The "Secret" Playground


Now that the warmer weather has finally arrived, our family has been making outdoor time a priority around here.  If we're not going for walks around our neighborhood or jumping on the trampoline with Little Lewie, then we're taking him to our town's recreation center to ride his bike. 

On a recent bike riding adventure, I pointed to stairs that lead to a playground at the top. 

Me:  "Lewie, do you want to check out the playground at the top of the stairs?  I used to go there all the time as a kid.  I think they have swings up there..."

Lewie:  "Sure Mommy.  Let's go!"

I took him to the playground and immediately got swept away in a flashback from the early 1980's.  From age 7 to age 12, my mom used to drop me off at this very playground for summer camp.  Here I would make crafts under the pavilion; play kick ball, dodge ball, Red Rover, and Steal the Bacon with the other kids at camp, and then swing on the swings until my mom came back at noon to pick me up.  They were fun memories even if I learned at an early age that I wasn't particularly good at sports--I was usually the last one to be picked for a team.

As we climbed up the last stair, Lewie saw the swings and immediately ran to them.  They were still as big as I remembered them to be.  The monkey bars and the two metal slides were still there too.  It was as if I was taken back to my childhood from a time machine.  The playground had not changed in the last 30+ years!

"I love this playground," Lewie blurted out as he pumped himself higher and higher on the swings. 

On our next visit to the Pent Recreation Center, Lewie asked if we could go to the "secret playground" again.  This time Daddy was with us...  Lewie headed straight for the swings while my husband was brave enough to try the monkey bars.  (Let's just say that my 44 year-old husband is not as limber as he used to be...)

Posing next to the stairs that leads up to the "Secret Playground."

This is where I would wait for my mom to come pick me up...I would watch the road for her car...

Our visit was fun, and now Lewie asks to visit the "secret playground" every time we go to the rec center.  I never asked Lewie why he calls it a "secret" playground, but I suppose it's because you can't see it from all the ball fields down below and because no one seems to use it.  It's as if it's been forgotten about.  All the other kids use the much smaller playground near the tennis courts (that doesn't have any swings...)

Sometimes the best things in life are the simplest.  I loved this playground as a kid, and now my son loves it just as much too.  I hope it keeps its 70's and 80's charm!


  1. How cute that you got to share something with Lewie that you had when you were younger... and it hasn't even changed. And even cuter that he calls it the secret playground :) We've been spending so much time outdoors and isn't it just THE BEST?!

  2. That's so sweet that he calls it that! It sounds like a fun place to play!

  3. I would call it an heirloom playground! That is so neat.
    P.s. we do not have a friendly's here but we had one where I lived as a kid and they do make a mean sundae!

  4. How sweet this post is! It is so wonderful when we can share places and things we loved as children with our little ones! We miss you! :-) We are moving right now and I will not have my party until autumn. We hope to see you soon!

    Mama Hen

  5. Amen! The best things in life are often the simplest. That sounds like a great park!


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