Monday, November 4, 2013

Playground Review: Maywood Park (Santa Clara)


Well, you win some, you lose some. There have been several occasions in the past few months when I've discovered a very nice playground when out and about simply by opening the maps app on my phone, looking for the closest blob of green, and heading in that direction.

In this instance, I was not so lucky. Toddler X and I visited Maywood Park on Pruneridge Avenue in Santa Clara on Tuesday, and...well, we won't be back. 

I won't spend too much time on this one because I'm definitely not recommending it, but in the interest of fairness, here are the pros and cons:

Pros
  • Um...somewhat convenient street parking? (If this is the best I can come up with, you know we have problems.)
  • Two play structures, one for toddlers and one for older kids (but see below for details). 
  • Benches in shade surrounding playground area.

Cons
  • VERY antiquated play structures -- they seriously look like they were built in 1975, and are injuries waiting to happen. Made of old, splintery wood, with low-edged metal slides, these are a remnant from another era -- an era that might have produced good disco music, but apparently not the best play structures. 
  • Medium-height toddler structure is a no-go for younger toddlers, as there is a big step between two of the levels that would be hard for a smaller child to climb up. Even an older toddler might have to go to hands and knees to scale it, which is not a good thing when the structure is made of splintery wood. 
  • One of the toddler slides and both of the big kid slides are old metal ones, with the toddler one DIRECTLY facing the sun and therefore getting scalding hot. The edges of the slides are very low, totally unlike the modern, raised edge slides that prevent little people from flying off the sides. The entry points at the top of two of the slides have been partly enclosed for safety (in the modern style), but the other two -- well, good luck, kids!
  • With the whole ground surface being sand (and not all that much excitement in the structures), apparently a fun game for kids at Maywood is to put sand on the slides and structures, making for very slippery and dangerous conditions.
  • The two baby swings are ridiculously low, making them unpleasant to push. 
  • The playground is only partially fenced, with the side facing (and rather close to) busy Pruneridge Avenue being unfenced. The fence that does surround two sides is old wood with peeling paint, full of splinters. 
  • The older and younger kid play structures are right next to each other, so older school kids were running back and forth between the two and jumping all over the younger one, putting the actual toddlers at risk. 
  • No shade on the toddler structure. 
Okay, is that enough? Basically, what I'm getting at is don't come here. If you're in this location, then you're pretty close to Washington Park, Alvarez Park and Parkway Park in Santa Clara -- go the extra distance and hit any of those for a more modern, toddler-friendly playground experience!

1 comment:

  1. I was laughing when I read your review of the Maywood Park! It's our home park and I agree, the structures are horrible! We usually drive somewhere else to a better park. Although on some days, we'll head here for a quick outdoor play in the afternoon after school. My kids have the most fun there playing in the sand. We live in a nice neighborhood, with lots of young kids. This park gets a good crowd. We should have a nicer play structure! Is there someone to write to, to propose a renovation of this park?? If you have any idea, let me know!

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