15 years working in television taught me a lot of things, but arguably the one I think of the most, especially when I’m writing, is that you have to let the pictures tell the story.
That was all I could think about when we visited Hazeldean Playground!
Hazeldean is a feast for the eyes – from the beautiful arch entrance, to the lovely sentiment of the welcome sign, to the bright colours, the design theme, and all the little details. The intricacy was lost on my kids – for them, this playground was simply non-stop fun.
It’s no secret that (most) kids love trains. Train fans will adore the railway theme that ties this park together and pays homage to the neighbourhood’s history. There are two giant train engines, a quaint little train station, a surprisingly high train track bridge and tunnel, and of course the staircase made out of a stack of old fashioned suitcases.
The “cars” of equipment that stretch from each engine make up the majority of the park – the noticeably smaller one makes a great toddler park, (be sure to track down the train whistle!) and bigger kids can seemingly go for miles across the larger structure without ever having to touch the ground. There are all the usuals – climbing walls and apparatuses, bridges, slides, and monkey bars.
There are park favourites like swings (both baby and big kid varieties), a couple of old-school bouncers (racehorses!), a talk tube, and even a painted rainbow hopscotch course. There are a couple of cool, modern touches, like a super low swing that looks a little like a hammock (it doesn’t go high or fast, but my kids both loved the uniqueness of it) and a Kompan Supernova circle. (Otherwise known as the “circle thing that goes around and around”. I’m not gonna lie, I love that thing too!)
The train station features a map of the province and distance information for a variety of Alberta towns and cities, so you can squeeze a quick geography lesson into your visit. It, like every little playground building, doubles as a market/ice cream stand/bakery.
The best part, in my humble opinion, is the animal scavenger hunt. Check the blue board near the bigger of the two trains for the list of animals you can find hidden throughout the playground. Can you find all nine? (The dragonfly was particularly tricky for us, but eventually we spotted him, and all his buddies.)
The base at Hazeldean Playground is a mix of rubber and sand. There are plenty of benches, as well as a covered picnic shelter. A small spray park sits off to the side of huge main playground, as does a school sports field. There are no bathroom facilities on site, but a number of businesses are in close proximity. (We didn’t get to stop during our visit, but I have heard wonderful things about Lucy’s Sweets Bakery, just across the street.)
Where: 9630 – 66 Avenue NW, Edmonton