location:Â Sprague Park – 179 Kingstown Rd. Narragansett, RI 02882
good for: All Ages
I don’t know about you, but I was never so ready see a season end as I was with winter this year. Between the cold and the onslaught of sickness brought home via a kindergarten classroom, cabin feverish does not adequately describe the state we were all in.
So with each sign of spring–however slow in coming–we celebrated the arrival of what is affectionately known in our house as playground season. It is like a gift every year, but especially this one, rediscovering the spaces abandoned after so many months stuck in winter’s funk.
Â And every year, as we enter a new playground season, my children’s gross motor skills have developed and changed, and so have their ideas about what makes a playground “good.”
It used to be simple. “Good” was previously determined by–ahem, me. Swings, a low slide, no danger zones. You know what I mean. Those sources of heart palpitations: gaps in high towers near firefighter poles through which a teetering toddler or preschooler–at least in my mind–could potentially plummet on his or her way to the twisty slide.
Now that the kids are four and six, it is their criteria that take us to certain playgrounds over others.Â At the top of their list of “fun stuff,” of course, is this:
Once the source of motherly heart palpitations, these gap-ridden towers no longer seem quite so dangerous, given the kids’ ages and abilities.Â In fact, these spaces, over the course of an hour, not only offer high-climbing fun, but also become rocket ships, boats, animal rescue centers, and superhero headquarters.
And we are so lucky that Sprague Park, at 179 Kingstown Road in Narragansett, delivers on multiple forms of these climbing-scaling-repelling-jumping-from-high-places spaces my kids love for their physical challenges and for their pretend play.
Sprague also checks off several other playground must-haves on my kids’ list: Â monkey bars — my new source of heart palpitations — and plenty of open space for playing play tag and hide and seek. Â Then there are the unexpected gems that keep us at Sprague far longer than most other parks:
Bouncy dinosaur, anyone?
A tubular caterpillar for climbing through, or on.
A stream runs through the park well away from the equipment, and before the hot weather and mosquitoes set in, poking sticks in water and mud, and damming and freeing the flow of water provide as much–if not more–entertainment as the playground itself. Be sure to check for ticks!
There are plenty of swings here, both baby and big kid, and low slides and climbing spaces for toddlers and early preschoolers to practice and find their legs. Sprague offers a great combination of big and little kid — with plenty of room for that evolving list of “good” criteria.Â There is nothing better on a spring afternoon then listening to the imaginative games my boy and little girl play. I relish in their calls for me to “watch this!” and in their requests for help on the monkey bars or navigating that firefighter’s pole, knowing the evolution will continue, and next playground season the games will be different, and the asks for help will be fewer.Â But because of all Sprague has to offer, the kids’ growth each year will not mean outgrowing this park — or finding new and improved ways to give me heart palpitations.
A few more great features of Sprague Park:
- Free parking lot and on street parking
- Bathroom availability fall, spring, and summer
- Plenty of picnic benches and shade
- Walk to tennis courts, baseball fields
- Walk to Sprague Pond for fishing
- Walk to historic cemetery
- World War I Memorial
- Enishkeetompaug Narragansett Indian Statue