Hmm...what to do today?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Playground Review: Nordstrom Park (Morgan Hill)


Finally! After many requests from readers, the X family traveled to Morgan Hill today for lunch and some playground reviews. First up: Nordstrom Park on East Dunne, just a short distance from 101.

Overall, this park has a lot to recommend it, with a nice toddler area and really pleasant green lawn. It's got a couple of major drawbacks, however -- most notably, an occasional but very unpleasant stench -- and we enjoyed nearby Diana Park much more, so in the future, we'll probably skip Nordstrom in favor of the great park a few miles away. 

Here are the details:

Pros
  • Fully-fenced toddler play area with play structure, spring toy and two baby swings.
  • Picnic tables, benches and nice grass area (great for picnicking) are situated INSIDE fenced area -- a rare find!
  • Toddler structure is small in scale (just above waist high), but nice and modern in design. Two slides, including a tunnel slide, and just one waist-high ladder opening. 
  • Big kid structure (outside fenced area) is cool, with fun features and slides, but several shoulder high (or higher) openings that could be risky for toddlers. 
  • Large grassy field with .25 mile paved path around it (if you take outer loop), which would be great for bikes or scooters. 
  • Tiny parking lot, but plenty of street parking near play areas. 
Cons
  • When we got out of the car, we were hit by a VERY unpleasant stench -- something like rotten fish. When our MH friend arrived, she explained that the odor was from a nearby manure company, and that the smell came and went depending on the day and the direction of the wind. Looks like today was the wrong day to visit. (But I have to admit, it just came in occasional gusts -- most of the time it was fine.)
  • No shade. 
  • Tanbark ground surface. 
  • The toddler structure doesn't have any of the fun features you see on most structures -- bells or chimes or tic tac toe -- which lots of toddlers love. 
  • No bathrooms. Closest are in a Taco Bell across the street. 
Overall, Nordstrom is a very pleasant, clean, modern park, but the lack of bathrooms is kind of a bummer if you don't live in the neighborhood, and the smell can be pretty distracting if you're there at the wrong time. A pretty good time, but we much preferred Diana Park's setting and toddler structure. 

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