Saturday, August 17, 2013

Playground Review: Marsalli Park (Santa Clara)

 
Saturday morning playground report! After a 6:45 am (involuntary) wake-up, Toddler X and I decided to make the 2 mile walk to Marsalli Park in Santa Clara (intersection of El Camino and Lafayette, a few blocks from SCU). Thankfully there was a Starbucks on the way, or else I wouldn't be able to type right now.

The park is dominated by a large baseball diamond, with lights, bleachers, etc., and the playground is really just an add-on to keep kids entertained during games. Overall, not particularly toddler-friendly, but Toddler X seemed to enjoy it all the same.
 
Here's the report:
 
Pros
  • Clean, well-maintained park (this seems to be true of all Santa Clara parks -- good job, Park and Rec!), with bathrooms, picnic tables and a large lawn area.
  • Nice, modern play structure with really cute and novel baseball theme (to go with the rest of the park), one baby and one big kid swing.
Cons
  • Play structure just wasn't made for toddlers, with tall slides and a few big drops (though Toddler X was happy with lower slide, which nicely ended right at ground level). 
  • Cute scoreboard feature with rotating numbers was too high for a toddler to reach -- I had to put down my coffee to lift Toddler X up, unforgivable at 7 am.
  • Location right next to El Camino doesn't make for a serene playgrounding experience (though, as a plus from Toddler X's perspective, a lot of busses and planes passed by).
  • Parking lot is small and far from playground.
  • Although park as a whole is fenced with only one entrance far from the playground (making it unlikely your kid will end up in the street), the playground is not separately fenced and is pretty close to right field.
 
Overall verdict: if you're already there to watch a baseball game, it's worth a trip to the playground, but don't make a separate visit just to play. If you're in the area, War Memorial playground is about a mile away and is far better for a toddler.

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Hmm...what to do today?