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Winter Playground Circuit Challenge

Warren Rec Rock Wall-1By Katy Killilea

A gray, cold-but-snowless winter day that has you desperate to fill your lungs with bracing air is the right day for a Playground Circuit Challenge.

GET READY: Before you bundle up and hit the road, get your kids to decide on three or more playgrounds within a few minutes of each other that you’ll visit. They’ll also need to plan the components of their challenge. Will every slide have to be scaled? Will every swing need to be swung upon for the duration of the alphabet? Will every balance beam have to be strutted down as if it’s a catwalk? And most important — to some — will there be a prize?

We planned to go to three playgrounds (Find more playgrounds here):
Warren Recreation Park on Asylum Rd. (off the intersection of Child St., also known as 103)
Warren Pirate Ship Park (Water Street after the sign for Wharf Tavern)
Kids’ Kove in Barrington (next to the library on Rt. 114)

OKAY GO: Our trip started with filling our tightly-lidded thermal travel cups with each participant’s hot beverage of choice. I should have done this bit at home, but instead we filled up at Starbucks (warm milk with choice of flavored syrup and whipped cream costs 95 cents when you bring your own cup).

Warren Rec Balance-1FACE THE CHALLENGE: In our case the challenge was to go down each slide five times at every playground.

First we hit the Warren Recreational Park. It is a showstopper with ships, shops, esoteric balance beams, a fish-mural rock wall (photo), tons of swings, a “tot lot,” four slides, a firepole, and more. Every time I bother to go to this playground, I wonder why I don’t go more often. It is a kids’ paradise, even on a dreary day. The kids played until we were just too darn cold, and needed to warm up with a quick drive in the car.

Pirate Slide-1Our next stop was the petite and beloved Pirate Ship Park, also in Warren. It boasts only one slide and is more noteworthy for the funky ship kids can climb on and the bright red gate that makes you so, so dizzy.

Kidskove Slide--Briggs-1It was starting to get dark when we reached Kids’ Kove, and its giant tunnel slide was a little spooky at first, but the kids did indeed achieve their goal.

THE PRIZE: We ended at Kids’ Kove because anyone who successfully completed the challenge could choose a book from Barrington Books just across the street. We spent a nice chunk of time choosing our books. (Lucky me! Even though I didn’t go on any slides, I still got a prize.)

The whole challenge took us three hours and left me with precisely the snuggly, exhausted children I am always longing for.

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  • We took the challenge and swung and slid in the down park (AKA: Lippet Park), the Sunny Park, (what *IS* that one called?) and the Baby Park. These are all nicknames we have for the parks around Providence. I forget the actual names. It was fun and Faye took the challenge seriously. Even kicking every ball in the park while she was there.

    In the morning, we left early for school and stopped by the park again and found lots of animal tracks in the mud which had frozen overnight. We spend so much time guessing the animals we were close to being late for school.



  • Overheard on Saturday at the Barrington Kids’ Kove by a maybe five year old:
    “Not only am I strengthening my muscles, I’m strengthening my mind.”
    Somewhere a p.e. teacher is smiling.

  • SInce the close-by Bertucci’s closed, we have been using Chiazza in Barrington as a substitute. Chiazza seems to think of itself maybe as a romantic place, but it is actually almost exactly like a Bertucci’s. They have a kid menu, lids on the cups, crayons, etc. Wood fire pizza. You know, the whole Bertucci’s thing. I miss the Bertucci’s but Chiazza is a good runner up!

  • We’re going to the big playground in Warren Tuesday, February 5th at about 3:30. If you see some supercool looking family there, and mention kidoinfo to us, we will invite you back to our home for Indian food.

  • No, we drove up to the one at Emerald Square Mall. It was a hike, but it is such a great family place! And that Margherita Pizza is out of this world!

  • What a great way to celebrate your twins bday! Thanks for the kind words about Kidoinfo. We love to hear that what we print is useful to families. Thanks for reading and please send us along any great tips or adventures you want to share with other Kidoinfo readers.

  • We are new to the area (moved here from GA in June), and we find your site and emails invaluable!

    Today was our b/g twins 4th birthday! After a large pancake breakfast and play time, we took them and their 1 year old little brother on this adventure.

    It was a HUGE hit! We ended the day at Bertucci’s for Supper with singing and cake!

    Thanks for being such a great resource for our active, happy family. You have yet to lead us astray!