6 Must-Try Playgrounds in Bismarck This Summer [PHOTOS]
Summer is in full-swing, and if your kids are like most, they'll be dying to get out every day after essentially hibernating during the tough Bismarckian winter. However, running off to the same playground every day can get a little yawn-inducing.
But who wants to go to the trouble of driving around on a hot day to find the best ones in the city? Lucky for you, we did! And we took notes. These are the six best, as tested and judged by real-life kids.
This micro-version of Raging Rivers features a large, yet compact, playground that is open to the public. Located in a bustling part of the city, the play area is safely fenced off, with only one entrance/exit, making it simple to keep the kiddos close and secure; the water-play area is also secured and separate from the playground. Instead of the traditional wood chips, the aquatic center play area sits on a generously-padded surface, minimizing the chances of a tearful incident. It boasts no fewer than seven slides, a covered area, open and tube-shaped bridges, and plenty of opportunities for climbing.
By far the quietest stop on our list, General Sibley Park is located several miles from the downtown area in a peaceful and picturesque locale. There are two play areas in the park, along with a large covered picnic area, swings, and a disc golf course. With plenty of room for a long, relaxing stroll, this is the perfect place to "make a day of it."
Located in northwest Bismarck near the fire department, this park has a fun firefighter theme. Painted a cheerful red and yellow, the main structure is even built to resemble a firetruck, with three turning steering wheels and fire extinguisher decor. The park features toddler swings as well as traditional ones, bouncy riding toys for one or two, and a jungle gym for crawling around on. It's also newly-renovated, with a huge new climbing structure, to be completed in the very near future. Igoe Park is located near a ton of shopping and dining destinations, right on Tyler Parkway and Century Avenue. The park is surrounded by a trail for walking or running, and features a small covered picnic area.
Jaycee Centennial Park is centrally-located -- near Walmart and the Gateway Fashion Mall -- and provides the perfect ending to a long day of running errands with the kids. Like General Sibley, it offers two separate playgrounds and a large covered picnic area. There are more than enough places for climbing and crawling, and lots of room for running off a child-size allotment of energy. The best thing about this park is without a doubt the swings -- it boasts three traditional swings, a secure and comfy chair-style safety swing... and even a tire swing!
North Central Park is located just north of the Capital Grounds, in a pleasant residential area. The large covered picnic area provides the perfect spot to enjoy a sack lunch or takeout from the nearby Pizza Hut. In addition to the large playground, North Central features swings, a full-size outdoor basketball court, tennis courts, and -- during the winter -- a hockey/skating rink.
This stop is ideal for the 4th- through 10th-grade crowd, as it's a little "tall" for toddlers and primary-schoolers. Sons of Norway is Paradise for those who can't get enough climbing and crossing bars and gymnastics rings; it also features a skate park for the budding Tony Hawks of the city.