to be careful to make sure when the kids decide to play in the bushes they don’t realize they aren’t fenced in and escape. This hasn’t happened to me yet but it’s something I worry about, you know when one kid figures it out it’s over for the rest of us.
- Mostly fenced
- Two nice play areas and a small baby swing set
- lots of shade
- there are a few picnic tables (although they aren’t really in a convenient part of the play area)
- benches to sit on that are easy to watch the kids playing from
- lots of free parking
- the fence doesn’t go 100% around the park and the entrance/exit area isn’t gated
- the entrance/exit area are close to a busy street with people who seem to think it’s a drag strip…you know who you are
- the bathrooms are in the building next door to the park and honestly I’m not sure if they are open to the public
- the water fountain in the park is GROSS!!! and doesn’t drain well
- drainage – when it rains the larger play area takes a long time to dry
Everyone knows Forsyth Park, if you don’t you’re either REALLY new to town or well…I don’t know. There are two play areas and a splash pad next to each other at the north end of the park. The mostly fenced play area was recently redone and is accessible to all children, even those with wheelchair limitations.
- Nice BIG play area with many different aspects to entertain kids
- splash pad
- two playgrounds
- away from the road
- lots of green space for free play and picnics
- busy, so you’ll likely find other kids there for your little one(s) to run around with
- no gates on the fence leaving gaps for escapees…with the play set being so big there are lots of blind areas and if you are watching multiple kids there’s always that scary feeling that they snuck out the side when you were turned the other way (especially in the summer to go play in the splash pad)
- parking, especially on busy days when everyone wants to be at the park
- it can be too busy sometimes – let’s be honest, when 5 kids are wearing the same shirt as your kid because there are 200 kids on the playground and you realize you’ve been watching the wrong kid the park is officially too busy…
Hull Park is our “go to” park. We have lots of friends who live in the neighborhood so it’s easy for them to walk down to the park for a quick play and since it’s centrally located the drive from where I live isn’t bad. The park is located at 55th Street and Atlantic Avenue and has plenty of free off street parking.
- shaded pavilion with picnic tables
- two nice play sets and swings
- splash pad
- large green space for free play
- free parking is close to the play area
- NO bathroom – hey City of Savannah, a port o john, all the way across the park, doesn’t count, just throwing that out there!
- no fence
- the seating/stairs area at the splash pad make some parents a little nervous
Located off Montgomery Cross Road and Sallie Mood Drive, Lake Mayer is one of those parks that have a little bit of everything; playground, walking path, lake, basketball and tennis courts, and a skate park just to name a few. My husband and I like to take the kids out there to walk around the lake and look for ducks. There is lots of free parking both at the entrance on Montgomery Cross Road and if you drive over the bridge and go into the park. If I ‘m going to the play ground I will drive over and park next to one of the pavilions by the playground but if we are just taking an afternoon walk we park in the lot before crossing over.
- nice size playground with picnic tables nearby
- easy to find
- playground is well away from road and parking lot
- the majority of the walking track is far enough from cars and parking that kids can run with you and play while you get a lap in
- the birds – between kids wanting to chase them and the mess they leave behind, you know….birds
- drainage – when it rains the playground takes a long time to dry
We bike to over the to the state park most weekends when the weather is nice, between the nature trail and the playground area there are lots of ways to entertain little ones. The state park itself has camping and glamping, a small museum area, and several picnic pavilions that are free to use IF they aren’t rented out in advance. There is a $5/car parking fee to enter the state park but if you go enough (or if you go to other state parks) you should invest in a package from Friends of Georgia State Parks & Historical Sites.
- state parks are kept up and presentable year round
- two play areas, hiking trails, camping, etc.
- play areas and clean and well maintained with picnic pavilions
- parking next to play area
- clumsy kids trip over some of the tree root on the natural hiking trails
- if you don’t live on Skidaway Island driving out could be a con
- the museum area is closed and will be replaced
- the two play areas aren’t right next to each other (although they are far enough away from each other that kids won’t see one from the other and want to run off)