Fanfare! Drum rolls! Cutting of ribbons and such! Summer has officially arrived, because the city has turned the water features on at the parks! Which means the next three months of your life will be filled with dumping sand out of shoes and trying to fit your four year old in a pair of 24 month shorts because the ones that fit him got wet and you really need to go into Costco because for some reason your family is constantly demanding to be fed. So, to kick things off, why don't we take a look at one of my family's favorite parks. It's probably one you hang out at too.
2295 Oakmont Way
Eugene, OR 97401
This park is super popular, and I think there are 3 reasons why:
1. It's centrally located.
2. Hello you can walk to Starbucks!
3. It's actually a really great park.
Here's what we like:
- There is a very fun little pretend house that is always a hit.
- Great water features - both a small spray and play to run in and a pouring/pipe system near the sand
- Lots of shade
- A great play structure
- Lovely hills all around - perfect for running out the crazies!
- It's set pretty far from the road
- Surrounded by a nice paved trail for bikes and other wheels
- Water fountain
- A few garbage cans
- A fun little patch of bushes that makes little kids feel like explorers
- Sand. I can't stand the stuff but it sure keeps littles busy. Have we talked about the magic of baby powder? I can't remember. Anyway, put a shaker of baby powder in your bag. Shake it all over those sandy hands and feet, and the sand will wipe right off. Easy peasy.
- There's a basketball hoop, so you can rock a game of horse if you have big kids!
Here's what we don't so much like:
- No bathrooms
- Parking is sort of a pain - you have to cross a pretty busy street if there aren't any open spaces right in front of the park (there are crosswalks but no light to guarantee you the right away)
- I feel like the structure isn't super accessible for really small ones. There is a very steep bridge and an equally steep tunnel that can be slightly intimidating. That being said, we've been going to Oakmont since my biggest boy could walk, and he's never complained. :)
Thought of the day: You know that bag that you're always hauling to the park? The overflowing tote with the snacks and the sunscreen and the hats and the shovels and the wipes? Okay, well I've been using a canvas bag that was super handy because it had a zipper, which meant that when it tipped over, all the stuff wouldn't come tumbling out. However, it was so little! Way too small to fit all of the stuff that littles require for a long afternoon at the park. So a friend of mine brilliantly shared that she uses an IKEA bag. You know, one of those huge blue plastic ones? (Note: It's officially called FRAKTA which is not only an entertaining thing to say but also 99 cents!) So now that's what I do, and I LOVE it. It doesn't matter if the bag gets wet or sandy. It's giant, so you won't leave anything behind. And even though it's so big that you sort of have to dig to find what you want, it opens up so widely that it's not really a problem. Try it!
Address: Oakmont Park, 2295 Oakmont Way, Eugene
Parking: Free street parking. Sometimes when it's super crowded you have to park just a bit down the street.
Food: Also none. Pack some up in your IKEA bag. ;)
Resting/Nursing spots: There is plenty of shade, and a few benches and picnic tables. Lots of good options!
Time Frame: A few hours, no problem
Megan Defferding is the mom to two super fun boys who love to find great stuff to do all around Lane County! Check out her blog series, Happy Adventuring, weekly on GoMomGo.