Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Rating the Playgrounds - Riverside Park

*You may notice the jackets! It was cold! OK, maybe not cold but somewhat damp, dreary & chilly during our second visit...

Riverside Park:
This park is located near "down town" Jacksonville. It is in an older residential area called Riverside more closely associated with the shopping area called "Five Points". We have been to this park in our pre-AA days; they have a really nice annual Art show.
We also frequent a few restaurants in the area; the shops are very eclectic to say the least (we used to call this the artsy/goth area where "vampires" came out at night). Have the vision of the area?

The park has limited parking and what we did find is along a busy street, parallel style, no actual parking lot. So you are unloading your precious one with traffic zipping along side.

We first visited this park with AA last week after my work day. It was near dusk and the pictures didn't come out very well. We went back to have lunch at one of our favorite casual dining places, Mossfire Grill and to take pictures of the Park. AND because we had to let AA slide! She gets very excited about seeing slides (I think we have told you this many times!).

Our first visit went smoothly enough. We spoke to a grandmother out romping with her grandson and enjoyed looking at the large pond with ducks and fountain. There was also one small gathering of three men enjoying a "paper bag" happy hour.

The park is very "elegant" compared to your average sports/neighborhood park. There were older kids hanging out, people walking the pathways and a few kids on the playground.
The park has enough equipment to keep most toddlers very busy, has a "rock" climbing wall too.

The swing set has two toddler style swings but on closer inspection they are open in front; I have never seen a bucket style toddler swing with an open front. So this park lost a few stars as AA loves to swing but still slips out of any seat other than the bucket style.

The park also lacks restroom facilities or a covered pavilion. While it offers seating areas it does not have small charcoal grills. The grills are nice for roasting hot dogs or burgers for more of a picnic outing experience...

A picture of my DH and AA walking back to the car :)

Now the really not so good news:
When we went back during noon time to take the pictures, there was a drug deal going down and a man doing his business near a tree. DH observed all this going on and steered us clear. The park generally looks harmless but being so close to "downtown", there are things going on that are not to our liking! When there are organized events in this park, it has always seemed very beautiful and safe. Will we go back to this park? Only if we happen to be having lunch in the area.

Final rating:
2 Stars out of a possible 5. And it only received the second star because we like the area and AA liked the ducks :)


bbmomof2boys said...

Yeah - you have to be careful in parks. There is one we visit that we will NOT go to at dusk. Nope, no way. During the day its okay. Another one downtown is very pretty and has lots of organized events like the one you just visited but we will not visit it unless it has an event going on.

Oh - you said it was a tad chilly yet I see your Ford wearing shorts!! Too funny!


Vivian M said...

I would steer clear away from parks that have drug deals or people using the park as their personal toilet. Ewww.
And the swings are definately a safety issue with little ones, I don't think they are intended for the smaller crowd.
If you want to feel real cold, wait until you go to Maine! It's frezing here in Canada!

Anonymous said...

Oh no! Ugh. Here I was so jealous of your weather!

Dawn said...

What a beautiful park! Looks like Miss AA had a wonderful time. Too bad that criminal behavior put a damper on an otherwise lovely day.

Karsynn's Mommy...Sammi said...

I love AA's face! She's so cute...she reminds me so much of Karsynn. It's those round eyes, I think. She looks like she's doing great! I'm so happy for you all!

Anonymous said...

This park has a reputation for drug dealers and users. I definitely would stay away - day or night