We have nicknames for just about every park. There’s “Colour Park”, “Really Big Park”, “Alphabet Climbing Wall Park” and “Mouse Cheese Park”, just to name a few. There are very few parks we call by their real names. Bonnie Doon Playground is one of the exceptions to our rule.

When I sat down to write this, I tried to figure out why – The park is certainly not without its distinctive features. There’s the two-seat dinosaur bouncer, flashing its teeth in an ominous grin of greeting as you enter the space. There’s the music area with a lineup of colourful instrument options inviting everyone to join the band. There’s the jungle-themed splash park with animal sprayers and a wild array of paw, claw and hoof prints scattered across the recycled rubber flooring.

Bonnie Doon Playground

Spray park. Photo by Jill Footz

I love the bigger kids blue and green section of the park, with ample options for climbing, swinging, balancing and hopping. The ant tunnels are reminiscent of something from “Honey, I shrunk the kids” – you can sneak through the holes and imagine yourself traversing the maze of tunnels inside an ant hill. The hilltop nature park is my favourite. Pack a snack or picnic lunch and dine on the red-polka-dotted mushroom cap table, while sitting on small matching stools, or clamber up the series of spruce trees with ladder rungs projecting from their trunks. Make your way across the entire forest or stop on the highest one and enjoy the view!

Bonnie Doon Playground

Don’t miss the climbing trees and the mushroom table and chairs. Photo by Jill Footz

Bonnie Doon Playground is just Bonnie Doon Playground because it has a little bit of everything. A little bit of every kind of park structure, from toddler park to big kid park. A little bit of all the unique options that are out there, from splash park to natural park. A little bit of every colour – from the brightest brights of the music wall, to the demure beige of the curling climbing wall. If you are a park fan, you will find something you like at Bonnie Doon Playground.

Bonnie Doon Playground

Bonnie Doon Playground; Photos by Jill Footz

As for amenities, there are several benches and smaller picnic tables, as well as a larger covered picnic shelter area. The playground is located next to the Bonnie Doon Community League Building, which is not regularly open during park hours, but there is a porta-potty on site. The base of the park features two of my favourites – wood chips and recycled rubber park flooring. (I know, I know, kids love digging in the sand, but our socks always bring enough of it home to start our own playground!)

Bonnie Doon Playground

Live like a bug in the ant farm! Photo by Jill Footz

Caffeine-seeking parents will be pleased to know the park is located about equal distance between the Wired Cup, to the north, and Cafe Bicyclette, to the south. The location offers great access to transit options (the ETS Bus system, and soon, the south LRT) as well as the River Valley trail system. A rink sits at one end of the lot, and community league members can skate and play shinny in the winter.

Younger kids will love climbing up the dinosaur on the little kids’ park. Photo by Jill Footz

Bonnie Doon Playground:

Where: 9240 – 93 Street, Edmonton
Website: www.facebook.com