Sunday, 25 August 2013

Aquatic Park in Berkeley

It's no secret... Kids love playgrounds. 

And it's no secret that the San Francisco Bay Area has some pretty fantastic playgrounds.

During the long Summer vacation I'm always looking for ways to keep the girls occupied. While they're pretty happy being at home working on arts and crafts (or playing with electronic gadgets) there's nothing they enjoy more than getting outside and having fun at the playground. Seeing as we live in a relatively small apartment with no outdoor space of our own, a trip to a playground is a treat that we try to squeeze in most days.

One of our favourite playgrounds here in Berkeley is Aquatic Park down by the Bay. Being made almost entirely of wood, it offers a different feel to the other playgrounds that we frequent. The playground is filled with wooden forts, bridges, monkey bars, a zip line, swings, slides and a multitude of things to climb on. The playground also boasts a butterfly garden with a variety of flowering plants for when little ones need a break from all that climbing. Nearby there is a large grassy area, picnic tables, clean public toilets and, on weekends, a small cafe. We always visit Aquatic Park on weekdays so we're yet to make use of the cafe.

Here's a look at some of the fun the girls have when we visit Aquatic park...  

Big smiles for Aquatic Park



Hello down there


The "bouncy bridge" as Lola calls it is her favourite thing in the playground. She could spend hours there bouncing ever so slightly of the ground. Get a bigger kid on it with her though (i.e. her big sister Ava) and she flies up in the air!

Weee!

Big bounce!

Just hanging around


Ava's favourite thing to play on is the tyre swing. There are, in fact, two tyre swings in the playground. One that moves freely like a regular swing and another that has shorter chains and is fixed rather securely in the one spot. Ava prefers the former, and alternates between swinging around wildly and laying back to relax. Lola prefers the latter as it doesn't move all that much.

Ava loves the tyre swing

Relaxing

The fixed tyre swing is Lola's favourite

Looking up...

Looking down

Groundhog?


Ava is also a huge fan of anything that she can climb or swing across: monkey bars, zip lines, trapeze rings... Anything that gets her up off the ground!

Ava is a master at the monkey bars

Swinging across

Zip line

Here she comes!

So much to climb on

Peek a boo

Peek a boo... again


Lola likes to climb a little too, although she's not quite as adventurous (or quite as capable yet) as Ava. She prefers to stick to the equipment on the ground occasionally climbing a little higher to go on a slide, steer a steering wheel or hang out on top of a netted area.

Lola takes the wheel

Taking the wheel again

A little braver here














When a break from playing on the equipment is in order (usually for snacks) the nearby lawn area is perfect. The girls enjoy running around, doing somersaults and headstands (Ava) and picking flowers, especially the ones they refer to as "blowy flowers.

Lola blows the blowy flower


The butterfly garden is also a nice spot for a break. Lola likes to look at the flowers and search for butterflies. On this particular visit however we didn't find any butterflies. Instead we found a bee. In Lola's shoe. After it stung her little foot. Ouch.

Lola takes a break in the butterfly garden - before the bee got her


After we leave the playground (and sometimes on our way there) the girls like to stop to feed the ducks in the lagoon. That would be where the "aquatic" part of the name Aquatic Park comes in! We don't usually have much with us in the way of duck food but the ducks are usually happy to come over and check anyway. Must remember to take bread with us one day!

Here come the ducks

Lola ready to run should that duck get any closer!

Bye bye duckies



1 comment:

  1. Beautiful pictures. It is so similar to the Noarlunga playground. It reminds me that I need to pack a picnic basket and head down there soon!

    ReplyDelete

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